- Automotive Makes & Models
It Is Jeep Season: Take A Fun Virtual Wrangler Ride
Jeep Season (April - September)
Rising Star (HubNugget) - May, 2012
High School and the Dune Buggy
I confess - I love Jeeps. It feels good to get that off my mind as it has been bottled up inside me for some time. Way back when I was a boy, I wanted to buy the free spirit Dune buggy to ride around at the nearby Asbury Park beach. I always thought that the Dune buggy would be my first car. You have heard of the Dune buggy - correct? The sand prone vehicle I thought I could purchase with my first paper route and ride around the half mile circuit which went about from the Asbury Park Convention Hall to the Casino using Ocean Drive as the loop.
Every spring and every summer for most of my teen years I would listen to Bruce Springsteen or South Side Johnny and the Asbury Park Jukes and dream of the Dune buggy. I thought how cool it would be to drive, not even for one minute considering what I would do in bad weather. As the music, seasons and paper routes went by, I soon realized that owning a Dune buggy would not likely become a reality. I went from small jobs that gave me just enough spending money to buy a bag of chips and a soda to medium jobs with more responsibilities. As the jobs came with more responsibilities so did the teen years and before I knew it, I was graduating high school and heading for college.
Rising Star (HubNugget third place)
For the week of 5/25/2012 this hub was nominated for the Hub Nugget award.
Now, in 2017, it is hard to believe that 5 years have gone since I first published this piece. Many times, after so much time has past, I go back and change an article but I then think that it should be left in the original state since that is what earned the award.
Jeep Renegade and Jeep Scrambler
College and the Jeep
During college, as I matured into reality even more, I realized that having a Dune Buggy would not be economical, practicable or even sensible for me. I wondered what it was that attracted me to the Dune buggy. I first thought that by owning a car that I could ride in the sand would keep me close to the beach and the ocean. Then I thought it was the open and free feeling I felt when I saw other drivers riding their buggy. Finally I concluded that someone should create a single practical convertible car that I can drive for every day use and park in the sand. Along came the Jeep Scrambler (first one I remember seeing is similar to the second Jeep picture above). When I saw this vehicle for the first time, in the mid 80's, I knew I would own a Jeep one day. The only questions were when and how much it would cost.
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
My First Jeep - Sahara
My first job out of college did not offset the price of a new Jeep in the mid 80's so I settled on the Subaru Justy as my first new car. There was nothing flashy about the box like shape of my three cylinder, five speed Red Justy (click here to see exactly what my Justy looked like). It was great on gas but it was not a convertible and certainly not built for off road driving. Nonetheless I knew that the Justy was a vehicle to drive in between Jeeps.
As my next few jobs increased my base salary I knew I was getting close to owning my own Jeep. Following the 1988 Subaru Justy and the 1995 Dodge Neon, the 1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara was my first new Jeep (shown above was that Jeep just days after I bought it). The 1999, soft top, five speed, Green Jeep Wrangler Sahara was the model of choice and it cost just over $20,000 US dollars.
I drove this Jeep in what I call Jeep Season (the beginning of April through the end of September) for six seasons riding around with the top down and the radio on. One early morning, while driving the Jeep from our Pennsylvania home to my New Jersey work place, I hit a Deer as it leaped a guard rail on route 202N and landed on my tow hook. That pretty much ended the story of my first Jeep as the cost of constant repairs forced me to trade it in for a 2006, five speed, Blue PT Cruiser. It only took two years of driving the retro PT Cruiser for me to want another Jeep.
Virtual Jeep Wrangler Ride For Beginners
Jeep Wrangler X
My Second Jeep - X
I did like the slick PT Cruiser but it was not free and open enough for me. In 2009 I drove the PT Cruiser into a nearby Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealer and negotiated a trade in for the Jeep Wrangler X model shown above. The first picture was taken the day I brought it home from the dealership and here are the details of the trade in.
I knew I wanted a Jeep Wrangler and I knew it had to be a stick shift. The problem I had was finding a two door manual transmission Jeep Wrangler. From the Jeep dealer I selected, I found only two of many Jeep models that had this basic criteria. The salesman told me that that historical demand showed that most people elected the convenience of the automatic transmission and the space of the four door versus the manual transmission compact two door. I told him that historical performances are not necessarily an indication of future outcome and asked him to show me the two Jeep models he had in stock.
As the salesman walked me around the back of the lot, I noticed a two door silver Jeep that looked like a six speed transmission. I quickly broke from the line and headed over to the silver two door for a look inside. Looking at the Jeep was like looking at an expensive piece of art to me. The silver model was perfect except for one minor detail. The interior was black cloth which meant I would be extremely warm in the hotter summer months. I asked to see the other two door that was in stock. As we approached the other Jeep, the salesman said the actual color name is called "Sunburst Orange". I said that it looked more like rust to me. I peeked at the interior and saw grey cloth inside complimenting the six speed transmission. Then I took a few steps back and envisioned myself driving this modern day Dune buggy. "This is perfect" I said. So we went inside to price the value of the PT Cruiser for the trade in to, as he said, "draw up the paper work". In about two hours, I drove away with my new 2009, two door, soft top, 6 speed, Rust Jeep Wrangler X for about $20,000 US dollars (including trade in of the PT Cruiser).
All Season 4x4 Jeep Wrangler
I cannot even begin to express how much fun we have had in this Jeep. As the Spring season rolls in you begin to think about all those rides with the soft top down and and the Summer brings weekends of leaving the top off. I look forward to yet another Jeep season riding around with the soft top down and the radio on.
The first video was taken recently on a cool 70 degree day as I exited the New Jersey workplace heading for my Pennsylvania home. For all you hubbers that have wanted a ride in this Jeep (especially Beth100 and prettydarkhorse), the video is for you and I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to giving you the Jeep Wrangler wave if I see you on the road.
The second video was recorded during the Winter season as I slowly drove myself into work.
Jeep Wrangler at 100,000 miles
Top 5 Places To Drive The Jeep
Country or State
Spring or Summer
Fall or Winter
Spring or Summer
Jeep Wrangler Ride in Philadelphia
2015 Jeep Wrangler - Blue Devil
- select the type - Wrangler
- select a model - Sport
- select interior color - Black, cloth seats
- select exterior color - Blue
- select interior options - AM / FM, CD, MP3 with Air Conditioning
- select exterior options - spare tire cover
- select powertrain - 6 speed manual transmission
- select packages - soft top
- select big tires - with a full size spare
- select a name - Blue Devil
What Your Car History Says About You
- What Your Car History Says About You
When it comes your car, SUV or truck - what does your car history say about you ?
© 2012 mts1098