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My Jeep Cherokee Sport, My Girl: Creative Nonfiction

Updated on November 24, 2016
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Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

My 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport, aka 'My Girl'
My 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport, aka 'My Girl' | Source

Have you ever had a good old automobile that just wouldn’t quit? You drive her an’ you drive her, an’ all you have to do is put gas in her an’ change the oil once in a while. Oh, sure, there’s always that occasional brake job an’ new tires, but that old vehicle just keeps hummin’ down the road.

I got me a Jeep Cherokee Sport. No, not a Jeep Grande Cherokee an’ not one o’ them CJ’s or Wranglers. Got me a Jeep Cherokee Sport, an XJ model. Oh yeah, that’s what I got. They quit makin’ ‘em back in ‘01. Started makin’ em in ‘84 an’ other than puttin’ a computer in there, that vehicle barely changed in seventeen years. Now we call ‘em SUV’s, but when the Jeep Cherokee Sport first came out it was called a station wagon. Imagine that. A station wagon. Far as I’m concerned, it’s a sport utility vehicle like no other. Faster than pretty much anything else from zero to sixty. After that it ain’t much, but they are fast out o’ the blocks.

I got mine three years ago and she needed some tender lovin’ care. I put a new wheel hub on the driver’s side. Put one on the other side later. She needed a new master brake cylinder too. But she’s a good vehicle. Oh yeah, just gas and oil an’ she’s good to go.

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I had to put a new crank position sensor in there a couple o’ years ago. An’ then a cam position sensor. An’ a coil pack. Then another crank sensor an’ another cam sensor. But she’s been one reliable automobile. She had 196,000 miles on her when I got her an’ now she has 235,000. I’m takin’ her to 400k. She’ll do it too.

One solid piece of mechanical genius she is. Some automobile magazine called her one o’ the top twenty vehicles ever made. That’s ‘cause o’ the straight six, four liter engine under the hood. Bullet proof. Best motor AMC ever made. Oh yeah! Got me one. Gas an’ oil is all she needs.

When I bought her, all I could see was that fine, jet black, paint job. She was as clean as a whistle. Well, after a quick once over that’s how I saw her. Then I did notice a little rust down on the quarter panels. But hey, she’s a Michigan Jeep and we use salt on the roads in winter. Takes its toll on a vehicle it does. I was underneath once wirin’ up the muffler an’ I noticed a big hole under the driver’s seat. Yep, that rust had eaten clear through. The hole may have gotten bigger since, but, hey, she’s a good vehicle. Just hope I don’t fall through that hole when I’m cruisin’ down the road doin’ seventy.

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I drove her from Michigan to Montana once. Seventy five MPH all the way an’ she handled it just fine. I was in the Big Sky State for six months an’ that Jeep saw some rough mountain roads. Washboards, potholes an’ I swear a crater or two, an’ my Jeep Cherokee Sport handled ‘em all.

Out in Montana they don’t use salt on the roads in the winter. Don’t know how they melt the ice, and I ain’t stickin’ around to find out. But they got Jeep Cherokee Sports out there too an’ ain’t no rust on ‘em neither. They look like they was just drove off the sales floor. Even the county uses ‘em. Nice shiny Jeep Cherokee Sports, lookin’ like they was new yesterday. They say a lot o’ folks bought Cherokees to be suburban limousines. Just drove ‘em around on the city streets. What a shame. Like a workhorse with no work to do. Wonder how many o’ them city folk called their Jeep, ‘my girl?’

Oh yeah, she’s a good vehicle. Drove her right through a creek one time. Had my girl stand out there in the water an’ film the whole thing. Yep, she is one fine girl. Solid as a rock, that is if you overlook the rusty spots. I just put on a new muffler an’ tail pipe. Finally shook the old one loose on those Montana mountain two tracks.

Had the brakes changed today. They had to pull all the brake lines an’ replace ‘em. Too much rust. One o’ these days I’ll get a couple o’ regulators for the ‘lectric windows. The passenger side window won’t go down with the control on that side. Gotta roll her down from the driver’s side. The window on the driver’s side goes up and down fine. Just don’t know when to quit. Gets all the way up or down and makes this rattlin’ sound loud enough to wake the dead. But she’s a fine vehicle. The heater still works. But the fan only blows on high. No AC, sorry to say.

She’s taken me on some wild rides an’ seen me through every time, in spite o’ all them little flaws. I don’t even see ‘em when I look at her. I just see that jet black, shiny coat o’ paint. She’s a good old girl.

In the Montana wilderness.
In the Montana wilderness. | Source

I got a nice Yakima roof rack for my kayak, an’ that old Jeep carries that boat with not even a little drop in gas mileage. Yep, stays right at about 16 mpg no matter what.

Did I mention the bumper? Rusted right off the back. Got a brand new one at a junk yard for $75. Now she’s as good as new. Oh yeah, she’s my girl and I’m stickin’ by her to the very end.

I’ll hop in her in the mornin’ an’ roll outa Missoula. I’m headin’ to Albuquerque. She’ll git me there just fine too. Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico. Lookin’ forward to those1200 miles in my Jeep Cherokee Sport, My Girl. Sad to say though, this will likely be her last long trip. I'm movin' up to a Dodge Ram, diesel pickup. Sweet ride.

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    • profile image

      Tanner 2 years ago

      I'm getting a 1996 jeep grand Cherokee tomoro for my first car :) with mud tires n all that fun stuff on it can't wait to drive it

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Deb, the only other vehicle that I got this attached to was my '95 Chevy Blazer. It died at 212k miles. Thanks for visiting.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Randi, I almost got an assignment in Tucson. That would have been really close to Mesa. I'll keep trying :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Back in 2000, I had a cherokee sport, myself. Loved it. You brought back some mighty fine memories.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      You're comoing up our way, now. I wasn't too far from Albuquerque yesterday! In my 2005 Chevy Cavalier!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Eric, I just came through Moab, Utah and Arches is open. I guess some states funded the opening of their nat'l parks. Good for them. The town of Moab was packed within hours of the announcement.

      I will keep an eye on what is going on at GC. Good luck to you on your trip.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cam as our Nt'l parks are closed I suggest you look into this:

      http://navajonationparks.org/permits.htm Also my friend pay attention to this as there may be an opening: http://www.nps.gov/shutdown/index.html

      But I doubt that will include in Canyon camping.

      Best wishes and send postcards please. I will be hiking in Navajo land on the 18-21 bordering the Grand Canyon

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Mactavers, thanks for enduring this very odd hub. Let's hear it for jeep lovers!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Jodah, yes, you can relte well. Some of these old csrs just become like part of the family. Good for you for getting something you'd really like.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Eric, I arrived in albuquerque safe and sound. No closed passes. I'm only six hrs west of Grand canyon so I will make I over for a hike and campout.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Have him do a little reading about them, then surprise him with a test drive. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have often thought of buying one of theses -- now, if I could only convince hubby. :-)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I got to clear the lump from my throat. I truly wonderful story. Perhaps there is something out west with the possibility of driving for 8 hours on dirt not seeing another that creates that danged near man and horse feeling with a good ride. Based on your itinerary you and your gal, best hurry before they close Wolf Creek and other passes. Remember always point her down on the side of the pass you want to go down. She will thank you.

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 3 years ago

      I relate. My Jeep Cherokee Sport was one of my most favorite vehicles. An engineer for the Conoco Co who worked with GM in development said that GM had done a study on Jeep owners and had found the owners to be

      self confident and fun loving. This seems very true of you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Funny hub Cam, and I can relate totally. Our 1996 Holden Commodore had to be retired a few weeks ago. The old girl was showing her age, so got myself a new love, a 2006 Toyota Rav 4 . Hope we can stay together for many years.

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