Mall-crawler, poser, or enthusiast?

Whaler27

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When I bought my first new Jeep 43 1/2 years ago people bought Jeeps for their intended purposes. Any vehicle-prestige went to the guys who had hot rods or foreign cars. Jeeps were not ”fashionable” at all. I don’t remember there being any fancy things you could do to Jeeps either. You could rig them to dig a trench or run farm implements by PTO, but lifts, trick suspension parts, and fancy stereos were not a Jeep “thing”. I worked my first Jeep CJ and played with it. With plenty of youth and beer on board I did all kinds of stupid stuff to break it, get it stuck, or get friends bounced out of it, but I never modified it beyond replacing the tires and top, and installing a CB radio. My CJ didn’t even have a good spot to mount an 8-track or cassette player and speakers, so I didn’t try. (I attached a shot of my 4th CJ from 1983 below... complete with silly big glasses, now back in style, crappy budget-brand beer, and goofy friends sporting the post-military I’m-not-cutting-my-hair! hairstyles. .)

But Jeeps have changed a lot over the last five decades and so have I. I’ve grown to really enjoy the build process. With hundreds of options the possibilities seem endless. New parts also give me an excuse to go drink coffee in my shop, listen to my old-man music, and bang my knuckles on my favorite new project. I love that time. Unfortunately, after owning my current JL for about 18 months, my to-do list has gotten pretty short. That’s good news for my bank account and my wife, but this morning I realized it’s sad news for me. Today I realized that over the last 18 months I’ve spent much more time researching, learning, and building my Jeep than actually driving it. (It’s not my daily driver, so It’s only got about 5,000 miles on it.)

Now I have a Jeep that’s much nicer and more capable than any of my prior CJ/TJ/JKs, but the likelihood is I will challenge it much less than I challenged the others. I’ve grown less interested in finding its limits or mine. At 30, and even 40, I would dare myself to take on challenges I was uncertain about, or even frightened by, particularly if we were out in the sticks and drinking. But I’ve changed over the last twenty years. I just want to go where I want to go to see sights, visit ghost towns, or find a new place to fish or hunt. I have zero interest in rock-crawling, muddling, or getting my Jeep airborne. It appears that I’m on my way to what some here would call a “poser” or a “mall-crawler”, because this Jeep doesn’t have a single dent anywhere on its belly. It’s 18 months old and It’s still straight as an arrow on every panel. That’s a first for me and I think I like it! Today, poser or not, I’m tolerant of all the different ways people enjoy their Jeeps, and that includes all the city folks who install those fugly, gigantic rims and never even put their Jeep into 4-wheel drive. I don’t get that at all, but power to em!

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Abramovich

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Today, poser or not, I’m tolerant of all the different ways people enjoy their Jeeps, and that includes all the city folks who install those fugly, gigantic rims and never even put their Jeep into 4-wheel drive. I don’t get that at all, but power to em!
Well said. I have all I can do to keep my boat going down river without washing ashore, I surely don't have the time nor inclination to try to steer other folk's boats. To each, their own. Live your life, you do you. If it works for you... I'm running out of ways to say it. :LOL:
 

Dkretden

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good post, OP.

I personally don’t care how someone uses their Jeep (or not). If they want to put on 40” tires with 24” rims and angry birds grills, to drive to Nordstrom, go for it.

steel rims, trail lights, and a winch to never go off-road and go to niemans? Go for it.

zero mods to tackle Poison Spider? Go for it.

none of us should care about what other folks do. We should, as you the OP are, focus on what we individually want to do and enjoy our Jeeps. Whatever flavor that means.
 

BenDiem

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^^^ yours as well. Two thumbs up. Live your life, with emphasis on “your.”

cheers all,
B
 

stoner

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When I bought my first new Jeep 43 1/2 years ago people bought Jeeps for their intended purposes. Any vehicle-prestige went to the guys who had hot rods or foreign cars. Jeeps were not ”fashionable” at all. I don’t remember there being any fancy things you could do to Jeeps either. You could rig them to dig a trench or run farm implements by PTO, but lifts, trick suspension parts, and fancy stereos were not a Jeep “thing”. I worked my first Jeep CJ and played with it. With plenty of youth and beer on board I did all kinds of stupid stuff to break it, get it stuck, or get friends bounced out of it, but I never modified it beyond replacing the tires and top, and installing a CB radio. My CJ didn’t even have a good spot to mount an 8-track or cassette player and speakers, so I didn’t try. (I attached a shot of my 4th CJ from 1983 below... complete with silly big glasses, now back in style, crappy budget-brand beer, and goofy friends sporting the post-military I’m-not-cutting-my-hair! hairstyles. .)

But Jeeps have changed a lot over the last five decades and so have I. I’ve grown to really enjoy the build process. With hundreds of options the possibilities seem endless. New parts also give me an excuse to go drink coffee in my shop, listen to my old-man music, and bang my knuckles on my favorite new project. I love that time. Unfortunately, after owning my current JL for about 18 months, my to-do list has gotten pretty short. That’s good news for my bank account and my wife, but this morning I realized it’s sad news for me. Today I realized that over the last 18 months I’ve spent much more time researching, learning, and building my Jeep than actually driving it. (It’s not my daily driver, so It’s only got about 5,000 miles on it.)

Now I have a Jeep that’s much nicer and more capable than any of my prior CJ/TJ/JKs, but the likelihood is I will challenge it much less than I challenged the others. I’ve grown less interested in finding its limits or mine. At 30, and even 40, I would dare myself to take on challenges I was uncertain about, or even frightened by, particularly if we were out in the sticks and drinking. But I’ve changed over the last twenty years. I just want to go where I want to go to see sights, visit ghost towns, or find a new place to fish or hunt. I have zero interest in rock-crawling, muddling, or getting my Jeep airborne. It appears that I’m on my way to what some here would call a “poser” or a “mall-crawler”, because this Jeep doesn’t have a single dent anywhere on its belly. It’s 18 months old and It’s still straight as an arrow on every panel. That’s a first for me and I think I like it! Today, poser or not, I’m tolerant of all the different ways people enjoy their Jeeps, and that includes all the city folks who install those fugly, gigantic rims and never even put their Jeep into 4-wheel drive. I don’t get that at all, but power to em!

02384102-5532-471C-9E19-0DAD042B5BED.jpeg
WOW, that brought back a lot of memories, in 1972 we ordered a yellow cj with a v-8, 150 hp, 3 spd on the floor. Your right, there were not many options back then, i believe the front pass seat was a option also, might be wrong on that. I have always liked Jeeps and on the 16th Oct we ordered a 21, yellow 2 door, 3.6 auto. So much has changed since then. Good story, Thanks
 

Mikeoso

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Like you, my jeeping goes back a ways..1970 when I was fresh out of the service and living in Tucson. Most of our recreation that wasnt in bars was out in the desert, and a 4x4 of some sort was as necessary as your favorite Ruger.

Nowadays my jeep is my daily driver, or would be if I drove daily. Between being retired, living in the country, and the pandemic shutting down my jam sessions, it's more a weekly driver.

I have a jeep because it will handle snow, muddy gravel, or anything else. Offroading? Nope. Poser? Nah. I drive a jeep for the same reason I wear jeans.

Jeep.jpg
 

aldo98229

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I am with you, OP. I take my Jeep off-road, but I have no desire to explore the limits of its capabilities any more. My JL is just too nice —and too expensive— to want to bash the crap out of it like I did with past Jeeps.

Over the years, Jeep has cultivated an image for fun, freedom and adventure, individual ruggedness and simplicity that resonates in today’s world of complexity, non-stop connectivity. We crave to disconnect and escape from the daily grind.

Many are willing to pay $50,000 or $60,000 for a vehicle with removable fenders, solid axles, coil springs and a manual transfer case precisely because they want a piece of that fun image, and that heritage for freedom and adventure.

Here are some ads Jeep used over the years to create an image that would, inadvertently, become highly sought-after decades later.
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Oldbear

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Whaler, you sound like me, only I started out with IH Scouts.. When I think of where we went and what we did in those old 4x4’s and then look at the capabilities of a new stock Jeep today I’ve got to grin at the kids in their lifted, monster tired rigs who seldom leave the pavement. Like you, whatever floats your boat, it’s your $$ spend it on what makes you happy. Me, I like to explore new areas just to see what’s there, and find a new place to hunt. The ability to go where I want and not worry about a bit of snow or mud is what I love. That, plus the easy way my JL handles when I’m in a congested area. Jeep on!
 

BenDiem

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The first Laredo add is the best ever!
Tks for posting Aldo. I remember seeing those in my dad’s car magazines years ago. Would love to have that as a poster.
Cheers/B
 

rallydefault

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Excellent post!

It boggles my mind when I see the jeep community seemingly contorting itself to divide itself these days. I don't know if it's just the advent of easy communication through the internet or what, but why a community would be so ready and willing to break itself into pieces by criticizing its own members over: number of doors, owning a Sahara, different grilles, lack of mud, etc. is just beyond me.

People who can't just live and let live have never made sense to me, though.
 

aldo98229

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Excellent post!

It boggles my mind when I see the jeep community seemingly contorting itself to divide itself these days. I don't know if it's just the advent of easy communication through the internet or what, but why a community would be so ready and willing to break itself into pieces by criticizing its own members over: number of doors, owning a Sahara, different grilles, lack of mud, etc. is just beyond me.

People who can't just live and let live have never made sense to me, though.
Part of it is that Jeep now sells 200,000+ units each year.

Part of it is that Jeep sells them in 2 and 4-door, in 4 and 6-cylinder, in gas and diesel, and in a dozen different “Limited Editions.”

When Wrangler was just offered as a 2-door, Jeep sold 50,000 units, rain or shine.

The circus got a bigger tent, so it attracts more clowns.
 

Black Jeep Convertible

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At any age I could never justify risking 40k to climb rocks, but I gladly will if it’s to survive (zombie apocalypse)
 

tts42572

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Nice post!

I've never owned a Jeep but have my first one on order. It's a vehicle I've always admired but never bought for whatever reason. I guess mostly the reason is I was busy buying practical family trucksters lol.

Well, kids are getting older and time was right for me to get a vehicle I've wanted while I'm still able to enjoy it. Yeah, I'm probably a poser or whatever....I bought a Rubicon but I don't really plan on scaling cliffs with it. Frankly, I've never went off road in my life but I've also never really had a vehicle capable of it.

Mostly, just felt it was a darn cool cool vehicle. I'm hoping to have some fun in the summer with the top off. And have some fun in the winter gashing through snow with it. And maybe I'll have some fun with mods but I don't know. I just know I'm getting a versatile vehicle with a lot of possibilities and I'll see where it takes me.
 

Mikeoso

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There used to be something about, "the quality of a club is measured by who they reject".

When jeeps were just a noisy uncomfortable utility vehicle, there was no feeling of exclusivity. It was like driving a pickup, before that also became symbolic. Now there are many who get a jeep specifically to be special. Drawing lines is a way to be special.
 
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