Mall-crawler, poser, or enthusiast?

MLS_AZ

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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
Well said!! Some others need to follow your example.

My 2019 JLUR is my daily driver but I use it to haul my ATV and trailer when we go to the backcountry. The ATV is my "crawler" now. After 7 Jeeps, this one has to last awhile so I don't do any extreme off road or crawling. Plus, I'm not as young, brave, fearless, and/or invincible as I once was. LOL!!

Great post!
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gnome

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I bought a new 2020 eco-diesel sahara altitude to use as a daily driver and strictly as a "pavement princess"....

my YJ has served me well, and still does, but man is it a rough ride on an old body.....
 
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Been 4-wheeling almost as long as Ive been riding dirt bikes (hence my forum name) except that we used to ride dirt bikes before we were even old enough for drivers licenses. Growing up in MA, we would scoot our dirt bikes along the side of the roads, avoiding the cops as best we could, to get to the local riding trails and power lines. So it was a natural thing to take 4WD‘s off road once old enough to.

First 4WD I drove was an international 3/4 ton my Dad bought. That was back in the 1970’s. We lived in Maine at the time, so lots of unpaved roads to explore. My own first 4WD was a brand new ’86 Cherokee XJ. I was just out of the Navy and still quite poor so it was a stripped down manual 5-speed w/ 2.5L. After that have owned another XJ w/ 4.0 and auto, a Liberty KJ w/ V6 and manual, two TJ’s (one 4.0 the other 2.5, both with manuals) and an early JK 2-door with manual. As you can tell, I prefer a manual transmission.

Never done much rough off roading, but living in northern New England, now in VT, a lot of the roads are unpaved, and covered in snow much of the year. Current Jeeps are a 2017 Cherokee Latitude for her and a new 2020 JL 2-door Sport with, you guessed it, a manual transmission! Had to search to find a Sport with stick. Everything in the dealerships was automatic, but found one still in transit and snapped it up.

We don’t have any malls in VT, so there’s no cruising them. And there are so few people around here you can’t really pose much. Only 2500 souls in our town. But it is a blast to drive around on all the dirt roads, both maintained, seasonals, and class 4 (unmaintained). Drive all day long and never touch pavement. Especially with the soft top down in the warmer weather. What fun!

Not sure if that qualifies me as “enthusiast”, but I’m pretty enthusiastic about it anyway! Cheers!
 

Sboden

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Mine does mild trails due to having land in the family but nothing remotely close to what it can do. I owned motorcycles for years but got out of them due to people being all over the place with texting while driving. It got darn dangerous. The closest thing to a motorcycle is a jeep with doors and top off. It isn't all about extreme trails or rock crawling. I wave to other jeeps even though almost half don't wave back anymore. I mod because I like to and I like personalizing a vehicle as they are more than just a vehicle to me. It is always nice to have someone appreciate your vehicle and talk about each others vehicles no matter what it is but I don't mod for what other people think.
 

MLS_AZ

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I mod because I like to and I like personalizing a vehicle as they are more than just a vehicle to me.
I think this speaks for alot of Jeep owners. I love Jeeps and need a vehicle to handle the winters we have here in North AZ and to haul my ATV. I don't need alot of modification, especially on the Rubicon.

That said, I think many of the modifications people are making are very, very cool! I love seeing a Jeep set up for off road/crawling, knowing what a blast it is taking them out. Makes a Jeep look pretty awesome......Rock On!!
 

Duck Dodgers

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OP,
I’d put you in the “practical” owner category.

I’d also add the addition of the 4 door to the model line-up completely changed the owner demographic.
 

McGilli

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Monday: Drive daughter to school and back
Tuesday: Drive daughter to school and back and get groceries
Wednesday: Drive daughter to school and back
Thursday: Drive daughter to school and back
Friday: Drive daughter to school and back

Saturday:
IMG_9055.jpeg



Sunday:
IMG_9140.jpeg


Then get gas.

So, a little of everything :)
 

jaozus

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I was about 5 when I saw the first Jurassic Park and was obsessed with the Jeeps they used. I remember the scene when they were being chased by the T-rex and just had to buy a Jeep too, in manual of course

I live in the city so offroading is unlikely. I don’t have many friends interested in offroading either, they prefer their Subarus and Hondas. If I could find a perfect, muddy trail, best believe you’d find me sending through it like I was being chased by a T-rex.

with that said, i spent almost 40k on this so you won’t find me trying to climb a cliff in this thing. I’m afraid of heights anyways and would hate to break something on a rock.
 

MichaelAnthony

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Well I wish I still had all of my old pictures taken on a 110 instamatic LoL, I kept all my things of value at my parents house since I travel a lot for work. 2017 their house, garage all of their "things" and my "things" all burned... So I am still in the process of buying tools again. The reason I bring that up is because of my CJ 7 (because of the longer wheel base) and TJ and all of the things we did 4 wheelin' to include my "Buggy" 69 VW chopped up, the old fords. Building them wasn't an option because most things I bought didn't run or were wrecked because that was all I could afford. So before all of the 4 wheelin' it was mini bikes and dirt bikes until then. The unfortunate thing is I no longer have any pictures of anything of my past..... only memories... So I bought my new Jeep in hopes to relive as much as I can All Over Again.... In my next 30 years...... Thanks OP for the post it has ignited some good memories that I can only talk about.... :LOL:
 
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Photos are just for showing to other people. Memories are for yourself. If you have your memories you are all set. You can always describe them to others, and honestly that is more engaging than any photo.
 

Black Jeep Convertible

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Photos are just for showing to other people. Memories are for yourself. If you have your memories you are all set. You can always describe them to others, and honestly that is more engaging than any photo.
If I'm paying 40k for a vehicle, I'm going to take as many photos and videos as I can so I can reminisce when I'm senile. I made it a point to take pictures throughout my life since the invention of camera phones and that has led me to countless memories throughout my life. A picture is worth a thousand words and I have thousands of them.

Same goes for expensive buffets and dinners.
 

Covet

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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.
preach!
 

Covet

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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
Awesome pic! I am done building as well. I still tack/bolt on minor mods that make me happy, but lifts, monster tires, etc. i still like they way some of those mods look, But! I am done with that part :) I still wheel mine and on a beer inspired occasion try to break it - for the most part just enjoy my (stock-mostly) Jeep on road, off road, at the mall or in my garage. The only being called around here you should get is Jeep expert based on the history you have with the model. And like i have said on 100s of posts around here, if someone has a negative ass opinion of you, your choices, wtf ever, well... F$ck them. As soon as they offer to pay my bills i will listen to their opinion.
 

Goin2drt

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Used to be my daily driver. Now it is the weekend fun toy and will eventually be our TOAD when we get back to RVing. It has been off road but well within my capabilities not it’s capabilities.
 

TimmH

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Mine does mild trails due to having land in the family but nothing remotely close to what it can do. I owned motorcycles for years but got out of them due to people being all over the place with texting while driving. It got darn dangerous. The closest thing to a motorcycle is a jeep with doors and top off. It isn't all about extreme trails or rock crawling. I wave to other jeeps even though almost half don't wave back anymore. I mod because I like to and I like personalizing a vehicle as they are more than just a vehicle to me. It is always nice to have someone appreciate your vehicle and talk about each others vehicles no matter what it is but I don't mod for what other people think.
I bought a Jeep because I've wanted one for some time and things finally came together to make it happen. No intention for any serious off roading.

Used to ride the Harley with friends on weekends, but many have sold their bikes or moved, so we don't have anyone living close to ride with anymore, and any decent cruising ride areas are a good 45 minutes + through heavy traffic to get to. I convinced the wife with the top and doors off we can cruise down to the beach in the morning for some breakfast and a nice ride and it's safer and more comfortable than the bike.

My jeep also aids in getting around after a storm. After Irma, the route to my mom's was flooded and blocked by debris that my old Ford Edge couldn't get through.

That and when I go to hockey games here, the parking attendants let me park over the curb in the swale with all the other 4x4's right at the entrance, making for quick escape afterward. :p
 
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