Holscher's Hub: Jeeping the Mile
I love my 1997 Jeep TJ.
I wasn't too sure I'd be able to say that when I bought it. I've owned Jeeps twice before. Both prior times I was enthusiastic about my Jeep but my ardor cooled over time. This time it hasn't.
To be fair to those prior Jeeps, they were far from new. The first one was a 1958 M38A1, which I bought in 1978 when I was fifteen years old and it was 20 years old. Now, my current Jeep is nearly that old, but vehicles built in the 1950s just didn't have the staying power that ones built now do. My second Jeep was purchased from a dear friend who was moving back east, and was a 1946 CJ2A. It was a great Jeep, but any vehicle built that long ago turns the owner into a full time mechanic and I just didn't have the time or the money to keep it going back then. And, also, it was really tiny. The 97 TJ isn't huge, but it's big compared to the 1946 CJ2A.
But more than anything, everything good about Jeeps has been improved in the series that have come out in the 1990s. Fanatic fans of the CJ5 aside, the YJ and the TJ are much better, and no doubt the ones they make now are better yet.
This one reminds me a lot of the M151A1s I drove while in the National Guard, except it isn't nearly as hideously dangerous as those Jeeps were. And again, this Jeep is simply better, even than the M151. The 6 cylinder engine is great, and the wider wheel base is nice.
I can't believe the Army doesn't use these anymore.