My dad was a tinkerer and off-roader; he
built mostly VW-based dune buggies and
rode them hard. I also had a black-sheep
uncle, Rick, who had an orange CJ. I
wanted Rick's Jeep so bad growing-up and
loved the few times they took me
off-roading. You see, Rick had a habit of
unplanned off-road trips; Mom knew it, and
would not let me go anywhere with him on a
week-night evening. Most weekends, Rick
was drinking and so the weekend off-road
trips with him and Dad were rather rare,
but so much fun when they did happen.
bought my own Jeep (and first new vehicle)
in November '96, a '97 TJ. I built it up
moderately (5" lift, 33s, etc.),
tested the limits of it's abilities, and
generally had a hell of a good time with
it. Sadly, I had to trade it in for a
more sensible family-style commuter in the
late summer of '01.
After a divorce, I
picked-up a '98 ZJ in April, '05 mostly
for the hauling capability. I did not mod
it at all, and it served me well in spite
of a slow degradation of major components
(tranny and rear-end, plus cosmetic issues
resulting from living in a city).
a three-way "Cash-for-Clunkers"
trade, the dealer got my ZJ, my GF got a
new Miata, and I got her old TJ - another
'97 - which is where I am now. Her Jeep
(now mine) has 140k miles, 32s, 2"
spacer lift, and had never been off-road
(seriously - never). That, however, will
soon change. :)