As you can tell by the title, I’m wasting time. I should be penning the end of Caldera 12, but sometimes you just can’t force yourself to do what needs doing. You sit at the computer and the next thing you know, you’re surfing cat videos on the web.
Most of you know, I’m a car guy. Especially Jeeps. And Broncos. And Mustangs. And classics and muscle cars and big trucks and… yeah. It’s an addiction.
Anywho, I’ve been adding stuff to my wife’s newest Jeep. She named it Fred. Considering we almost named one of our twin girls Fred, know that my wife has a real affection for that name. So, I’m surfing eBay and Jeep 4X4 catalogs and ordering stuff I shouldn’t be and trying to slip it onto Fred when she’s not looking. Well, while I was doing this, my daughter (the almost Fred) asks if I’d fix up hers a bit. She has a JK Wrangler and it’s vanilla plain. She wanted a cool script on the side of the hood like ‘Mudslut’ or ‘Boobiebouncer’. I had just put a hood decal on Fred so I could see the appeal. While I applauded her taste in decals, I also thought that perhaps she should go with something a bit more ‘factory’. It was then that I realized, Jeep has a metric shit ton of ‘editions’ out there!
You should keep in mind that Jeep has been around since 1941 in one form or another. We’ve had a whole series of CJ models (Civilian Jeep). Then AMC was bought by Chrysler and it was announced that the CJ would no longer be made and my heart dropped. Luckily, Chrysler wasn’t stupid. They rebadged the vehicle, made a lot of improvements and released the YJ Wrangler. Purists hated it. Why? Because it had square headlights. Forget that it had a much more civil ride, plenty of power, a wider track to reduce accidental rollovers and that it handled much better than the old CJ. No, it had to be hated because the headlights weren’t ROUND.
However, this was when their marketing department cooked up a plan to sell even more units. Up until this time, you could get your CJ in the base model, the Renegade which was kind of a middle of the road package and the upper crust was the Laredo. A select few would be fortunate enough to find the Golden Eagle and even fewer would locate and own the Silver Eagle. These were all trim levels, if you will. But once the YJ hit the streets…all bets were off. Jeep released ‘editions’. Islander, Rio Grande, Mountain. The list was growing. And people were buying.
We move from the much hated (but much improved) YJ to the TJ. A short, stubby little jeep that seemed to mix the best of both the CJ lineup and the YJ. With improved ride and handling came creature comforts. A real dashboard. Airbags. A host of comfort and safety items. And sales skyrocketed. With those sales came even more ‘editions’, many of which carried over to the new JK lineup.
The JK was a mixed bag to some. To purists, this thing was HUGE. And now it offered four doors! To somebody who had never really been into Jeeps before, this thing was TINY. Regardless, with an even wider track and even more safety items (and a couple of more doors), the Wrangler became the yuppie/hipster/soccer moms choice for all weather driving the world over. At least they kept the headlights round, right guys?
With the new JK came even MORE editions. Jeep may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but they know how to market. We were now finding a resurgence of old names like the Islander and the Sahara and the Renegade, but we were seeing so many new ones that sometimes you couldn’t be certain if it was a factory ‘edition’ or not.
Seriously, we soon saw the (I kid you not) DRAGON edition. This ugly monstrosity…er, I mean, this tattooed beauty had a literal dragon etched across the ENTIRE THING.
Then we saw the Mountain edition. And the Rocky Mountain. And the Smoky Mountain.
We saw a MOAB edition.
A Freedom edition.
The return of the Rio Grande.
The return of the Islander.
Okay, I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for the Islander. Hehehe. Tiki Bob. 🙂
Then we have the TACTICAL Jeep. The ‘Modern Warfare 3’ Black Ops edition.
Then there were Arctic and Polar editions.
Let’s not forget The Recon edition.
And the return of the Golden Eagle.
We’ve even seen the return of the Willys. The Jeep that started it all.
But here’s the thing. For every factory made ‘edition’ out there? There’s at least three others that Jeep owners have made themselves. Everything from Stormtrooper Edition to Beach Bum. From Redneck Edition (they have no teeth but damn are they scrappy!) to Hillbilly edition (they’re engaged to their cousin). There are Jurassic Park editions and tributes to pets. Some are funny and some make you scratch your head and wonder what the owner was smoking.
There are people who do nothing more than create custom accessories for you to personalize your Jeep. Being probably the MOST customized vehicle out there, you’ll see variations of a theme that you never would have guessed. And as difficult as it is to try to describe here, it truly is easier to say, “It’s a JEEP thing. You wouldn’t understand.”
Oh. And what did I put on Gigi’s Jeep?
Simple. Tasteful. Nothing too ‘out there’.
She wouldn’t let me put ‘Boobiebouncer’ on there. 😦