I’ve had a bit of a desire to own soft to Jeep at some point in my life even after taking one out west in 2010. But more specifically, I really like the old flat fenders, though I really don’t fit well in one, and packing the wife and kid into one was a definite no go. The closest modern day equivalent to that is the SE TJ, which is a 2.5 4 banger, with zero options. A deal was struck on Thanksgiving day in 2014 which started my ownership with a soft top Jeep. This turned out to be rather timely as The Lone Ranger was not working out well as a family wheeler.
This TJ has a bit of a history with myself and SIJA. Back when I first started wheeling the ’87 XJ, this TJ was being piloted by another club member on several of the trail rides I went on. Time passes and the TJ was taken out less frequently due to the owner’s health. Eventually it wound up getting parked as it lost oil pressure when running down the highway one day.
About the same time, another club member rolled his daily driven XJ. The TJ owner purchased this XJ with the intention of sapping the XJ’s 4.0 in place of the TJ’s dead 2.5. But health issues once again got in the way so that project came to a halt.
So on one cold snowy Thanksgiving day in 2014, a deal was struck and I purchased both the vehicles and dragged them back home. The XJ was a bit interesting getting it into the garage. This process mostly consisted of lining it up and raising the tilt trailer to dump it off. An ample amount of praying seemed to help keep it from crashing through the back of the garage wall, or hitting the top of the garage door as it came off the trailer:
The TJ was much less eventful as to our surprise it fired up and ran perfectly. So it drove on the trailer and off. There were lots of issues with it, but at least there wasn’t any drama getting it home: