Jeep Re-hab

I know I already wrote about Eddie Alterman’s podcast, but I just listened to the one he did about the Jeep Wrangler. It motivated me to get cracking on our own. 15 years ago if you looked in my driveway, you would have seen a 97 Camry and a 02 Sienna minivan. These were two of the most boring, and practical cars you could possibly own.

They were both reliable vehicles, but that’s not what made them boring. The Camry was beige and the van was silver. It was part of Toyota’s “why bother” phase of design. The interiors were all the same color. The cluster matched the cloth seats. The only accent was black, the default color of plastic in cars. Camry’s before and after that year were all more interesting looking. As for the Sienna, it basically the Camry with a third row of seats.

Our minivan was the last model year they were that dull. Subsequent models have had all kinds of luxury such as leather seats, and actual bespoke sound systems, not just stereos. The only real upgrade for minivans back then were back-of-seat entertainment which we passed on. They practically wouldn’t let us buy it without. Having kids they thought we were crazy.

Today, if you look in my driveway, you’ll see a 1997 Jeep Wrangler and 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia. Two of the most high-maintenance vehicles one could possibly own. Objectively, and mechanically, to a standard consumer, they would be categorized as pieces of shit. They always need work, as reliability wasn’t a requirement when they were built.

I didn’t get around to writing anything yesterday. I was too busy putting the finishing touches on the Jeep. It needed new carpet and seat covers. When I ordered those things, I was told they would come from two different shippers. No big deal, so I thought. When the seat covers arrived, I went ahead and took out all the seats an ripped out the carpet. A day later, I got the email the carpet was backordered.

Two weeks later, the carpet showed up and so I was able to finish the job and it looks so much better.


I thought I had taken more before shots. It was just an empty shell before. The only thing left to do is steam clean the console, power wash the bikini top, and give the outside a good spray. Then it’ll be summer ready.