Yesterday, after telling my friend I’d just bought a Jeep Comanche, she responded about this 11th vehicle in my fleet: “Nice! What are your plans for it?” I had no answer. I frankly have no idea why I bought the Jeep other than that it is absolutely awesome; Just look at this thing!
I’ve got to get rid of some cars. I realize this is getting tiresome, since I’ve been saying this for years, but I’m just being real. The problem is that, while I did sell my Postal Jeep not too long ago, and I parted ways with a shitty Honda Accord, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and two Jeep Cherokees, the influx of cars seems to always exceed the number I actually sell. This is why I wrote last year that Nine Cars Is Too Many Cars, and yet now I own 11. If nine cars is too many cars, then surely, so is 11. I think that’s how logic works.
But none of this matters, because my recent purchase was out of my control—I had no choice, really. My friend Abe from the climbing gym I frequent, and a fellow 2012 FCA summer intern, told me that his former boss at Chrysler was looking to sell a Jeep Comanche for cheap to someone who would appreciate it. I asked how cheap; Abe told me “real cheap.”
He later sent these pictures:
I really didn’t need another vehicle, and the Jeep’s lower extremities did look a bit crusty in the photos, but Abe also texted that the little pickup is a 1991, meaning it has the coveted Chrysler fuel injection system on its also-coveted 4.0-liter inline six. Plus, it’s four-wheel drive, and though the Jeep sadly has the rather robust but boring Aisin-Warner automatic transmission and not the wonderful Aisin five-speed, it apparently runs and drives great, I was told.
So I had no choice but to visit the seller, Steve. He lives only 10 minutes from my house and was offering a running, driving, 4x4, inline-six-equipped Jeep Comanche for 500 smackers—I’d be a fool not to at least take a peek.
Steve was great. After a brief introduction, he gave me his creeper so I could slide under the Jeep and have a look at the rust (I’ll do a full breakdown of this Jeep’s faults later. The rust isn’t great). He told me a bit about the Jeep’s history, and then handed me the keys. I went on a 20 minute test drive, fell in love instantly, and when I arrived back at Steve’s house, I told him we had a deal.
I picked the Jeep up a couple of days later, and Steve handed me some great information, including a document he made noting everything I should sell if I decide to junk this Jeep at some point in the future, and what those parts are worth. Plus, he—an avid junkyard enthusiast—told me what I should snag from any Comanches I might find in the ’yard:
Steve also gave me this sheet of maintenance/modifications done to the “MJ” Comanche over the years:
On top of that, he handed me a custom cupholder that fits perfectly in the little notch in the center of the bench seat:
I have been driving the MJ for the past few weeks, loving every damn second. The truck is phenomenal in every way. I mean, look at this beautiful interior! Vinyl floors, bench seat, manual windows—what more could you want in a pickup?:
Sure, it’s a bummer that it’s an automatic, but it’s the best type of auto: a column shift, which is especially handy should I ever have someone sitting in the center seat.
No, I don’t have plans for this machine, other than to drive it. It gives me a second vehicle to use in the winter in addition to my $500 XJ, which is also a nicely-running vehicle sold to me by someone who spent time working at Chrysler.
I think that’s really the issue, here. FCA employees keep giving me smoking hot deals on Jeeps, and now look at me: I’m drowning in a fleet of 11 vehicles.
In some ways, it’s the dream, really.