Tell Us About The One That Got Away

Photo: Jeep via Favcars
Photo: Jeep via Favcars

A very nice 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ was in my sights a few months ago. It was exactly what I wanted, and yet I let it slip away. Now I lose sleep thinking about it.


A few months ago, I flew into Richmond to visit my brother. While there, I surfed the crap out of the local Craigslist, spotting what a seller described as a “mint” 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ with a 4.0-liter inline-six, 5-speed AX-15 manual transmission, and sexy green paint job.

I called the guy up immediately, and he told me to go ahead and drop by his house to have a look. Here’s what I found:

At a price of $4,500, the YJ was a good deal. And in the Michigan area, this almost completely rust-free one would have been considered a steal. The problem was, the seller described the car as “mint,” and there was nothing “mint” about that big rust bubble at the rear of the tub.

Naturally, because I went out of my way to look at a car that was in significantly worse shape than described (but still gorgeous in my eyes), I tried talking the seller down. I first hit him with a $3,500 offer, which I knew was a lowball, but a fair starting point to get the conversation started.

He didn’t budge. Not a penny. I offered $4,000. Nada. So I walked away— not because the Jeep was a bad deal at $4,500, but because I always expect to knock a few hundos off a Craigslist asking price, especially if the car looks worse than described. It was the principle of the matter.

But I’ve been regretting not having bought that YJ since I walked away that fateful spring afternoon, tossing and turning in my sleep, dreaming of the sight of that creased grille, the touch of the three-spoke steering wheel, and the rumble of that four-liter. I blew it.

But I’m sure some of you have also blown it, so tell us your story about the one that got away. Why did you let it go?



I’m just here to commit blasphemy and state that I’ve always thought the square headlights look better than the round. They just fit the overall shape of the Jeep better. Now to run away from all the hardcore Jeepers chasing me with pitchforks screaming things like “purity” and “history” at me.