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Old 03-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #61
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I'm 17, almost 18, and just got a JKU recently. So far it is very fun to drive, and while the gas mileage isn't the best if you're working and you don't mind spending a little more on gas then I think it is a fair trade off for the 4x4 capability as well as being able to take the top off in the summer, add that to everyone at school and in public thinking you have a sweet ride, and the huge jeep community and I'd say that it'd be a pretty cool first car to have. It may not be the most practical but I say get it, you'll never want another car. Good luck dude

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:56 PM   #62
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Adam - I wanted a Jeep my entire life. I can't explain why but I had to have one. When i turned 16 and started begging to spend my money on a Jeep both Mom and Dad both said I would tip over and die which pretty much ended the dream. Fast forward 24 years, a wife and 2 kids later I finally got a brand new JK last month (2 door because that is all they had when I was a kid).

My advice is if you have your parent's blessing to spend your money on a Jeep buy one now and enjoy being a kid. You can buy a reliable car when you decide to get married and start a family with one of the girls that went out with you because you had a jeep

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:18 PM   #63
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I always wanted a jeep and finally bought a used 1998 TJ 4 cyl 5 speed. If I had it to do over again I'd buy an older model with out all the computer crap on it. It is a lot cheaper to fix. So if you can find a good body I'd go for it. It is a lot of fun to drive.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:07 AM   #64
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Buy it, drive it and have fun. Make friends that also drive jeeps, that way if someone does have to make a repair everyone can help and learn how to fix them. Get what you want and enjoy life. Don't settle on something you won't enjoy. Only thing to remember is Jeep - Just Empty Every Pocket, LOL. Good luck on your choice, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here to help if you ever need it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:41 AM   #65
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I just bought my daughter her first car, something she has wanted with a little influnce from dad since she was 5 or so. She is the proud driver of a 2013 jk, i had 33" pro comp's on 17 x 9.5 black xt's and some rock sliders put on it for her the first week. She is only 15 1/2 and this sorta her second ride allready, at 13 i bought her polaris rzr 800s for her to learn control, and cordination. Her jeep is far cry from the CJ7 i had back in the 90's but with her learning to drive in what is going to be her daily driver is a very good idea. With most of the creature comforts, short w/b, good visibilty, and not being a rocket i think it is a vary good choice. Yes there are alot of negatives but i think you will find something wrong with every car short of a yellow 44 passenger bus.
good luck to ya and remember it's all about respect
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:03 AM   #66
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Listen, it's FUN and at your age that's all you need to know. Your mates will be green with envy!
Sure, it's not a road car as such, but does it matter? It will guzzle your money since mpg is rubbish, but you're making a statement about you and the life you want.
Go get ok
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:14 AM   #67
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It doesn't have to be your first vehicle but don't wait till 40 like I did.
Ditto, when I was in my teens I had a 78 Trans Am. Now, I wish I had a jeep when I was in High school.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:04 AM   #68
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going back to sharks comment, the jeep will help but chicks really go for guys in a kilt. It's the best kept secret. As far as the jeep goes, you wont be doing any racing and the skills learned here will make you a better driver.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:48 AM   #69
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Get what you want OP. I had an 87 YJ Laredo for my first car. It was a total heap, luckily it was my parents but it had a ton of problems. I wouldn't get a jeep unless you can afford a ton of repairs. I got a 95 YJ last year and have already put at least another 3k into it in maintenance, and that one was garage kept for 17 year! Have to do exhaust next weekend.

Also if you are set on a Jeep get one from a private seller, not a stealership. You will get a better deal and you can talk them down.


I TOTALLY agree!! I just purchased a 97 TJ chromed out, new paint job, 4" lift, very nice interior, good (33") rubber, 120Kmiles, for $7500.00. I bought my 17 yo son a 93 Sahara edition stock, had to put a new top on it but everything else was in great shape for $4,500.00. Both were sold by owners. Dealers will be asking at least $1,000+ more for a jeep like these. Love my Jeep!! Be careful and look them over carefully, take it to your mechanic before you buy it to make sure it is in good shape mechanically too.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #70
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I'm also 16 and just got my first car (Wrangler) in January, it's oldschool (1992) but it's a great car, yeah, it's not the best on gas, but that might be because I'm still learning the clutch, and I have to start it up a couple times.

I don't drive it in high winds, it's a pretty weighted car, but, you know, Jeeps have a reputation for flipping over.

So far it's a great, reliable car, everything is in good shape, even the body. I've had to get the floor welded, but no big deal, it's done and over with.

The only concerns I would have is gas, flipping, and rust, you gotta watch for rust, it consumes Wranglers quickly, and before you buy one, check under the carpet at the floor, and even look under the car for holes or cheap fiberglass repairs, I learned that the hard way.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:39 AM   #71
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Thumbs up

Get a jeep as soon as you can...regret is the worst feeling...the best education is doing and you can never learn if you don't just do...you will either love your jeep or hate it...if you hate it get rid of it and move on...if you love it this will be the greatest luv of your life
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:11 AM   #72
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I'm also 16 and just got my first car (Wrangler) in January, it's oldschool (1992) but it's a great car, yeah, it's not the best on gas, but that might be because I'm still learning the clutch, and I have to start it up a couple times.

I don't drive it in high winds, it's a pretty weighted car, but, you know, Jeeps have a reputation for flipping over.

So far it's a great, reliable car, everything is in good shape, even the body. I've had to get the floor welded, but no big deal, it's done and over with.

The only concerns I would have is gas, flipping, and rust, you gotta watch for rust, it consumes Wranglers quickly, and before you buy one, check under the carpet at the floor, and even look under the car for holes or cheap fiberglass repairs, I learned that the hard way.
As long as you are on the road, you would probably have to hurt a curb while at full turn and at 50 mph to flip. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but it is a lot harder than you think. Trust me, I've tried.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #73
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My advice. go for it but for a DD try to find a 98 or newer. If I am not mistaken, 98 is the first year they went to coil spring suspension and for a Daily Driver, it makes alot of difference. I enjoy driving my 98 TJ and it is my Daily as well as my toy.

Stay away from the dealerships! Find a private seller and work a deal. i am reading alot of replies and feel people paid way too much for theirs. someone mentioned paying $6500 on a early 90's model? too much. I paid $6000 for a 98 Sahara 4.0 with a 4 inch lift and nice 33's already on it so you should be able to find one for way less that is stock. People will ask alot but can be negotiated with.

People that are selling jeeps are trying to unload them usually because of gas mileage or just the economy now so dont be afraid to talk down that price a little. I talked my guy down from $7000 without much trouble at all.

stick with stock. Learn the jeep and then later, when you have a solid job or something and want to do a little more, then start doing your serious mods.

HAVE A MECHANIC CHECK IT OUT!! an older jeep will not be perfect but at least you will know what needs work and can use that to negotiate price down or walk away and find a better one.

Ask how it was used. Alot of people off road these things and have no idea how and end up beating the shit out of them. Maintenance is everything if you off road so if they do not have a solid maintenance history, even if not off roaded, have it checked out. Dont be a sucker.

Otherwise, Have fun and welcome to the community
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #74
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First I'd like to say its noice to see so many people taking the time to respond to Adam and offering insight.

I didn't take the time to read all posts but I would like to offer some advice.

I don't know how you plan to use it. By that I mean - if you need to drive on the highway daily (commute) and/or drive long distances, then don't do it. At your age I'm assuming you don't own a house yet, think about getting into a house first. Once you do you will inherently be saving more money (whether through equity or renting rooms out) and can get a jeep then. Doing so now will be a waste of valuable savings (at least in gas if not more). Also, you will not be able to use your cell phone while driving due to wind noise if that matters, radio not much better. Generally these are more of a toy then a wise comfortable and efficient vehicle, and toys are more fun when you have more money to put into them.

If not, then go ahead. In your price range you can get a good TJ. At that price range you probably will never lose your shirt either. Just by proper maintenance and upkeep along with a little brightening up now and then you should be able to always get at least 50% of your money back. With that said I own a 98 TJ and a 64 Landcruiser FJ45. I won't sway you in either direction but you could also get an FJ40 that you could probably always sell for what you got it for or more as they are becoming more and more of a collectible. The downside to the FJ would be parts are getting more expensive and I prefer the fuel injection. Either way you are looking at 12-16 mpg in general. An early 70s Bronco is another great option.

I highly recommend the TJ over older and newer versions as they seem to always report less maintenance problems. I've had one for 14 years. Things you should look for when you buy: check the floorboards (under the carpet), rot can be an issue there, maintenance records - I'm assuming you will be getting one with close to or over 100K miles, preferable would be newer alternator, newer pinion seal, but not absolutely necessary (not too bad of cost to repair) new shocks, new tires and a new clutch (if manual transmission) would be much more cost efficient. Tires can be a quick expense. google penny measuring tread prior to looking at any. If you get one that is already lifted make sure the driveshaft angles were corrected, otherwise you will be paying for new driveshafts and gearsets and ball joints soon - more costly than a set of tires.

Whether you get one lifted or not, try to get one with a header, it will open up the engine more and you will either get more power or better gas mileage depending on how far you push the gas pedal down, but it will be easier to accelerate and maintain speed going up hills.

try to get one that comes with a hardtop AND softop. buying in without one will be another quick expense once you get it.

look at undercarriage, if its been wheeled hard you will see dents in muffler and/or tailpipe along with skidplates, also axle mounts are week on these and you can easily see any cracks (breaks, away from axle) - this could result in your alignment being off - wearing out tires and suspension quicker.

As far as others cautioning you about rollover, the TJ is actually much more stable than its predecessors, as the previous poster mentioned it has the coilover suspension. I let a girl borrow it and she hit an offramp at 50mph, had it on two wheels and it settled back down. I don't recomment doing that but obviously proof that a sudden jerk of the wheel is going to make it fly into the air and crush your skull. Additionally, if you hit something it will provide better resistance than any compact car will.

For reference - my 98 TJ is not for sale, it has a gale banks header, magnaflow exhaust, K&N filtercharger kit, 2 inch terraflex lift, bilstein shocks, sway bar disconnect, 33 inch BFG ATs (less than 10K miles), offset balljoints, limited slip rear differential, replaced clutch pinion seal and alternator, 4:56 gears front and back (ready for 35 inch tires), hardtop, softtop, sunshade top for front seats only, Durango power steering box upgrade (these blow out quick once you put bigger tires on). It has 208K miles (high) and if I were to sell would be asking in the $6500 range.

For others reading this, I am not trying to sell him my high mileage TJ, just letting him know what he is up against.

good luck young man -go places others don't but always be safe when doing so and respect the land.

Aaron
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #75
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Get it! I'm 16 and just went through the whole process. I got a 2007 manual Rubricon. I will never get any thing besides a Jeep! My parents were worried about safety and in 2007 they added a bunch of safety stuff. but the newer model was out of my budget so my parents chipped in. It is a great first car and so much fun to drive. Its hard to not smile while in a Jeep!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #76
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Get it! I'm 16 and just went through the whole process. I got a 2007 manual Rubricon. I will never get any thing besides a Jeep! My parents were worried about safety and in 2007 they added a bunch of safety stuff. but the newer model was out of my budget so my parents chipped in. It is a great first car and so much fun to drive. Its hard to not smile while in a Jeep!
Im impressed a 2007 rubicon was within your budget at 16.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #77
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Just be realistic....

I spent 20+ years in Jeeps...it's all about realistic expectations. I never ran more than a safari top , wind stopper and the door skins, even in the dead of winter, so yeah it got cold sometimes. Drive a Jeep and you'll get wet at some point...it happens. Leave your shit in it and it will get stolen...ask me how I know this. Take a nice long road trip sometime, and wish you'd bought a Honda Civic for that sort of thing. Look, it's not a bad vehicle...I've logged more miles in them than most people have ever seen on an odometer. That said, if you're looking for comfort...look elsewhere. Looking for fuel economy? It ain't gonna happen. They're about the cheapest convertible you'll ever own, easy to drive and relatively cheap to maintain. You can go places other people can't...you just can't take a lot of people or stuff with you. If you're realistic about what you really want and what to expect from it...it's a great experience.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #78
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Not to mention the proven fact that a very quick jerk behind the steering wheel might put you on your top.

Guess I'll get bashed with you, Sinepome.

Fixed it.

By the way, my first vehicle was a 1976 CJ-7, ten years after it was purchased by my Pop. Loved that Jeep. By the time it got to me, it had been run through the ringer.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #79
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Adam,

You have read all the warnings and positives--for the most part, I agree with all my fellow Jeepers (not a car, gas mileage sucks, money pit, loud, chicks dig them, fun, easy to work on etc.....)

I got my first Jeep at 50--if i could go back in time (lucky I cannot 'cause the chicks would not stand a chance with what I know now), my first ride would definitely be a Jeep. Now that I have mine which I bought as my Arizona vehicle so I can enjoy the mountains and off-roading, I will never NOT own a Wrangler--(boy, that 10 year Rubicon edition sure is looking good!).

You have taken a great first step---finding this forum. No better place to learn how to fix anything and to get free advise (as you have found out). I would stay with a stock (unlifted) Jeep. For the most part you will be on pavement and they are much better rides. Try not to jazz it up right away or take the swaybar off--just enjoy it as it is and LEARN your Jeep for about a year and then decide if you want to make it into something.

I have a six year old grandson--I hope to help him buy his first vehicle and I hope he chooses a Jeep.

Be paitent, choose wisely, drive safe, carry a stick (to fend off the chicks) and enjoy every minute. I wish I knew what Jeeps were when I was sixteen.

Last comment--my first car was a 69 Chevelle SS--that was not a bad choice and I wish I still had it! But I still would have taken a Jeep over the SS!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:36 AM   #80
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My god is every Jeep you know of a heap? I swear you posted the other day about how your friends JK was junk.... And made on Korea.

OP they are not all money pits and most will go for a long time! Well they can be money pits but that'll be in all the cool upgrades you find & gotta have!
My first one was a heap, I forgot to mention it sat in the PO's back yard for 5-10 years without even being started. Front leafs were shot so front rode lower than rear, no brakes, radiator was shot, hoses shot, carb was junk, etc. With that being said the body had over 400k on it and the 2nd engine had over 200k.

The one I have now is good, just needed some routine maintenance even though it was garage kept. Waiting for new exhaust to come since the leak has gotten even worse and I'm getting 10mpg instead of 17mpg.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #81
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Im 16, and my jeep is my first car. Im a girl. It's lifted, and i love it. Everyone bashed on my dad for getting me one because they say i'll flip it especially with the lift. But don't let people tell you what to get. This was my dream car and i haven't had any problems with it yet!!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #82
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...Everyone bashed on my dad for getting me one because they say i'll flip it especially with the lift...
Ignorant people.. I still laugh when I hear people say this.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #83
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I am 17 and my first car is a Jeep. I would say go for it if it is what you really want! And keep in mind that although a 4.0l inline 6 will be better for off roading, I have a 2.5l inline 4 and although it is very under powered,I am getting about 20 mpg. So if this is going to be your daily driver, go for the 4, but if you hope to do mostly off Roading, go for the 6. And, keep in mind that I do lots of off roading with my 4 but,I can't really put large tires on it because it just doesn't really have the power for it. And the most important thing to have for off roading is a good winch.just keep that in mind when you get your car. Also, know that they break A LOT, have about a grand on hand just for emergency repairs.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #84
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I am 17 and my first car is a Jeep. I would say go for it if it is what you really want! And keep in mind that although a 4.0l inline 6 will be better for off roading, I have a 2.5l inline 4 and although it is very under powered,I am getting about 20 mpg. So if this is going to be your daily driver, go for the 4, but if you hope to do mostly off Roading, go for the 6. And, keep in mind that I do lots of off roading with my 4 but,I can't really put large tires on it because it just doesn't really have the power for it. And the most important thing to have for off roading is a good winch.just keep that in mind when you get your car. Also, know that they break A LOT, have about a grand on hand just for emergency repairs.
I don't think the difference is too big for gas mileage. I say go for the 6 regardless, or you will be wanting more power.

Also you say "they break a lot"? I'm not sure what you mean by that.. Personally I have owned my jeep for almost and year and I haven't HAD to replace anything at all. Jeeps are known for their reliability and if you are having a lot of problems, you probably have high miles or your jeep wasn't maintained properly.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #85
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For Gosh sake a JEEP IS NOT A CAR
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:10 PM   #86
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For Gosh sake a JEEP IS NOT A CAR
It's a phrase. You don't normally say first vehicle.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:52 PM   #87
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I am 17 and my first car is a Jeep. I would say go for it if it is what you really want! And keep in mind that although a 4.0l inline 6 will be better for off roading, I have a 2.5l inline 4 and although it is very under powered,I am getting about 20 mpg. So if this is going to be your daily driver, go for the 4, but if you hope to do mostly off Roading, go for the 6. And, keep in mind that I do lots of off roading with my 4 but,I can't really put large tires on it because it just doesn't really have the power for it. And the most important thing to have for off roading is a good winch.just keep that in mind when you get your car. Also, know that they break A LOT, have about a grand on hand just for emergency repairs.
The 4 cyl is great offroad you really won't see any difference between the 4 and 6 cyl offroad until you get into huge rigs which still the 4 banger will keep up with the best of them.

As for on road if you don't mind a few extra shifts and you drive a reasonable speed, between 60 and 70 mph, you'll keep up on the highway. Also you'll need to learn to drive using momentum on hills.

With all that I'm still not saying the 4 cyl is better but it's definitely not bad if you know how to drive it. I see just as many people driving 4 bangers as I do 6 cyl if not more around here and I don't live in the flattest area either. Just don't let a 4 cyl scare you if you decide to get a jeep.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #88
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For Gosh sake a JEEP IS NOT A CAR
Exactly. Several have posted that they recently got a Jeep for their first CAR. If that's the case they still haven't gotten a first CAR yet.

One person said he just bought a Jeep for his daughter's first CAR and then went on to describe a Jeep he bought for her. I'm still waiting to read what type of CAR he bought.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:21 AM   #89
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97 SE is my first vehicle and I love it. Bought it stock, just lifted it about 9 months ago and love it even more. That 4 cylinder may not keep up with I6 on the road but those 4 angry squirrels will still kick out some power, even running 33's. Whichever Jeep you decide on, you will love it regardless.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:10 AM   #90
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Well a jeep was my first car. It was a WWII Wilys. Khaki with a big white star on its bonnet. Gorgeous it was. Pedal powered. I was 5 years old 😃

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