September 7th 2001 I bought my first YJ. It was a 1992 4 banger with a 5 speed trans. I loved this jeep, but I was 19 years old and not too sure what the limitations were with a 4 cyl so I was simply overjoyed at just owning my jeep. The very first night (yes, night. Like 11:30 pm) I had it I took it off roading. Straight from the dealership into a wash in Tucson, AZ. Ran into some washes after a rainstorm and went to cross a stream...Well, that stream was deeper than I had expected and my Jeep went off a ledge and the hood damn near looked like it went mostly underwater. After a quick panic I threw it in reverse and my jeep pulled me right out, I mean this was unreal to me at the time. I had 4x4s my whole life but none of them could have pulled off this feat (I may be romanticizing a bit here). I continued running around that wash for hours that night. It was an instant match, that Jeep and I. We went everywhere together. Many a great date nights going up the back of Mt. Lemon, cruising the desert looking for small game. Just a relaxing, fun and enjoyable experience. I'll never forget going through the desert at night, listening to The Eagles without a care in the world. Looking back I did a lot of night off roading. At the time it was probably a bad call, but my jeep never failed me.
Flash forward to 2007-2009. I started a new job that took me out of state and my jeep, while still functioning as my daily driver, was probably not capable of this drive so I left it at my grandpas house. Over the years I would get a phone call that someone stopped by and asked if it were for sale (along with my 1969 Chevy Shortbed which I hate talking about...) and at first I was jovial and pleasant with the news, but as time went on I was beginning to feel that I may never see my jeep again. I became resentful at requests to sell it and informed anyone that was asked if it were for sale to use some blue language and start slamming doors in the faces of prospective buyers. A few months before I was able to come back to town my brother in law had to move my jeep and didn't bother checking the oil. Apparently he siezed the motor. No one was willing to call me and tell my that my jeep was dead so I found out at roughly the same time I found out my grandpa died and I was coming to town. Heart broken, I pretty much gave away both vehicles. By 2009 I no longer owned a Jeep. I had already bought a brand new 2008 Chevy Duramax but it just wasn't the same. My wife at the time assured me that I could replace my vehicles down the road and slowly, over time, I battled through it and moved on. I still waved at Jeeps. For four years I still waved from my diesel but I was no longer part of that community and never received a wave back.
Flash forward to 2014. Still have no replacement jeep but there is still good news. I got my divorce and became a free man again. Well, I spent my first year replacing all of my guns (different story) and getting out of debt but by the beginning of 2016 I realized that my Jeep still eluded me. I decided that 2016 would be the year of the Jeep for me. I looked all year and could not find what I was looking for.
The Jeep had to be: 1992 YJ
Soft Top (had hard top before)
Not red (preferably black or blue)
As my search wore on I opened my years to being, in order of preference. 1992, 1994, 1995 or 1991.
Well, I finally got a good hit. Found a 1992 YJ 4.0L 5 speed manual, soft top in electric blue. No lift, no off road stuff (which is nice, I'll put that on myself and maybe the previous owner didn't take it off road much).
I bought this Jeep on Friday, January 13th 2017 (my favorite nephews birthday) and it arrives to me on Wednesday, January 18th 2017. Great timing as I turn 35 on Thursday, January 19th, 2017.
Fellas, this Jeep comes here tomorrow. Tomorrow. Delivered to me at work. My boss can't wait to lift it, etc, but I am in no rush. I am just content to have my damn Jeep back.
I know this is a useless post, but someone out there must know how I am feeling right now. I have never been connected to a vehicle like my Jeep. I also look at this Jeep being bought on Friday the 13th
as kind of a cool little story (I can always blame my Jeep troubles on this fact).