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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I kinda feel like the luckiest guy on the forum today. No, I didn't win the lottery to buy a Red Rock (though I'm not sure receiving a call saying you just won the right to spend $70K for a highly-accessorized Wrangler qualifies as luck).

In 1982, I drove a shiny new Scrambler home from the dealership. My new mechanical friend and I spent 14 years exploring the backcountry trails around Moab. We traveled just over 100,000 miles together before, like a complete fool, I sold it in 1996.

Through the years, I would gaze longingly at every Scrambler I happened to see...remembering the times we scrambled over Elephant Hill (before the Park Service smoothed it out), the trips up Poison Spider Mesa, the adventures in the remote Maze district of Canyonlands, the trips around the White Rim (long before you had to reserve campsites a lifetime in advance), and so many more.

Seven years after losing the Scrambler, I bought a new 2003 Rubicon when they first came out. As people do with the newer Jeeps, I put a ton of money into modifications. I sold it 10 years later and picked up a 2013 Rubicon Unlimited. That was my second foolish mistake. The JK also cost me nearly $20,000 in personalizing and performance-enhancing modifications. When the JK design first came out, I assured the Jeep reps at the annual EJS in Moab that I would never buy one, mainly because they had made the windshield virtually impossible to lower. I should have listened to myself.

After putting 20,000 miles on the '13 Rubicon, I finally had enough. For an off-road vehicle, it was just too big, too fancy, too computerized, too curvaceous, and the fun-factor was seriously compromised by a windshield that required the removal of 18 bolts to lower. I traded it for a 2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crewcab, which I absolutely love. The '13 is still on the dealer's lot for $44,000.

I wanted to get back into a CJ so I started looking. A few weeks ago, I was in the barber shop getting what little hair I have left trimmed and ran into the ex-wife of the fellow who bought my Scrambler. She told me that he lived just 90 miles away. I contacted him. I was able to convince him that he wanted to let me have it back. We agreed on a fair ransom. It turns out he has put fewer than 9,000 miles on it in 20 years and it has been garaged or in storage for almost that entire period. It still has the same tires on it that it wore when I sold it. I drove it home yesterday.

It ran perfectly all the way home...very smooth...no vibrations....even on the interstate. But the most bizarre thing happened when I started to turn into my driveway. I felt a jerk on the steering wheel (NO...not the jerk AT the wheel!) so I let go of the wheel. The Jeep proceeded to steer itself all the way down my rather long, winding, steep driveway and almost into its old parking spot. What a memory.

The first photo below was taken 25 or so years ago. I had that spoiler custom made. The second was taken yesterday.



 

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nice scrambler. But someone who would rather have a GMC pickup over a Jk, needs to have his head examined :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
nice scrambler. But someone who would rather have a GMC pickup over a Jk, needs to have his head examined :)
Sorry, but for a daily driver, I've been FAR happier with the Canyon than I ever was with the JK...and I needed to get back into a pickup. Different strokes. For maybe a minute each week, I miss the JK. But for the past 4 months, I have definitely missed having a Jeep.
 
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The prodigal son comes home. Nice story.
 

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Sorry, but for a daily driver, I've been FAR happier with the Canyon than I ever was with the JK...and I needed to get back into a pickup. Different strokes. For maybe a minute each week, I miss the JK. But for the past 4 months, I have definitely missed having a Jeep.

I was just messing wit you. :bop:
 

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284,000 members and after twenty years you got your Scrambler back.
I concur, you are the luckiest guy on the Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Scrambler got a polish job and new tires. Twenty-five-year-old bias ply tires aren't known for their smooth ride.





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did the wood sideboards come on it originally?
Yes. The sideboards were included with the SR and SL packages. There aren't a lot of surviving sideboards around, even though they are a VERY hard wood. I had signs for my business painted on them. The 2nd owner sanded the boards down to remove my signs and re-varnished them. I am having the signs re-done by the same artist.
 

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I still miss my CJ7 I bought brand new...always will

Congrats, beautiful Jeep. I have never seen one "in person" so they must not have made many?
 

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Great story and a great looking Scrambler. Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I still miss my CJ7 I bought brand new...always will

Congrats, beautiful Jeep. I have never seen one "in person" so they must not have made many?
There were only 27,792 CJ-8 Scramblers produced, while about 380,000 CJ-7s and more than 603,000 CJ-5s were made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So the bed looked really bad when I got it back. It had been painted white with no prep work and apparently before the invention of masking tape. I just finished re-painting the bed, after a day of sanding and masking. Here are some before and after pix. I REALLY like the "Secure Trunk Box" from GR8TOPS...it is slanted to match the contours of a CJ back seat or the bulkhead in the Scrambler. It doesn't come with any mounting hardware...so you need to configure a way to secure it. I bolted climbing anchors to the floor of the bed, and put big eye bolts through the box. Cam straps keep it from moving, and a lock with a heavy cable keeps it from disappearing.







 

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You win the jeep game, my friend. I have wanted a scrambler since forever because I haul alot of motorcycles :) And I dont want to even know what you had to pay to get it back because rusted out scramblers usually bring in some big $$$.

LOVE your jeep. Coming from a 2015 wrangler owner, I would agree with the too big too fancy for the trails :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I was truly surprised by the crowds the Scrambler attracted everywhere I went during the recent Jeep Safari. I only saw 4 or 5 CJ8s, and a couple of those were so highly modified as to be almost unrecognizable. JKs were a dime a dozen and one of them had to be incredibly special to even attract a second look. But there were some pretty amazing JKs too. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to enter the Scrambler in Moab's annual April Action Car Show, a rather large annual event in Moab that attracts vehicle aficionados from a wide area.

I can't wait for it to warm up enough to pop the top and drop the windshield on the trails. I haven't done so since I bought it back. The guy who stored it for me for the past 20 years never removed the top. He returned the bikini top and rare blue soft half doors to me exactly as they were when I gave them to him. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Scrambler is that one person can easily remove and reinstall the hardtop. It takes maybe 5 minutes. If necessary, the top fits perfectly in the bed...though I usually leave it home when going topless. And the windshield can be lowered in about 30 seconds or less.

Here are a couple of old topless pix from many years ago:



 
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