Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jeeps 'R' U.S. - The Pseudo-Rugged Man

             What is it about the Jeep that makes people feel impervious and impregnable to harmful outside forces? Is it the fact that the Jeep was created for the war? A machine of malicious intent then transformed to a quaint citizen vehicle. Maybe it gives well sheltered drivers the opportunity to feel free from the agonies of their lives and pretend for minutes at most they are a valiant soldier chivalrously driving, even if it is only to their kids soccer practice. The Jeep is a regular Mr. Do It All, so whether you’re a thrill seeking adventurist swerving around the bends of cliffs or a lifeguard in the Hamptons cruising down Dune road with the top down, the Jeep will satisfy you.
There is something about that 7 Slot Grille car that transports us to an unblemished time, where we are still naive and young. The Jeep is a first car for many because it balances safety and power together perfectly. For others, they remember being pushed in the toy Jeep their fathers gave them at a young age. I for one was blessed to be able to drive around a toy Jeep. I would pretend I was soldier in the war transporting materials and weapons to the front line. I believe many children fantasize about being a valiant hero who audaciously face challenges and overcomes their opponents with ease and fluidity. My way of doing that was with that small toy Jeep. Now that I can drive a real car, I feel that same enthusiasm with my own 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep vehicle always resembled something more than a car, it is a symbol. Why don’t kids drive around in toy SAAB’s? The Jeep is synonymous with American Identity and enthusiasm and we are taught this at a young age.
Many drivers opt for four wheel driving and towing capability but rarely engage with these Jeep specialties. Maybe this reveals a truly American ideal. We want to appear bigger, better, and stronger than we really are. We want to hold the sword, but not swing it. We want to watch a distant storm of adversity as we walk safely down the path of least resistance.  Many Americans don’t want to fight in a war or even transport goods in one, but they want the feeling of a brave soldier. Many will never go off-roading in their Jeeps, but when asked by the flattering eyes of a pretty girl they will tell tales of the rugged harshness they faced on their strenuous road trip to Vermont. Some would term this as American wastefulness, buying products and tools that we will never use to impress others. We want the appearance of a rugged cowboy riding our colts to a duel. Though the duels are now our jobs and the horses our cars, we still want to appear as the headstrong daredevil willing to take on any risk at any cost. 
On the list for Top Tenquintessentially American Cars the Jeep Wagoneer was number 10 and the following comment was made about the vehicle. “Why it's your all-American:  Take the rugged underpinnings of an off-road truck, pile the creature comforts on top, and sell to people who want to project an image of outdoorsy self-sufficiency without the discomfort. The Wagoneer is still a somewhat ironic, if much-loved, status symbol today.” This state’s exactly what I’m trying to prove, the Jeep is a vehicle that projects the outdoorsy image while coddling the driver with simple interior comforts. No other vehicle embodies the trailblazing force the Jeep holds.

With the economy crumbling around us and the soaring gas prices, it’s a miracle the Jeep has evaded a crushing death blow.  On my last Jeep I had a Hemi engine which got nearly 15 MPG. 15!!! And this was all in the name of power and ability. With the evolving times it’s curious to think that people still want their cars to project an air of intrepid authority and heightened advantage, even if their gas bills are elevated.
This is why people love Jeeps. It permits them to feel something, something that no other car can produce. Knowing your vehicle has four-wheel drive puts your mind at ease when it comes to safety.

Jeeps origin was in World War II. Because of its origin, I believe there is a deeper connection with the nobility of war.

              Today the Wrangler remains as one of few remaining vehicles with a decent front and rear axles. The axles of the car are where the Jeep brand gains its name for “durability, strength, and articulation.”
The Jeep has always been known as an off-road vehicle, which gives it its rugged manly appeal. Since it got its roots as a Military vehicle and then for the general public, the Jeeps image of outdoor ruggedness has stuck. Even in today’s time there are Jeep owners who do not tow, do not go off-roading or camping, but they take solace in the fact that they can. Four wheel drive and off-road capability may not be the top selling points any more for the industry as a whole, but those who want to array an aura of strength and virility will seek out Jeeps.
You see Jeeps are U.S., and I mean that literally (United States). Jeep represents the Spirit of America just as much as the flag does. It contains the American ideals of power and capacity in a car that is pretty simplistic at the end of the day. In European countries their signature cars are ostentatious and represent a sort of grandiosity. In America we want the bear of a car, bulldozing down the street affirming our presence and taunting others to challenge us. Now though, we are catering more and more to efficiency but we are still preserving our patriotic muscle. Cars like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler now have engines that are extremely efficient but the vehicles themselves are still larger than life and extremely arduous. 


  1. I really love the four wheel drive capabilities of my jeep. When the weather gets rough I feel comfortable driving my jeep on the sloppy roads. I found a great Jeep Dealer in McAllen TX that really explained to me the benefits of driving a jeep. I am glad that I listened because I am very happy with my purchase.

  2. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    speed brz

  3. It was indeed very useful and informative while being straight forward and to the point.
    Kia Weston.
    Thanks a lot for this awesome sharing.

  4. Beautiful! Vintage cars always have the most striking appearance that never fail to amuse people. Hollywood Chrysler. Thanks a lot.

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