As soon as the weather improves they pop up all over. It’s mostly guys who seem to have these devices and they are very common on college / university campuses around the country. I’m of course talking about the well known chick magnet; the Jeep Wrangler and similar GI Joe off-road vehicles that invade the roads and beaches.
I’ve never owned one, and probably never will, after my recent encounter with one of these creations. There’s absolutely no doubt that they are the ultimate summer vehicles, but it does have a few downsides that you need to beware of; BEFORE buying one
The below assess has been made after I experienced a 1 hour and 16 minute drive in an ageing Jeep, with the top off.
- Single or Married; it’s often the obvious choice for any single man who wants to impress and lure in a possible partner. However, in recent times, these types of vehicle is becoming a midlife crisis car for men 40+ … i.e. my fellow dudes! There are only two excuses for buying such a car at our age; you are recently divorced and want to pick up a much younger partner or you are trying to live out some action hero dream while you still have hair. Funnily enough, not many action heroes drive these cars, but they chose proper muscle cars like the monster El Camino!
- It’s a Bug’s Life … on your face as you go 55mph down the local highway. As soon as you take the top off and go faster than 24mph, you should expect to be covered with screaming bugs and their intestines. Obviously, if you are a shorter feller, well below the windshield upper level, then you might be safe, but you do need to prepare to wipe them off the top of your head. Me, I looked like something from Chernobyl with all the animal stuck to my face. Not too sure how many I actually swallowed, but I was not hungry when I arrived home!
- Total Hair Make-over; for those of us who can still pride a hairdo without dragging it from the back or side, we should prepare to arrive at the final destination with a new interesting hairdo, which would be a mix of slick comb-back and animal remains. Nothing provides a better hold than goo from several dead creatures.
- Loss of Hearing normally occurs once your ride goes faster than 35mph. At that point, you have to accept uttering the word ‘WHAT?!’ many times or just smile whenever your fellow passengers talks to you. A second damaging effect on your hearing is the stereo level, which is cranked up fully once you go faster than 45mph, ensuring that you can almost make out what song is playing.
- Runny eyes is a natural phenomenon, especially if you drive with the top of the monster Jeep. The air finds natural ways to hit your eyes, developing REM while wide awake, and the dryness in your eyeballs because of the wind causes your eyes to get fairly runny. People overtaking you, from the outside or inside, will most likely think you are crying, so pretend you have something stuck in there.
- Speed? Well, because you are driving in a car that’s designed for off road and slower speeds, going faster than 35mph will make you feel like you are going 90mph. Anything lighter than an ant is lifted up and flung at you, and as the speed increases you start experiencing all the above symptoms.
- Flying debris and trash is a byproduct of sitting in an open vehicle, much like being a moving target for all sorts of insects. Trucks dropping metal pieces, rubber from sliced tires, cigarette buds, chewing gum, half empty coffee cups and much more suddenly becomes lethal projectiles. Some of them will do damage on you, whereas other are just a smacking your over the head.
I must admit, driving in an open Jeep, for more than an hour down the motorway is probably one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve encountered in a while. It’s right up there with jumping off a 180 feet cliff and attending chess World cup final!
Will I buy a Jeep? Probably not!