So I know every Jeep and Jeep Owner has a story as to how they got here. I figured I would start there with my build. This is a build near and dear to my heart.
Most Stories like this start off falling in love with Jeeps at a very early age. Daydreaming of one day owning one of the most iconic American made off-road machines. Building Jeeps before they could drive and owning five, six, even seven different Jeeps.
My story is not like this at all. Growing up I was into sports I played everything from baseball, football, and basketball. Once I was old enough to start getting into cars low riders and the pre-fast n’ the furious phase started coming along. I was into fast cars, low riders and even Honda’s. Never did I have an itch for offroading/Overlanding or even Jeeping.
My interest and love for Jeeps didn’t begin until I was in my mid 20’s. My son was born with a congenital heart defect that required him to have three major heart surgeries when he was six months, 18 months and three years old. My son is the most important person in my life and at that time and I knew that I wanted to be as close to him as possible.
When Julian was a baby we spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ house. His grandfather had an old CJ in his garage and Just bought another CJ. I never understood the reasoning behind it at the time. According to him, his current CJ was full of body rust and his new one was rust free. OK, I thought. Not my thing but whatever. Julian, on the other hand, loved both of those Jeeps and would spend hours playing inside them with his cars not wanting to get out. Seeing his face light up was truly something special. He LOVED those two Jeeps. We would spend several nights camping in Big Bear, Anza Borrego and during the day Julian’s eyes would light up once it was time to hit the trails. Looking back and seeing his face bounce up and down with the biggest smile on his face, I knew right then and there I needed a Jeep of my own. As he got older he would ask me about getting a Jeep and going Jeepin with grandpa. I had made a promise to him that I would get one for us.
At the time I was still in the Navy and didn’t have the most income. So instead of keeping my promises, I had to settle for what was best for the family. Family sedans and hand me down cars. Over the years I know Julian lost faith in us having a Jeep. Now married and with two more boys it seemed impossible, but all good things come to those who wait right? Once the JL was announced I stalked the forums gathering as much info and going through thousands of pictures, modifications and builds and I knew that would be my next ride. Then came the announcement of the 3.0l ecodiesel with an estimated 30mpg’s. Now I never had faith in 30mpg’s but as time went on that number actually seemed very much attainable. I thought I have always wanted a diesel and for the last 12 years I have lusted for a Jeep, why not make my first ever Jeep the first North American production Wrangler with a diesel engine. Now I wait. There were several rumors swirling around that time, the diesel will come, late 18-year model, then it would be a 19-year model. I waited and waited patiently still stalking the forums and still reading everything there was about the JL. Then came the announcement, the ecodiesel will be at dealers by the end of 2019. It took another week or two but then order banks opened and immediately I went down to one of the local dealers that were willing to work with me and got my first Jeep order in.
Finally, After 5+ beer days of waiting, we took delivery of our very first Jeep. The best part of the delivery was having my 14-year old by my side and there for the very first ride. (And stupid me I didn't get a pic of us)
- Suspension: Metalcloak - Game Changer 2.5"
- Sway Bars: RockJock 4×4 by John Currie - Antirocks
- Winch: Smittybilt Inc. - Gen2 10k
- Accessories: 67 Designs - Mounting system
- Floor Mats: Mopar Performance - All weather OEM mats
- Intercom/Communications: Rugged Radios
Equipment & Supplies
- Polisher: RUPES USA