The search. If I would say that I was looking for this car for ages, I’d be lying. Dreaming, yes, but not looking. Nevertheless, given the market size in Estonia, I’d almost given up by the end of the first week of searching.
Yep, the first week. The choices simply weren't great. I didn't want to settle.
It was a rainy Saturday and I had just arrived home from the second I-would-like-to-buy-a-Wrangler meetup (because other options simply didn't qualify for me to even bother looking further than the ad), when I allowed myself to look at the sales ads for one last time and… there it was — my golden dream staring back at me with it’s perfect square headlights! A 1991 Jeep Wrangler YJ, a machine in pristine condition, never driven during winter. And it had the right seats!
I consider myself very lucky finding this car.
The why. I thought it’s not possible in Estonia to obtain a Wrangler, let alone a YJ as a collector’s item. But there I was, test-driving a car I'd dreamt about since 2011 when I first saw Lorelai (a very independent female-character trying to figure it out) in the S01E01 of Gilmore Girls driving this cool-looking car.
Visiting the US west coast two summers ago didn't help either — driving a car with the ground clearance of an SUV and with the capabilities of a cabriolet during a nice summer eve, I mean, what else can one want?
I was and am in love.
The purchase. It all went smooth, but for some reason it took a little time to convince the man selling the car that I'm buying it for myself, not for a man. He finally realised it the moment I mentioned I drive a Harley in the summer. Looking back at his disbelief, I now understand the countless memes and bumperstickers of “it's not my husband's jeep”.
I don't care about people being stuck in some old beliefs (as long as they're not hurting anybody), because it then makes me even more interesting and memorable for them (and the more fun I will have too).
The feel. Comparing the YJ to my everyday ride from year 2015, it's incomparable. And not necessarily against the YJ. The feeling I get when driving the YJ cannot be put into words, but if to try then I think the closest word to it would be happiness.
I feel genuinely happy in the environment of YJ's simplicity.
The wait. I'm very excited to start driving my YJ again (I stopped when it dropped below zero real bad). My heart's been bleeding for a ride for a couple of months now and I'm sure it would survive the negatives of Estonia's winter, but I really would like to have some maintenance done to it before opening the season to its fullest. But let's be honest, as soon as the roads clear from snow and we'll have more than a couple of plus degrees, imma be ridin. I just need to add some oil.
The plan. I found these really cool guys in Tallinn — CSG Customs and I believe we're going to have a lot of fun together. I've already asked them to thoroughly rustproof my YJ. There's a couple of other things we still need to do— flush the cooling system and the radiator (a leak suspected), change the oil, change the fuel filter (it's clamp and hose also seem to be done with it), you know, the regular stuff. I still am considering doing these things myself, but we'll see.
Also, a little broken weld of the driver's door needs fixing, door hinges need some pampering. I need to figure out a storage system for the accessories, mainly for the top I wouldn't be using at the moment. Storing the soft top is not a huge problem, but the hard top needs a very good system, a system which I could operate alone.
A winch could be added. A light bar or extra headlights? Some rim work…
I don't know where this is coming from, but I wish I would've focused on my petrol-mindedness sooner. You know, like 20 years sooner. But what I do know is that this makes me content.
Thanks for reading!