Jeep Wrangler Makeover

Jeep Wrangler With New Paint Job

I custom-ordered my Jeep Wrangler 4.0 in 1996, when I was a student at gray-and-snowy Syracuse University.

After getting married, having kids and acquiring a proper-and-safe family truckster, the Jeep held her place as the weekend, date-night  and personal getaway car. Today, I even keep twin booster seats in the rear for joy rides around town with the kids.

She — if you were to believe a car is a woman — has only 70,000 miles. I’ve taken care of her — personally doing the maintenance like frequent car washes and oil changes. That’s partly why she still runs well 16 years later.

However, 16 years in the Northeast took a toll on her exterior. There was serious — though contained — corrosion on the body around the doors. Her paint was fading and chipped, and she was looking tired and sad.

Not ready to part ways, I took her to a nearby Maaco auto body and paint shop. I searched the Internet and chose the shop that was closest and had the most positive reviews. The shop owner was eager to serve me, provided an instant estimate, and then honored a 10% discount coupon for finding him online.

Three days later, I received a shiny new-looking Jeep! This was not an extreme-precision paint job for a vintage car collector, however this Jeep makeover injected new, unanticipated life into my beast of burden.

Thrilled by the outcome, I decided it was time to replace the broken Sony radio receiver and cassette player. I kept old cassette tapes (if you can believe that) in the Jeep, along with an MP3-player adapter that looked like a cassette tape and inserted into the player with a wire hanging out. It was retro and clumsy, but it worked, until a month ago.

Jeep Wrangler Dashboard With Sony Bluetooth ReceiverSo I acquired a new Sony bluetooth receiver. When I get in the Jeep, the receiver recognizes my Evo smartphone, providing full access and controls to my music apps, phone and phonebook. If a bad song plays on Pandora or Songza, I can use the Sony receiver controls to fast-forward to the next track. The receiver also is equipped with a built-in microphone and software to enhance hands-free usage of the phone through the car’s speaker system.

Next up?

Bull horns for the hood.

Yup, I’ve already got three-foot ones.

I’m researching the best way to mount them. Recommendations from experienced bull-horn mounters are welcomed.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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  1. LOVE the result. Taking me back to Clarendon Street when that bit of JEEP spingle-spangle arrived.

    The Bluetooth gizmo is nice. We love it on our Highlander. Makes fast-plays for our little one possible AS SOON as we start the engine.

    Now then, Maxer. What about that Zebra hide interior accent you KNOW you need?!

  2. BTW, your approach may beat my planned “I’m in seminary” way of taking my dinged and scratched 1999-ish Lexus to the next level. I’m prepping it next July for a birthday par-tay finger painting by our (then) two year-old. (Just hoping I can convince the neighborhood tribe of Methodist kiddies to favor wild animals and smiley faces…in lieu of crosses, angels, and the Baby Jesus ascending into the heavens.) LOL. Saw a pickup at our local farmer’s market recently… the result was a hee-haw joy. The owner claimed that four years later, he’s still approached by local kids that recall his son’s birthday paint day!

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