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Jp Mailbag: Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on April 5, 2019
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Revive, Not Resurrect

Much to my wife’s displeasure, I couldn’t agree more with the April 2019 Trail Head column, “Revival of the Fittest.” I have yet to find a Jeep that doesn’t have something worth saving. Even these two pictured have lots of good things on them. Someday I will need an axle or something from one of them. Oh, and I got them for nothing, just had to pick them up.

Skip Colson
Via email

That picture looks like one small corner of Péwé’s backyard/jeep collection/junkyard, so we are with you on this 100 percent. All of us here have something (or more than one something) stashed away somewhere that is on our “project list,” or something that we believe will one day yield a valuable and possibly rare and hard-to-find part or piece we need for a project. Even if it sits there for another 10 years, it is worth saving simply because of what it is. We like to think of it as “no Jeep left behind.”

XJ Love

How come I don’t see many XJ Cherokees in the magazine? As an XJ enthusiast, I feel like off-road publications such as this one don’t represent the XJ hardly at all. Is it due to lack of interest or no submissions featuring the XJ? Personally, I find them to be easier and cheaper to off-road, if you are strapped tight with a budget. That being said, is there any chance you could make an issue with a few XJ stories? Or if there have been any in the past that would be interesting, could you let me know which issue it would be in? Thanks for taking the time to read my rant.

Dylan M.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

No problem with the “rant,” Dylan, but we think there must be some sort of mistake. We love the XJ, and if you’re not averse to dealing with its Unitbody construction, then it’s one of the cheapest Jeeps you can find for a project starter, and the aftermarket is flush with parts, accessories, and equipment specifically designed for the Jeep XJ Cherokee.

If you’re looking for examples of XJ features and technical articles in Jp Magazine, you don’t have to look any farther than to find a long list of them. Check out the website and use the search window in the upper right corner to look for XJs in specific or Cherokees in general. A quick search for “XJ” netted us nearly 1,000 results.

Not yet online but soon to be in print as well are a full feature on an exo-caged ’99 XJ with a stroked 4.6L inline-six, a how-to on beefing up and swapping in a Ford 8.8 rear axle under a ’98 XJ, and a full long-arm suspension installation on a ’94 XJ. So keep your eyes peeled for all the XJ content you can handle.

We would love to hear from more XJ fans like Dylan to see what you’re really interested in—bodywork, gear swaps, suspension upgrades, engine builds? Send us a note to and put the word “Mailbag” in the subject line of your email.

Insure Up

I’m writing in response to the “Stay Insured” letter (Mailbag, May ’19) in which John Matthews related his story about the tornado damage to his shop and the ’48 Willys that was inside his shop. Soon after reading that letter, I found an article in Cruisin’ News (a Northern California–based car culture mag I read) about the importance of having full replacement value coverage, and got a bill for the insurance renewal for my ’79 Jeep J-10 (a 5-year ongoing restomod nearing completion) from Grundy Insurance. They specialize in classic and specialized vehicles. With about $100k invested in the project, I settled on $75k comp/collision coverage with a $500 deductible and $550k liability, for close to what I pay for my ’08 BMW 328i.

Ed Sunday
Sonora, California

Thanks for sharing your classic Jeep insurance experience with the Jp readership! Having the proper insurance coverage for a classic or highly modified vehicle like your ’79 J-10 pickup is all part of a successful rebuild project. Why wouldn’t you make sure that your years of hard work, bruised knuckles, and long nights put into rebuilding a classic Jeep are covered—for as close as you can possibly get to full replacement value. Grundy Insurance is just one of the handful of companies that specializes in auto insurance for rare, vintage, and unique vehicles. If you’re like us, Jeeps are part of the family, so they should be protected like a family member.

In addition to the previously mentioned Hagerty ( and Grundy Insurance (, there are couple other companies that we know of that offer coverage for classics, including American Collectors ( and Kensaq ( Shop all these sources to get the best deal, and don’t forget to check in with your current auto insurance provider. We found an excellent deal on insurance for a ’79 Jeep Cherokee (FSJ) that is under restoration through our regular auto insurance provider.

Jeep Wave Change?

I am writing in response to your John Cappa’s question (Mailbag, May ’19), “Should the Jeep Wave be retired or should something else take its place?”

My answer: “ABSOLUTELY NOT!”

With all due respect, I do not see the success of the Jeep as a “downfall of the camaraderie” either. In my humble opinion, if anything contributes to the downfall of camaraderie, it is the ongoing, never-ending debate between Jeep owners on how other Jeep owners should use their Jeep. The “mall crawler” versus “rock crawler” versus “built” versus “bought” battle, and on, and on, and on. It leaves some owners with a bad experience. I never got into, nor have I ever cared, how another Jeep owner uses their Jeep. I am too busy enjoying my Jeep, however I choose to. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all Jeep owners, and that is all that matters. New or old. Bought or built. It doesn’t matter. The lack of respect by a few toward others based on how one uses their Jeep is what leads to a downfall in camaraderie. I am so happy to see the success of the Jeep. I would rather see roadways full of Jeeps than the boring, cookie-cutter SUVs that are everywhere.

As for the new Jeep owners, I think part of being a “seasoned” Jeep owner is making sure to pass on tradition. Wave! And keep on waving! The new Jeep owner will catch on! And if you see a Jeep owner in a parking lot, strike up a conversation. A simple, respectful comment on their Jeep usually leads to a few minutes standing around talking Jeep. And in my experience, the other Jeep owner always appreciates and enjoys it. I bet that doesn’t happen between owners of most other brands.

The Jeep Wave is something to hold onto and the responsibility of every Jeep owner to preserve and pass on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving another vehicle and waved, much to the confusion of the passing motorist. And there have been times when while driving another vehicle, I saw an oncoming Jeep and wished I was in my Jeep so that I could wave. Jeeps are awesome. I am so happy to see so many on the road. I wave at every Jeep I see. If I get a wave back, cool! If not, it’s OK too. The important thing is, we are all part of the Jeep community.

Also, save the flashing high beams for informing other drivers that their high beams are on, or for warning of possible dangers like deer on the road ahead.

BIG JEEP WAVE to ALL Jeep owners, new and old!

Ed Birch III
Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Ed, we had to laugh when reading your letter because we have experienced the same thing. I wave to other Jeepers all the time. As a matter of fact, I have waved at another Jeeper while driving something other than a Jeep, and I get that weird look when they see a wave coming from my pickup (not a Jeep) or my wife’s car (again, not a Jeep). However, we do have to admit that sometimes when we’re at a big Jeep event the wave does fall by the wayside, only because our arms get tired after 300 or so Jeeps have come along.

More Jeep Wave

It seems a bit odd that the Jeep wave has become a topic of much discussion lately. It is a simple thing—you wave to acknowledge another Jeeper.

I think the success of the new Jeeps (JK, JL) have changed the Jeep world. Anyone can buy a Jeep but not everyone buys into the Jeep lifestyle, and many don’t even know about it. Regardless, I still wave at all Jeeps and will never retire the wave. If someone chooses to flash instead of wave I will wave back in acknowledgment as that is a lot easier for me than flashing my headlights. We don’t all have the modern additions on our older Jeeps and I still find it mostly easy to see the other driver through the windshield, but any acknowledgement will be happily returned by me. That is Jeep life.

I still find it quite enjoyable when you know you have exchanged waves with another person who is not just a Jeep owner but lives the Jeep lifestyle. I also enjoy waving to Jeep owners who didn’t know the tradition and will maybe catch on after a few waves.

For me, the wave will live on in the true tradition of the Jeep lifestyle.

Al LaFontaine
Mission, B.C., Canada

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