1997 ZJ Grand Cherokee - Daily-Driven ZJPosted in Project Vehicles on June 12, 2008 0) (
As our youth cooks away in fluorescent-light-strung offices, we like to hold onto what ignorance we have left and daily drive Jeeps that most people would put on a trailer. But as we age, we're starting to see the benefits of not being the biggest state-trooper target on the freeway. It gets old spending at least one morning per week explaining to an officer that what we're driving is actually street legal, and we slowly start to yearn for something that maybe couldn't make it through the hammers. The idea of splitting our needs between a strict wheeling Jeep and a second daily driver that can handle our crazy driving is getting mighty attractive.
At the same time, we sure as hell don't want to waste away sitting in a honda, so we got to thinking about something that would be low-pro enough for us to be practically invisible on the street while not giving up the potential for having a little off-road fun if it's unexpectedly found on the way to work. coincidentally, the ZJ Grand cherokee is starting to become very affordable. If we could build one that would be more capable off-road than a stock one while keeping its innocence and improving its street manners, we'd be in business. think we're asking too much? nah, because it worked!
After spending about a month finding and purchasing a '97 Grand cherokee, researching and ordering parts on the phone, one weekend of installation, and one dumb brother who got suckered into helping, we had our daily-driven bracket racer ready for work-and perhaps an occasional stop at the oval dirt track.