Motor Trend can keep its Truck of the Year award. Those guys can't drive any-way. Four Wheeler's Four Wheeler of the Year award? That's for posers and dudes who get manicures. And 4-Wheel & Off-Road's 4x4 of the Year award? Prestigious? We think not.
We keep it real here at Jp magazine. Who has money for a brand-new, expensive 4x4? Not many people we know. And when you can't afford it, the last thing you want is some wiener magazine guy telling you how great an $80,000 SUV is that they borrowed from a corporate test fleet. How about an of-the-year award that talks about how awesome it is to make that $900 car payment every month? Yeah, we thought not. That's why rather than some fluff-job pitting a bevy of nice new tin cans against each other, we came up with Jp magazine's Sh!%box Derby. Yeah, you read it right. Sh!%box. The fee for entry? It's gotta be a Jeep and it's gotta have a purchase price of $500 or less.
It's no secret each of the Jp editors are Jeep weirdos. We're borderline hoarders like the old lady with 50 cats living in one bedroom. We snatch up both mobile and immobile piles of garbage most guys wouldn't even bother buying for scrap. But at the end of the day, what does that get you in terms of performance, drivability, off-roadability, fun, frustration, and hassle? To find out, each editor tossed his proverbial turd into the pool of recently purchased staff vehicles so we could see which one floats to the top and which ones sink to the deep end.
The testing criteria are being kept a closely guarded secret, locked up safe and not-so-sound inside Hazel's head. Cappa and Trasborg won't know what they're in for until the actual day of testing, but we can clue you into the fact that the testing will center largely around stuff you Jp readers care about. Blazing top speed? Maybe. Gnarly climbing and rock work? Could be. Sand dune action? Most definitely. Wanton violence and destruction? Well, duh.
This month we're introducing you to the contestants. The next few times around we'll bring you a bit of the buildup as each staffer whips his pile into competition-trim. And it'll all come together just a few issues from now in the inglorious Sh!%box Derby.