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Editors’ Favorite Jeeps Of 2011

Jeep Truck Front Three Quarter
JP Staff | Writer
Posted November 1, 2011
Photographers: Jp Archives

We Pick Our Faves And Tell Ya Why

We run around the country every year finding Jeeps we think are cool and preserving them for time immemorial by printing photos and writing features on them in our little magazine here. And like anything else, sometimes you hit it out of the park, and sometimes your peers just don’t see eye-to-eye with you. When it comes to these features, obviously, the editor who shot it really likes the Jeep. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken the trouble to grab the camera, collect the owner’s info, and write it all up. But what about the other two guys on staff?

Just like you, we bench race and our features aren’t exempt from the old yardstick comparison. We have favorites, we talk smack to each other, and on rare occasions, we actually agree. So when we had to pick a short list of our favorites and say why we liked ’em or not, it’s no wonder the opinions varied almost as widely as the types of Jeeps we feature. Check it out as Cappa (for the last time), Hazel, and Trasborg all cast their votes for the top Jp magazine Jeeps of 2011.

Gladiator
Cappa: The wheelbase is too long to actually take wheeling, but with the diesel engine it would make a sweet light-duty tow rig.
Trasborg: Don’t get me wrong; I love that thing. I have since I saw it the first time in person. However, I hate that it keeps popping up whenever anyone hints about a Jeep truck coming down the pipeline. If Jeep does make a truck it won’t have all that retro-cool stuff going on, so this is just a tease.
Hazel: Man, it’s just pretty to look at. I mean, I really appreciate the lines—especially where they hung the spare tire. Add some steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps and a few other things to up the utility vibe and quash the show-pony factor and I’m in love. I’d leave it on small tires and low to the ground. It needs a PTO and a rear-mounted auger attachment, too.

Porkchop
Cappa:It was a blast to drive. I loved how it just skipped over the dunes compared to some of the other heavier Jeeps.
Trasborg: I disagree. It’s a great execution of a cool idea, but not one of my faves.
Hazel: Trasborg needs to get out of Jersey more. Not every Jeep needs disco LED strobe lighting to be cool. Go hang with The Situation in his double-dub H2 and leave the real fun Jeeps like Pork Chop to those of us who appreciate ’em!

Something Blue
Cappa: It’s just a clean Jeepster. Of course, I would end up thrashing it.
Hazel: It’s too pretty to wheel…but I would anyway.
Trasborg: Agree, both on being a favorite and that you guys would wheel (read: thrash) it.

Atypical Rod
Cappa: It’s just way cooler than my flatrod ever was.
Trasborg: Disagree! Well, no, I do agree it is cooler than your flatrod. But it’s like comparing apples and orangutans. I also think it is a cool Jeep, but not one I’d ever want for myself. It’s just not my style.
Hazel: I would never like something like this because there are no self-cooling cupholders or working air conditioning. The exhaust was loud and unpleasant and there were sharp metal things you could hurt yourself on that should be ground smooth or at least given an OSHA-approved layer of protective padding. Oh, wait—I mean the exact opposite of all that.

The Tempo
Cappa: I miss having a big, dumb Jeep that I could mindlessly bash over really nasty trails.
Trasborg: Agreed. My first experience wheeling TDS was in Cappa’s Rockwell-axled, 49-inch IROK-shod J2000, and it was just so cool how it seemed to go anywhere and even cooler that Cappa just didn’t care where he was piloting it. The Tempo is the same kind of thing.
Hazel: He calls it a CJ-5, but it’s got CJ-7-sized door openings, a YJ grille, and Kaiser axles. Aside from the schitzo-Sybill complex, I’ve never owned a Rockwell-axled rig, but this one kinda makes me want to.

Mailorder GI
Cappa: I hope that when I turn 50 (or hey, how about 45), someone will simply give me a restored MB or GPW. I ain’t picky; it doesn’t even have to be built with true NOS parts.
Trasborg: I know this is an awesome Jeep because I’ve crawled all over it. However, the fact is that under the skin it is less than perfect. And that works for me. I’d love to have a perfectly restored MB or GPW, but then I’d have to keep it in a climate-, humidity-, and dust-controlled environment. I want a Jeep to drive, not to sit around, and this one fits the bill.
Hazel: Mark my words: Some day I will own an MB or GPW Jeep with 100-percent factory-spec components, and I will love every second I spend behind its olive-drab steering wheel.

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