Trail Head: To Each Their Own
It's true: I love all Jeeps. Even the ones I personally find unappealing. I just have to step back and remember that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and what I enjoy looking at doesn't always reflect what the rest of the Jeeping world likes. We all have our own predilections for certain styles, as well as for what any particular Jeep is used for. Some Jeepers want to take a flattie and make it a rockcrawler, while others are repulsed by the abomination of ruining a vintage Jeep. In fact, both schools of thought hold merit, and it isn't anyone's place to be the one calling foul on another Jeeper. I've done plenty of mods and restos in my lifetime, and I bet I'll screw up a few more Jeeps before I'm finally done. That's what makes it all so special to be part of the Jeep community.
When I got my first jeep, it had been beaten and butchered by a string of previous owners that knew little, and cared even less, about the proper care and feeding of a jeep. At the tender age of 15, I didn't have much of a clue either, but I figured it out without the help of social media (although the public library was a great help) and learned as I went along. I still cringe when I think about some of the stuff I did, like drilling random holes and then welding them shut, but many a mod was made to ensure the Jeep kept running and to personalize it to my own tastes. Just like now, what my tastes in Jeeping were at the time weren't the same as others. I was quite proud of the woodgrained home-stereo speakers ratchet-strapped to the rollbar on my WWII jeep. Did I mention that I had just painted it Pasture Green with a brush? Stylin'.
Remember that just because a Wrangler JK mall-crawler build isn't capable of crossing the Rubicon—that doesn't mean it's not a Jeep. If you like grumper bumpers and angry bird grilles on a Jeep, that's just fine with us. It's not something I'd personally want to be driving, but it sure beats the heck out a boring car that resembles a melted bar of soap. Most Jeepers can all agree that Jeeps rule and rock our world, regardless of style or purpose. What's good for the sport, hobby, and lifestyle is that we all recognize what a special brand Jeep is—and how we all interpret it in many different variations on a theme. After all, that's just like people!