True Survivor Little Red Jeep
by Brian McLaws
Our little red 97 TJ Survivor
I have wanted a Jeep since riding in my HS friends CJ for hours on end growing up.
I was browsing a local online classifieds and stumbled across a 1997 TJ 2.5L Standard shift, soft top with only 43,000 on the odometer. The ad was terrible which worked in my favor.
I happened to be the second to call on it so with $300 in hand the wife and I set out to see it. We got there minutes after the first person had just left. I could not believe what I was looking at!
It was in near perfect condition. This owner had it for all but the first couple of years. Kept it in the garage in the winter and used it as a cabin vehicle in the summer. Mostly trail riding no heavy rock crawling.
Everything but wheels and a three inch lift were stock. No rust or leaks anywhere. Upholstery was perfect. Even the stereo was stock. Asking price $7,000. I don't know if that is a fantastic deal or not but I have a saved search on my phone for that classified app and every new listing for a Wrangler TJ in the last 6 months under $10k hasn't come close to being as good of a deal.
Problem was we were not the first ones there. I asked the seller if the first person wanted it. He said she liked it a lot but needed to talk to her husband. That's when I pulled out the $300 and said we will take it for your asking price. He said "done".
We picked it up the next day after a trip to the bank. We were so happy. I changed the oil and put some seat covers on. We have an access road to the mountains a few houses down and although it's only the 2.5L it goes like a mountain goat.
We couldn't be happier and plan on keeping this little survivor into our old age and maybe get a dog to go with it some day. I want to give it a few upgrades like some Weather Tech floor mats and a new between the seat console but I like the stock look so not planning to change it too much.
Maybe some LED head and tail lights and a winch for the bumper. :)Editor's Comment: Nice find Brian.