Red, White & Jeep…

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Remember in the olden days, when the Army issued soldiers Jeeps? Well now Chrysler is offering to sell specially-outfitted “Freedom” Jeeps to GIs (and apparently anyone else who wants to spend $30,000, although troops may qualify for a discount of up to $500):

Available in red, white or blue, the new Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition features a military-inspired star decal on the hood and rear quarter panels, along with an “Oscar Mike,” (military jargon for “on the move”) fender badge.

…says Chrysler, now owned by Italian car-maker Fiat (Italy was one of World War II’s key Axis powers, along with Germany and Japan. The trio now makes some of the world’s best autos. Remember when the Big 3 stood for GM, Ford and Chrysler?).

“In the language of the proud serviceman and servicewomen who truly exemplify freedom, being `on the move’ or `on mission’ represents the special status given to those who have served to protect our country,” the Wrangler Freedom website says. “The Freedom Edition’s unique Oscar Mike hard, fender badge – we like to think of it as a badge of courage.” (Save for decals and decoration, the Jeep is apparently stock.)

Don’t fret if you think Detroit (actually Auburn Hills, the Pontiac suburb that is home to Chrysler HQs) might be taking troops for a ride: “Jeep will donate $250 from each Wrangler Freedom Edition it sells to charities that benefit U.S. military members,” Chrysler says.


These aren't your grandfather's jeeps. At a jeep rally recently in the west, one impromptu event I was an observer to was a steep hill-climb. Very steep. The jeeps would climb the hill until something broke - and then there were welders and repairmen readily available at a price. No jeep made it to the top of the hill without something breaking, but then a Toyota interloper did make it easily at a good speed. Being a Toyota pickup guy I said (inadvisably): Toyotas Rule. A guy near me said: It has been modified. Then, of course, I got out while I could.

Okay, jeeps are still good vehicles for normal off-road use, but one auto blog claims that they have become yuppie fodder, fashionable gifts to graduating college students for example who will never leave the pavement, and this has driven up the price. This new model at $30K won't help.

I'm waiting to see the new Jeep pickup which is supposedly coming soon, perhaps badged as a Gladiator. Yuppies (is that term still used?) won't want it.


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