Bob Cooke – contributor
Don’t laugh. Not yet, anyway, wait until the next issue. All I’ll say for the moment is that I wasn’t sure whether the Cherokee would survive the coming weeks, so when the sun burst out unexpectedly on the Bank Holiday weekend, I headed straight to the Slindon off-road site near Arundel to give the old Jeep what could well have been its last bit of mud-plugging action. Just for a moment, thinking that I might as well let the Cherokee go out in style, I considered taking on the legendary bomb hole. Fortunately I came to my senses and decided that I didn’t want to wreck the Cherokee quite yet, not least because I still needed to drive it home afterwards.
My problem is that I tend to get too attached to my cars. Considering that the Cherokee is 17 years old and little more than an old banger, it’s really the sort of car I should be prepared to trash in an exciting flurry of airborne and mud-slinging off-road action. The fact that it’s still in bog-standard condition with rather saggy back springs, dodgy-looking exhaust and no underbody protection does mean it wouldn’t take long to wreck it, which might take the fun out of such an odd activity, but I have to admit that the main reason I tend to take it easy with the old truck is that I like it too much as an everyday car; when it’s been through a car wash it still looks quite elegant, the engine still runs sweetly, the transmission doesn’t clonk too much and the carrying capacity with the rear seat folded is usefully enormous. However, since I didn’t want any of the other off-roaders blasting their way joyously around the site to think that I’m a complete wuss, I did tackle a couple of quite daunting obstacles.
Make: Jeep Cherokee
Model: 4.0 Limited
Recent costs: Awaits the ‘big one’ when it goes for MOT!
Arrived: July 2011
You can read more about this Jeep in the November 2012 issue of 4×4 Magazine – available here