AWESOME CUSTOM PAINT, TENZO BUCKET SEATS, STRONG 4.2L, CENTERLINE WHEELS
Over the years, Jeep has managed to upgrade the venerable Wrangler's comfort levels without adversely affecting its rugged off-road personality. When the YJ hit the streets, round headlights were back and it was the most civilized Jeep yet. This 1997 Wrangler SE adds a spectacular custom paint job, some upgraded hardware, and a freshened interior designed to go into the rough stuff, all at a very attractive price.
Look at the detail on that paint job. I don't care if you like it or not, but you definitely have to respect the time and effort that went into it, and it probably carried a price tag bigger than the entire Jeep does today. Fortunately, they laid all that work down on top of a very straight body with good, flat surfaces to work with, which is how Jeeps have looked for decades. Check out some of the more subtle effects, including the "drips" under the parking lamps and Jeep logos on the sides, the flames that seem to be shooting out wherever the outer "skin" has been ripped, and the intricate shadows that follow the shredded paint. There's an aftermarket cowl-induction hood that looks good, although it's not immediately apparent with the custom paint on top of it, and big tubular chrome bumpers look good and provide adequate protection for off-road fun.
The no-nonsense interior got a big upgrade in the form of Tenzo bucket seats and RJS harnesses to keep you in place during the truly rough stuff. There's more custom stuff in the form of fabricated fiberglass door panels with integral speakers, a center console, and an industrial look that comes from simply bolting on the dress-up pieces to the dash and glove box lid. Factory gauges and an airbag steering wheel are probably best left stock, although the factory radio has been replaced by an AM/FM/CD head unit that sounds great. A/C, power steering and power brakes are nice features in any car, but especially so in one that can go to some pretty remote places, and even with the stock back seat in place, there's plenty of cargo space for your gear. A factory soft top with side curtains actually seals up pretty well (after 60 years of progress, it should!) and remains in good shape, even though you'll only use it for emergencies.
Jeep's rugged and reliable 4.2-liter inline-six provides plenty of low-end grunt to slog through the rough stuff without complaint. A part of the Jeep lineup for years, it provides the kind of indestructible performance that's critical for off-roading and it's surprisingly energetic on the road, too. The clean engine bay looks as though it has never seen truly dirty or muddy conditions and there's plenty of evidence of conscientious maintenance, starting with how well it runs. Backed by a 5-speed transmission and 2-speed transfer case, it'll happily slog along at 2 MPH all day and still pulls down decent fuel economy at 65 MPH. The heavy-duty suspension lift adds much-needed ground clearance, but again, a look underneath proves that this is a really clean Jeep. 15-inch Centerline aluminum wheels with giant 33x12.5-15 off-road radials complete the custom-yet-functional look.
If you want attention, this Jeep delivers. If you seek off-road fun, this Jeep is ready. If you're just looking for affordable fun, there aren't many better choices than this Wrangler. All you have to do is call!
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player
- Cloth Interior
- Four Wheel Drive
- Front Disc Brakes
- Manual Convertible Top
- Numbers Matching
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- Tilt Wheel
- Owner's Manual
- Front Brakes
- Power Disc
- Rear Brakes
- Power Drum
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