Why did you buy your 392 Wrangler?

In high school, I had a buddy in a neighboring town who drove an old CJ-7 his dad gave him in the summers. It had no top, and was not that reliable, but we'd cruise on warm summer evenings, run errands and grab something to eat in it all summer long.

Once, he met a girl from Pennsylvania somehow, who invited him to come visit. He didn't want to go that distance alone, and since I was handy at fixing the Jeep when it had issues, he asked me to go along. We lived in Indiana, and the destination was just into western Pennsylvania, so we basically needed to travers the entirety of the state of Ohio... in a clapped out CJ with no doors or top or even seatbelts.

It was EPIC.

Rolling along, blasting 80's big hair rock (this was the summer of 1988) we had a blast.

We met up with the girl, stayed a night in the family's basement, had breakfast, spent the day talking and joking, then headed back in the late afternoon.

On I-80, somewhere outside of Cleveland, we got caught in a deluge.... it dumped and poured rain. The other motorist on the interstate thought it hilarious. And it was. Two teenage guys with the longest mullets you've ever seen, getting drenched while driving down the interstate in a stupid Jeep with no top or doors. We embraced it and just laughed the whole way.

Then it got dark.... and cold... and our long hair was all tangled and we were completely covered in road grime. Those last couple of hours were brutal.

but... that's how it started for me. Later, I had a roommate whose parents had an old CJ sitting in the barn. They sold it to me for $500. Like my buddy's old rig, it had neither doors or a top, but I got it running, and drove it around the farm and fields all summer. The seats were in bad shape, so I found some out of an old luxury sedan that had armrests I the middle between the driver and passenger. I installed them in the Jeep on the opposite sides, so the it was like a 50/50 bench seat, with a fold down armrest in the door opening. When winter closed in, and I needed a reliable and warm way to get to work at the local boat factory, I sold it for $2500.

I found a knack for buying an old beater, and fixing it up, then turning a tidy profit. For a while, I went through several a year. I favored Jeeps, Broncos, Blazers, Land Cruisers.. anything offroad, mostly because that's what I liked. I've owned, driven, and worked on a lot of Jeeps over the years. My 20a, now makes Jeep number 28 for me, and it's my second 392.

The first 392 (2021 non-XR) I bought on a whim. My wife's grocery getter ate the camshaft, and we were waiting on parts for a while. She was forced to drive my JKUR with its 4.5 MC lift, supercharger, manual transmission et al. She confessed to me that she hated driving it, and I admitted that it was too much of a trail rig to be any fun to drive on the road.

I proposed that I could sell it, and purchase a nice used diesel Gladiator, which we could keep pretty stock, and use around the homestead and occasionally hit a trail with if we wanted.

Then I found it. I knew Jeep was making the 392, but I never actually saw one, or knew anyone who had one. But there it was, sitting on a local Toyota lot, where, I knew the sales guy. I called him and arranged to meet just before they closed that night.

One drive, and I knew I wanted it.... but.... since I sold the idea to my wife that it could be something she could drive if needed, I thought I should get her opinion. We agreed that it was nice (and expensive albeit, used). but she protested that the engine was too loud for her tastes..... the new found the hush button, and it was on like Donkey Kong. After a rushed flurry of paperwork, I brought it home.

Some weeks later, I told my wife that, if they made the 392 for 2024, I would like to upgrade to a new one as I was sure it would be the last year of production.

I've worked my entire life in IT, mostly for some evil Fortune 50 companies, long hours of making others millions of dollars. She indicated that I deserved to have that "perfect Jeep" after my lifelong efforts.

Then they announced the 20th Anniversary Edition. And I decided I'd rather have that than the "last year" of the 392. I was sitting at the smallest local dealer (probably the lowest volume dealer in the country), when the order book opened.

Before it was even built, the company I'd worked for, and made tens of millions of dollars for, announced a resource action. I was being replaced with a team of offshore resources that I literally trained.

My last day with IBM was May 31, 2023. I took delivery of my 20a on June 1st, the very next day. Life is weird sometimes.
Why? I wanted a V/8 Wrangler and I could, that is until the EPA says you can no longer buy or drive it. I have owned several CJ's new with the 304 V/8 and loved the sound.
 
In high school, I had a buddy in a neighboring town who drove an old CJ-7 his dad gave him in the summers. It had no top, and was not that reliable, but we'd cruise on warm summer evenings, run errands and grab something to eat in it all summer long.

Once, he met a girl from Pennsylvania somehow, who invited him to come visit. He didn't want to go that distance alone, and since I was handy at fixing the Jeep when it had issues, he asked me to go along. We lived in Indiana, and the destination was just into western Pennsylvania, so we basically needed to travers the entirety of the state of Ohio... in a clapped out CJ with no doors or top or even seatbelts.

It was EPIC.

Rolling along, blasting 80's big hair rock (this was the summer of 1988) we had a blast.

We met up with the girl, stayed a night in the family's basement, had breakfast, spent the day talking and joking, then headed back in the late afternoon.

On I-80, somewhere outside of Cleveland, we got caught in a deluge.... it dumped and poured rain. The other motorist on the interstate thought it hilarious. And it was. Two teenage guys with the longest mullets you've ever seen, getting drenched while driving down the interstate in a stupid Jeep with no top or doors. We embraced it and just laughed the whole way.

Then it got dark.... and cold... and our long hair was all tangled and we were completely covered in road grime. Those last couple of hours were brutal.

but... that's how it started for me. Later, I had a roommate whose parents had an old CJ sitting in the barn. They sold it to me for $500. Like my buddy's old rig, it had neither doors or a top, but I got it running, and drove it around the farm and fields all summer. The seats were in bad shape, so I found some out of an old luxury sedan that had armrests I the middle between the driver and passenger. I installed them in the Jeep on the opposite sides, so the it was like a 50/50 bench seat, with a fold down armrest in the door opening. When winter closed in, and I needed a reliable and warm way to get to work at the local boat factory, I sold it for $2500.

I found a knack for buying an old beater, and fixing it up, then turning a tidy profit. For a while, I went through several a year. I favored Jeeps, Broncos, Blazers, Land Cruisers.. anything offroad, mostly because that's what I liked. I've owned, driven, and worked on a lot of Jeeps over the years. My 20a, now makes Jeep number 28 for me, and it's my second 392.

The first 392 (2021 non-XR) I bought on a whim. My wife's grocery getter ate the camshaft, and we were waiting on parts for a while. She was forced to drive my JKUR with its 4.5 MC lift, supercharger, manual transmission et al. She confessed to me that she hated driving it, and I admitted that it was too much of a trail rig to be any fun to drive on the road.

I proposed that I could sell it, and purchase a nice used diesel Gladiator, which we could keep pretty stock, and use around the homestead and occasionally hit a trail with if we wanted.

Then I found it. I knew Jeep was making the 392, but I never actually saw one, or knew anyone who had one. But there it was, sitting on a local Toyota lot, where, I knew the sales guy. I called him and arranged to meet just before they closed that night.

One drive, and I knew I wanted it.... but.... since I sold the idea to my wife that it could be something she could drive if needed, I thought I should get her opinion. We agreed that it was nice (and expensive albeit, used). but she protested that the engine was too loud for her tastes..... the new found the hush button, and it was on like Donkey Kong. After a rushed flurry of paperwork, I brought it home.

Some weeks later, I told my wife that, if they made the 392 for 2024, I would like to upgrade to a new one as I was sure it would be the last year of production.

I've worked my entire life in IT, mostly for some evil Fortune 50 companies, long hours of making others millions of dollars. She indicated that I deserved to have that "perfect Jeep" after my lifelong efforts.

Then they announced the 20th Anniversary Edition. And I decided I'd rather have that than the "last year" of the 392. I was sitting at the smallest local dealer (probably the lowest volume dealer in the country), when the order book opened.

Before it was even built, the company I'd worked for, and made tens of millions of dollars for, announced a resource action. I was being replaced with a team of offshore resources that I literally trained.

My last day with IBM was May 31, 2023. I took delivery of my 20a on June 1st, the very next day. Life is weird sometimes.
worst part of getting stuck in the hard rain with no top or doors is the water that gets on the INSIDE of the windshield. Almost need wipers inside too.
 
worst part of getting stuck in the hard rain with no top or doors is the water that gets on the INSIDE of the windshield. Almost need wipers inside too.
Very few Jeepers ever find this out, and that's a shame. It makes you a better Jeeper.
 
Very few Jeepers ever find this out, and that's a shame. It makes you a better Jeeper.
Best one was second or third date with an ex girlfriend. She always had perfect hair, makeup etc. No top, no doors, middle of nowhere, no place to duck and hide. We had a great time!
 
Best one was second or third date with an ex girlfriend. She always had perfect hair, makeup etc. No top, no doors, middle of nowhere, no place to duck and hide. We had a great time!
Car washes were always the best place to hide from a storm. Nobody washes their car in the rain.
 
We were wheeling my TRX and tearing it up. My wife and I decided to sell her Audi and get a 2024 Rubicon X on 35s so we could wheel in it. Then, once she got it she didn't like me wheeling it hard or without her with me. A few months later a 392 ad popped up and I texted the dealership and said if we could negotiate a certain trade in for the TRX and purchase price of the 392 via text, I would come and get it. It all worked out better than I predicted.
 
Car washes were always the best place to hide from a storm. Nobody washes their car in the rain.
We were absolutely in the sticks. I have used closed banks drive through a few times but none for miles in each direction.
 
I've always owned a Jeep (since 1974), and I've always owned a truck (since 1977), and I've spent most of my life following offroad pursuits. Whether it was desert racing, rock crawling, being a trail leader at the Easter Jeep Safari for a decade, competing in Four Wheeler Magazine' Top Truck Challenge, or just exploring the back country, that is what I chose to do. When Mopar released the TRX and 392 at about the same time I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted. I took a year going back and forth between which one I wanted, but eventually solved the dilema. I bought one of each.
 
I bought my first Jeep in 2022 because I wanted to do trails. It was a Sahara and we (my son and I) did a bunch of modifications to prepare it for a trip out west. We spent part of that June in CO, UT and AZ. Our first time offroad was Engineer Pass and we were nervous about everything. By the time we did all the trails in the Ouray area, the nervousness was gone. The trails in Moab brought it back. We went down to Phoenix to visit some friends who live there doing trails on the way.

The feeling we had of accomplishment... going from worried about certain small obstacles (well, small to us now) to being confident doing even the harder things ... the excitement of that feeling lasts.

In 2023 we went SE (IN, KY, TN, AL, MS, AR, etc) and it was a lot of fun, but nowhere near the views we experienced out west. We decided this year we would go back out west, but there were some trails in Moab we just couldn't do without lockers added (I couldnt get up one of the required obstacles on Metal Masher and there were no winch points I could find).

This winter, looking at the choices we had to resolve this problem, we decided to upgrade to a Rubicon. Looking at the choices for Rubicons, we decided to just go all out and get the one that had it all. I bought it at the end of January and went to a "winter ride" here in WI at one of the private trails and got her dirty the next week.

We're in the process of planning out a two week trip starting mid-July to Montana, then down through Wyoming to Utah then Colorado and hitting the ORV parks in Kansas and Missouri on the way back.

In short, I bought our 392 to feed the hunger for adventure.
 
@byhumba Great thread! I enjoyed reading all the stories.
I have enjoyed the stories as well @Turboencabulator. Thank you all for sharing. It's fascinating to see how many of us are car enthusiasts, and have this 392 in our garages because of the love we have for vehicles with a soul.

Your story, @guruman brought a beautiful memory back...

I had just bought my first Wrangler (a used 1994 YJ). I took the top and doors off and since I had never been to Yosemite, one long weekend I decided I would take my toptless, doorless, new to me Wrangler there. This was at the end of spring of 1998. I had only seen pictures of Yosemite and YouTube did not yet exist. I thought it would be just as sunny as SoCal. Ha.

I gathered my modest/beginner camping gear and off I went. This was my biggest solo trip at the time. I had only camped at local campsites before this. I took the Central Valley route there. The farmlands impressed me. I didn't know what to expect at my destination, so I did not prepare well. Yosemite amazed me. The views were breathtaking, the environment otherworldly, the nights cold, and the sudden rains, freezing. But, what I remember most is the ride back home.

I also had long hair. I was 22 and in the best shape of my life. I decided to take the 395 hwy back home since I had never taken that road before. This was a moment in which the stars felt aligned for me. The ambient temp was a perfect 75. A feeling of euphoria filled me. I pulled over, changed my clothes from warm clothing to just my shorts, and continued driving, now shirtless. Girls in other cars waving hi at me. Other Jeepers giving me the Jeep Wave. I had a shitty job, owned nothing but my clothes and my camping gear. The Jeep was not yet mine as the bank owned it, and i was making payments on it. This moment made me feel like a king. I loved it.

I was cold at Yosemite, rained on multiple times, hungry at times, exhausted to the core, but that ride back...that ride back shirtless, topless, doorless, girls waving a me hi, is what would make me do it a thousand times again.
 
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I've been in love with AEV Wranglers since I spotted my first JK. I wanted one with a rag top, but didn't like the look or hassle of putting it up and down, plus I've always wanted an American muscle car...got it all in one package.

My wife was hooked the first time she heard one at the San Diego auto show while watching the 392 take people around the obstacle course. Her: "Why does that one sound so cool?" Me: it's a 392 V8....Her: "I want it now!" :ROFLMAO:
 
A few buddies and I take an annual trip for about two weeks. Last April we planned a route down into Oregon towards Tillamook and had plans to explore the area that we could safely get to. Snow levels were surprisingly low. At the time, I owned a 1986 Ford F150 that was formerly my grand fathers. He bought the truck in 1987, second owner. I was the third. The truck was in rough shape and needed a new engine. I had a 351w crate motor, the original, put in it and went with a Holley Sniper EFI system (mistake). This truck was going to be my dedicated daily and camper. The amount of issues that plagued me with the dual tank setup and the Holley Sniper system were too much to deal with.

The truck found itself in the shop for way too long as we approached our departure date for the trip. Rather than cancel the trip and disappoint my fiancée who was invited for the first time and excitedly looking forward to it, I started looking for a replacement vehicle. I was looking on the Turo app. I started searching for Wranglers, 4Runners, Tacoma's, FJs, anything really that I could use. Every vehicle I found that was doable had VERY strict instructions "NO OFFROADING". This was very frustrating given the nature of these vehicles. My confidence that I'd find a suitable rig was dwindling. That was until I stumbled upon a vehicle titled HEMI Wrangler. Being a lover of displacement, I didn't hesitate to explore it. I contacted the owner asking if I could take it off road and he replied immediately with "Of course! And take photos and share them with us."

To wrap up this story, that trip is what started my desire to own one myself. I'm a sucker for German cars and own an '05 Audi Avant myself. I always wanted (still do) an RS6 Avant the moment they announced them so that was my planned gift for myself. It wasn't until this 392 crept into my heart that I was conflicted. Since my truck plans were falling through and I still wanted an off-roader and something fast and furious, the answer was clear to me. Why not have a mix of the two? So this year I made it happen and ordered Fiona. Perhaps an RS6 will find its way into the garage someday. For now though, the 392 is all I need.
 
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I bought my 392 because it is a great do-it-all vehicle for my use case. Daily driver. 30k miles in 2 years.

Modern Retro looks: I've always loved Jeeps. I think the JL looks great. It has a ton of character instead of being the bland SUV crossover like most vehicles nowadays. Jeeps are one of the few vehicles that don't age. Much like a Porsche, the design is iconic and even the older ones look good.

XR Package: I like the look of the 35s, etc. I never bought a Jeep as they didn't come that way and I didn't feel like doing all the mods piecemeal. I wanted it from the factory with a warranty and done right instead with duct tape and spit like many aftermarket jeeps.

The V8: Self explanatory. When you floor it and the front lifts and that roar with the sketchy steering. What is not to love? Just so dumb and unexpected in this Jeep that I had to have it.

Four Doors: I can haul my family around easily.

Semi-Lux: The Jeep is just nice enough that it feels luxurious, but not so nice that I get upset with my kids when they leave Happy Meals and crayons all over the backseat. I love the heated seats/steering wheel and ACC. However, it doesn't have all the other useless tech doo dads. Good enough to be modern but not so modern that it will have all the gremlins.

I don't off road mine other than an occasional gravel road. Mine is more of an urban bruiser.

Hoping I will have mine at least 10 years if not longer. It just rings all my bells.

I wasn't even in the market for a Jeep until I saw the 392 announced. It just spoke to me. Saw Granger was doing 6k under MSRP on the XR package when it was announced, so pre-ordered it. Had to wait about 7 mos to get it but it was worth it.

Best dumb decision I've ever made.
 
"Oregon towards Tillamook"

My old stomping ground 🤠
We spent a week in a cabin at Fort Stevens State Park years ago. I'd love to go back and spend a few more weeks kicking around that coast. Lunch at Mo's Seafood and Chowder in Cannon Beach still comes up in conversation now and again.

I always like to joke about how I was upset that Cape Disappointment .....wasn't.
 
We spent a week in a cabin at Fort Stevens State Park years ago. I'd love to go back and spend a few more weeks kicking around that coast. Lunch at Mo's Seafood and Chowder in Cannon Beach still comes up in conversation now and again.

I always like to joke about how I was upset that Cape Disappointment .....wasn't.
Big fan of the Driftwood Restaurant. It's a favorite spot. Bills Tavern is a good spot too.
 
Two reasons.
1. I think it’s the perfect car.
2. To be able to pass the tourists on mountain roads, or any roads for that matter.
 
Two reasons.
1. I think it’s the perfect car.
2. To be able to pass the tourists on mountain roads, or any roads for that matter.
#2 is one of my favorites...every passing zone they get to hear all 8 cylinders screaming in their face. 🤠
 
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