- The ex Jeep

We decided that the Scooby was starting to show it's age - the clearcoat was gone from the bonnet, the brakes occasionally juddered, the check engine light kept coming on for no apparent reason and the electrics were starting to play up. So, we dumped it on a dealer and got a Jeep Wrangler.

We'd previously test driven a TJ, and found it disappointing, but the newer JK is much better on the road - we're not aiming to use it for mud plugging, rather just pulling hang gliders up hills - the Subaru never had the approach angles to get up some of the hills.

We drove it home and took the top down. I had to scrub the tyre black stuff off, as every time I brushed past it, it'd leave a mark on my clothes. Why do they do this?

We installed tube bumpers, originally because we wanted a Body Armor roof rack, but eventually because they look cool, and are a lot stronger than the plastic bubbles that are the stock bumpers. The Body Armor roof rack won't fit with tube bumpers, you need to go to rock crawlers.

Oh, and the spare tyre cover, to hopefully help protect the spare from the sun here. It looks girly, but it's Vic's Jeep, after all.

Next up was a gas cap cover (from Jeep, as it fits nicely) and side step covers - climbing out of the rear that's where you'd put your foot, and I figured we'd do something about that before it got all scraped up.

We added a light bar to bolt the ladder to, when we take the hang glider out. It bolts up a lot more firmly than the roof rack we'd looked at, and is only intended for a few lights :o) I might sort out some sort of removable lights on there at some point in the future. At the same time we took off the plastic bubble side steps and installed some steel ones. Hopefully they'll protect the body if we end up clumping around too far off road.

We've got a Thule "goal post" adapter to hold the glider. Of course, the spare wheel gets in the way, so we're using an extension to get it back far enough. There's a fair amount of slop in the system, and I'm hoping to fix that by getting Vince to weld a nut into the extension, along with adding a bracket I've built to the front to hold the ladder up.

After almost 9 years, we decided it was time to get something a little more grown up, so we sold the overgrown Tonka toy to a couple for their daughter. They came over "to collect some car parts" to surprise her with is, and when she said she liked the Jeep, I gave her the keys - the reaction was priceless :o)