And the Real Winner Is…

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
and the em real em winner is

Is it possible for a Jeep Cherokee with a 60s-technology AMC power to finish in the top fifth of a race on a crazy road course full of off-camber turns and dizzying elevation changes? No, it is not possible. And yet…

Petty Cash Racing somehow finished 14th overall, out of 72 entrants. These Seattle madmen have been running their Jeep for quite a while now, and with each race they find a way to make their big ol’ truck a little faster and a bit more reliable. This morning, it all paid off: Index of Effluency. Congratulations, Petty Cash Racing!

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  • Vermontwalton Vermontwalton on May 16, 2011

    I purchased an XJSE, 5 speed, 4 cyl., 4x4 new in 1994. Rock solid drive train. No surprises. Lasted 11 years and 265,000 miles. Slower than a turtle (I didn't care-did what I needed in NH), never failed, always started from 30 below to whatever. Yes, the fit and finish had a lot to be desired, but it is up to this day it is the best, most reliable vehicle I ever owned since 1969. Let it go to NHPR donation with the original clutch that did NOT slip. At that point it was MAYBE loosing 1/3 quart every 3,000 miles. Anyone who puts these vehicles down have no idea what they are talking about.

  • Carve Carve on May 16, 2011

    I have a '95 that just rolled over 198k yesterday. These are fantastic vehicles. Over the past 11 years, I've averaged about 20 mpg. I don't know why people are saying these are fuel-swillers. Just last summer, I got 24 mpg 2 tanks in a row, going 75 mph with the AC on. I've never gotten less than 16.9. They're pretty tough off-road, and the styling has aged well. Mine's been rear-ended twice with no ill effects. Very simple utiltarian vehicles. There's just not much to break on these. My engine still runs about as strong as it ever did, although has a small oil leak now. Also, I think the handling would surprise a lot of people. The steering could use more feel, but these things corner flat and hard. Most car mags were getting about .84g on the skidpad, and that's on all-season tires. That's sports-car territory...especially considering the competition when these things were new. In all this time, my only unscheduled repairs have been a couple water pumps, a cat, a starter, and some persistant rear-brake issues. I'm still on the original clutch. Practical cars, too. The back is big enough to sleep in, visibility is better than anything I've ever driven (I can put any corner within a couple of inches of where I want it), and it's rock-solid going 80. Fairly light-weight, too. My 6-cyl 4wd is about 3500 lbs.

    • Occam Occam on May 16, 2011

      They were super light, especially the 4x2s. And size-wise, well, this is the SUV that kickstarted the SUV craze... Funny how tiny they started. How many 4 door SUVs were on the market before this? My parents lept at the opportunity to ditch the hideous Buick Century station wagon (Wagon Queen Family Truckster, downsized edition) for the '85. For quite a while, it seemed very unique in the area, until the Explorers and Pathfinders started appearing everywhere... even those weren't all that big. Just for reference, the XJ was a little pip-squeak compared to modern SUVs: 63" tall x 67" wide x 167 inches long. For comparison, a Nissan Versa hatch is 60 inches tall by 67" wide by 169" long. Lower the suspension on an xJ by two inches, and you have a subcompact hatchback.

  • David S. For a single quarter, only ninth best-selling (estimated?) of 2022. Maybe ICE vehicles would sell at a similar rate if the government paid people to buy them too?!
  • Dukeisduke I don't like how they've changed their nameplates and font from the Star Trek-ish LEXUS, to L E X U S, kinda like VW's lettering on the back of the T A O S, or those stick-on letters you can buy at the parts store that people use to their own names on the back of their cars.
  • Dukeisduke So, the screen goes blank for two-tenths of a second, every once in a while - what could go wrong?
  • Dukeisduke "Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?"(Roy in The IT Crowd)
  • Dukeisduke Just Say No To Bugs!