A Work In Progress
By Preston Young
Getting your first car is a fun, exciting yet stressful process if, on your 16th birthday there isn’t one with a bow on it waiting in your driveway. For me, that wasn’t the case. However, I was given the autonomy to choose whatever I wanted within a certain price range. Growing up, our family had a jeep, which was always a lot of fun in the summers with the top and doors off. My dad had recommended me getting an older jeep for my first car, but they were pretty expensive, and my 16-year-old mind thought getting a newer car for the same price as an older jeep would be the better option.
Well, my first car was a 2003 Honda Accord and while it did it’s job of getting me from home to school to work to practices, I realized about a year later that I wanted a jeep. I started researching, looking at jeeps for sale, and reading forums about other people’s experiences with jeeps. (The amount of information you can find online is scary) At this point, I had been working a part time job for quite a while and was able to save up some money, so I went out and bought a 1999 Jeep Wrangler.
The jeep didn’t need any work done to it, but I wanted to upgrade a few things. Owning an older jeep exposed me to a lot of mechanic work that I wouldn’t have gotten without it. It also gave my father and I a great opportunity to learn something new, together. We spent countless hours together taking things apart, buying new parts, and really looking at the inner workings of an engine and how it operates all while having a vehicle that is great in both the winter and summer!
The jeep became a passion of mine, everyday I was outside seeing what I could tinker with. The jeep parts were piling in, and I am proud to say, 95% of the work that has been done to it, I did myself. Granted, I probably spent way too much time on all of it considering I had little to no idea what I was doing but it got done and I had fun doing it! One summer, I even repainted the exterior of it myself. I started with taking every piece off, sanding it down and taping/preparing for paint day. When I got it, it was this red/maroon color that I was not a fan of and painting it myself gave me the opportunity to choose any color I wanted so I went with a standard grey.
Today, the jeep is used simply for fun. Rachel and Mason look forward to our summer jeep rides with the top and doors off. I look forward to snowy days and weekends like the photo above, getting dirty! You also realize that it’s a never-ending project, there is always something breaking or just something that needs an adjustment or even an upgrade but that’s the beauty of having a “fun” car.
My experience with my jeep goes further than just being a “fun” car. It goes to show that there may be something out there that can spark an unknown interest along with showing that if you take the time to really learn something, it can happen and with many failures, you can get to the finish line.