All Things Jeep Blog & Musings

Jean Wnuk

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The Secret of how All Things Jeep’s Go Topless Day began

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Mon, Aug 01, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

A customer recently asked us how All Things Jeep’s Go Topless Day got started. That’s a dirty little secret I never really wanted to give away but feeling nostalgic as 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of this event, I thought I’d share the story. It’s a perfect example of small business bootstrap marketing! If any of you are small business owners, you will nod your head in appreciation.

Back in the early part of 2008, All Things Jeep was still a fledgling company. We were about to turn 5 years old. We had gained enough traction to just recently move into a real warehouse, in a larger office park, and outside vendors were showing up at our door regularly. The guy who wanted to sell us retirement services for our employees, the company who wanted to sell us an alarm system for the warehouse, and the local newspaper that wanted us to advertise were just a few of the people ringing our door bell.

Turns out the woman wanting to sell ad space in the local paper also did some writing for it. And she happen to be working on the Springtime section of the paper, “Happenings around Boston this Spring” which was going to be published the following week. It was April 2008. Did All Things Jeep have a springtime “Happening” for the paper? It did not. A small e-commerce company selling hats and t-shirts to Jeep enthusiasts doesn’t have “happenings”. But if it meant getting a write-up in the local paper for 1000s to see, well then, heck, we were going to have a happening!

The 2nd week of April 2008 we came up with the idea that Jeep owners in New England have the spring ritual of taking the top off their Jeeps and let’s celebrate it as the national holiday it should be! Let’s pick a day and call for a celebration and let’s see if we can get free publicity for the company. Thus, Go Topless Day was born. Once the “Happening” was submitted to the paper, we had no choice but to make it happen, just in case the paper published the event! We called a local farm stand with a big parking lot and asked if we could hold an event there. We got our designer to create a logo for Go Topless Day, and we started talking it up to the local Jeep community.
Go_Topless_Day_Tshirt-2008.jpg
The paper never published our event (I suppose the name had something to do with it), but by then, we had the t-shirts (above) and were marching forward with the event. And to incent people to show up, we said that we were going to cut the top off a Cherokee so it could go topless too!

Thus the opportunity for free publicity became local Go Topless Day. But you know Jeep enthusiasts! But they time the day arrived, it had become the First Annual International Go Topless Day for Jeeps! Our local event occurred in Lancaster, MA and about 80 Jeeps and owners showed up. Through word of mouth, we had Jeep clubs all over the world also participate. We had a photo contest and gave away cool prizes. We had some kick-ass entries! Here’s a 2008 Go Topless Day write-up a blogger did.

Here's one of our all time favorite entries into our Go Topless Day Photo Contest.

jeepers-go-topless-day-2008.jpg


The event that was invented to get our name in a local paper has become a phenomena in the Jeep community and next spring, we celebrate the 10th Annual International Go Topless Day! We are thinking about ideas on how to celebrate a Ten Years of Topless Day! If you have suggestions, post them in the comments section. And remember, when opportunity knocks, go topless!

Tags: AllThingsJeep.com, go topless day 2009, "go topless day", gotoplessday

Jeep Hair. Don't Care.

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

Jeep Girls Driving Wranglers. 

We've all seen long haired Jeep girls driving topless Jeeps. Maybe you've been one. Maybe you are one today. And if so, you know the struggle us Jeep girls face. There's even a contigent of long-haired Jeep guys with the same struggle. Yup, you know it. Jeep Hair. 

A few of the All Things Jeep girls decided to make a little video about this problem to entertain ourselves. Now we are posting it for you. Enjoy. 

All Things Jeep brings you: 

 

 

 

jeep-hair-don-t-care-black-tank-top.gif

 If you need to own one of these t-shirts, check them all out here: Jeep Hair Don't Care Tee-Shirts

And yes, hats are coming. 

Tags: jeep girls tees, Jeep Girls, jeep clothes, Jeep Hair Don't Care

Ah crap, I thought I wouldn't cry about Jeeps again.

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 03:56 PM

When I sold All Things Jeep back in 2010 after my husband and co-founder of the business passed away, it never occurred to me that I’d be back sitting in a chair in the ATJ office working in the business again. Ok, to tell you the truth, it did occur to me that it might happen. But when the new owner moved the core portion of the business out to the west coast, I dropped that thought and pondered my next career move outside of the Jeep world.

Since then, I’ve worked a bit, raised teens, and sold most of our Jeeps and become more “practical” in my car choice. (Insert frown face here.)  I’m embarrassed to say that one day I sold my 2007 4 door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and purchased a used Honda CRV (that didn’t have a “death wobble”) for my kids to drive. (My coolness factor plummeted at least 50% that day.) And during this time I've also stayed in touch with the folks at ATJ.

A few months ago I started hearing the rumblings of some potential news that the ATJ warehouse might be moving back to the east coast. Turns out the rumors are true. It’s exciting to grow a small business from scratch and watch it blossom into a thriving business. It’s like a baby. In fact, All Things Jeep WAS our other baby. It started out helpless and needing all of our energy. We grew it out of diapers, through the toddler years (we launched Go Topless Day ™ then,) and into its adolescent years. Through the passion and dedication of the ATJ team, the new (and current) owner, and the enthusiasm of our amazing customers, I think of All Things Jeep as a full fledged successful “grown-up” business now. It’s been heartwarming to see. I know that my husband, Norman, would be so incredibly proud of what we created and how the customers and employees alike have kept it going. The business is exactly what he wanted it to be, and I wish he was here to see it. (Actually, if he was, he’d still be running it so he’d be here every day.)

Well, the title of this blog post is “Ah crap, I thought I wouldn’t cry about Jeeps again” and here’s why I said that. Recently, I was asked if I’d be interested in coming back to ATJ part time to help out with a few things. I said “yes”. And I thought about what it would be like to walk back into an office just miles away from my home, where Norman and I started the business 13 years ago. I knew it was going to be sentimental. It was like a child that had grown up and gone off on their own, coming home. But, I’ve been a bit removed from ATJ over the last few years, and I didn’t think it would feel as personal as it once would have. I thought I wouldn’t cry or anything, coming back “home”. But I was wrong. I walked into All Things Jeep again, and my eyes welled up with tears. There are lots of new faces here. And LOTS of new products. And lots of space. But as I walk through the warehouse, I see some of the same products we launched with 13 years ago (the Jeep cookie cutters, the Built In Run It Break It Fix It Repeat T-shirts, the Life is Good Native Jeep Hat). My heart got all warm and gooey. Yes, this is a sentimental post. However, our customers were my friends and my family. The Jeep community is close-knit and connected. All Things Jeep has always been more than just a company, it’s been a way for Jeep fans to stay connected with their community, to keep the Jeep passion alive. So I cried some sentimental tears. And now I’ll get to work! 

 

 

 

(The first day I walked into the warehouse. Items were just being loaded onto the shelves. Want to see photos of what it looks like now?) 

054.jpg

Tags: ATJ, AllThingsJeep.com, Jeep Warehouse, Crying about Jeeps

Five Jeep Gifts That Will Fit in a Christmas Stocking

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Mon, Dec 05, 2011 @ 07:46 PM

We have a tradition at our house that no presents can be opened on Christmas morning until everyone is awake and downstairs. This annoys the heck out of the little kids because us parents don't want to get up as early as they do. Especially after a crazy holiday season in retail, Christmas morning is one of the first days off where we don't get up before the sun. Thankfully, we started a tradition many years ago which allows the grown-ups to get just a little more sleep before trudging downstairs, bleary-eyed. We let the kids go through their stockings as soon as they are up. They can't touch the presents under the tree, but they can dump out their stocking and see what's inside. In the spirit of "the stocking's importance can never be underestimated", here's a few goodies that will fit inside your stocking.

Pack a few of these Jeep Stocking Stuffers into the stocking of any Jeep lover, along with some Christmas candy, and you'll have them smiling from head to toe. The Jeep stuff is cute and quirky and definitely unique.

1. Cute, Festive, Jeep Christmas Tree Ornaments for 2011 - We've taken some of our favorite holiday cards and turned them into cute little Christmas Tree Ornaments. They are fun, unique and only $5.99 each. We have a few different designs. Here's the rest of the Jeep Xmas Ornaments.

Jeep Christmas Ornament 2011

2. Off-Road Tire Tracks Bottle Opener - Here's a unique gift that sure stands apart from the crowd. Take it on your off-road adventure and when it's time to indulge in that home-brewed bottled root beer, this is the off-road adventure-themed bottle opener. $8.99

Jeep Bottle Opener - Tire Tracks Style

3. New Jeep Jewelry - A Necklace! - This dog tag style pendant features a cute Jeep doing some rock climbing. It's a cutie and suitable for any cool Jeeper, young or old. On sale for just $11.95.

Jeep Pendant Necklace

4. Our favorite Jeep SeatBelt Belt in Way Cool Patterns - We've been selling this Jeep Belt for years and it's still a best-seller. Totally unique, you can choose the color palette and patten that best suits your style, from conservative to wild. On Sale for $22.99

Jeep Belt Buckle Seatbelt Style

5. Super Cool Jeep Fog Light Covers - From Peace Frogs to Tie Dye to Patriotic Styles to Animal Prints... express your own personal style with these Jeep Fog Light Covers. We also have matching Jeep tire covers too!

Jeep Fog Light Covers-Tie Dye Style

Visit www.AllThingsJeep.com to find a gigantic selection of Jeep gifts and apparel for the Holiday season.

Tags: jeep ornament, jeep gifts, holiday jeep gifts, Jeep Christmas Gifts, jeep christmas ornament

10 Best Holiday Gifts for Jeep Lovers for 2010

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Fri, Dec 03, 2010 @ 11:48 AM

Shirley, MA  -- November 17, 2010  –For the 8thth year in a row, AllThingsJeep.com has compiled a list of this year’s 10 most unique Jeep holiday gift ideas. Most of these are new products that have just come out this year. Your favorite Jeep enthusiast will be amazed by your cleverness when you hand them one of these for Christmas.

 

TOP 10 BEST JEEP HOLIDAY GIFTS

 

1. For Red Jeep Owners: Our Authentic Jeep Diner Mug  – Red Jeep owners will especially love this Life is good Jeep diner mug, featuring a side view of a red Jeep. A cup of coffee in this Jeep diner mug is a great way to start the day! ($10.00)

http://www.allthingsjeep.com/lif-79207offrbne.html

 Red Jeep on White Mug resized 600

2. For those with the Christmas Spirit: Handmade Christmas Ornaments featuring Jeeps. Each features year 2010 so you can remember the good times you shared in your Jeep in 2010. (Just $7.99 each or 3 for $19.99)   http://www.allthingsjeep.com/jechorsetoft.html

 2010Trio resized 600

3. For Jeepers who’ve rolled their Jeep: Our Problem / No Problem Tire Cover will get plenty of laughs out on the trail. It’s available in sizes from 28” to 35” We’ve got over 40 Tire Cover Designs to choose from here:  http://www.allthingsjeep.com/tire-covers.html

(no) problem resized 600 

4. For Jeepers who send Christmas Cards: Holiday cards / greeting cards for Jeep lovers  Purchase these early enough and share the Jeep spirit with everyone you know. We have 8 different designs available, all original artwork, along with a boxed variety set. There’s something magical about these cards.  http://www.allthingsjeep.com/chhojest.html  ($12/set)

jeepin holiday outside WEB 

5. For your friends that always lose their keys: Install our Offroad Jeep Keyhook on the wall inside the door you come in. It’s the perfect place to hang your Jeep’s keys. If you are lucky enough to have 4 Jeeps, there’s a hook for each set of keys! http://www.allthingsjeep.com/esm10.html  ($16.99)

Single Keyhook 2010 resized 600 

6. For the Lady Jeepers – Our Peace – Love – Jeep Tee-Shirt has always been popular. Now it’s available in assorted colors and is also available in kid’s sizes. It’s a great philosophy! http://www.allthingsjeep.com/atj11217.html (Starting at $13 and up)

 PeaceLove4Tees resized 600 

7. For Jeep Owners that like Functional Gag Gifts – Our “Jeep Shop Towels for your Squeaky Clean Jeep” is basically a set of rags (quite functional) in great packaging specifically designed for Jeep owners. http://www.allthingsjeep.com/stp-st1lb.html $4.99 and up

 Towels Final resized 600

8. For Jeepers who like cute stuff – Can’t get much cuter than this adorable Life is good keyring featuring their Life is good tagline on one side and the “Native Jeep Offroad” image on the other. Small, sweet & cute. And just $10. http://www.allthingsjeep.com/lif-offroad-keychain.html

 NativeJeepKeyring WEB resized 600

9. For the Daredevil Jeeper – “Hang On, I Want to Try Something” is a dash decal that will put fear in the hearts of passengers as they climb into his Jeep. It’s a great laugh for just $5.00 http://www.allthingsjeep.com/atj30938.html. Also available on a Tire Cover or License Plate.

hang on i want to try something resized 600 

10. For those hoping for a new Jeep – This is about as close as we got. The “crème de la crème” of Jeep gifts is the Jeep Crawler King Remote Control Rockcrawler. It’s a mighty machine which will provide years of entertainment. http://www.allthingsjeep.com/hpi-102115.html ($279.99)

 JeepRCCrawlerKing1WEB resized 600

About All Things JP LLC

 

All Things JP LLC is one of the largest providers of gifts, accessories and memorabilia to the Jeep® and off-road market. Their goal is to make Jeep owners happy by offering unique products, fast shipping, outstanding service, and the widest offering of Jeep-related gifts and accessories. Visit  http://www.allthingsjeep.com  for the perfect gift for Jeep® lovers including clothing, decals, tire covers, signs, jewelry, accessories for your Jeep and more.

Tags: Jeep Holiday Presents, 2010 Jeep Gifts, Jeep Christmas Gifts

Would You Buy Chrysler Stock?

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Thu, May 13, 2010 @ 12:55 PM

This week Chrysler announced that it could raise its financial targets for 2010 in the second half of the year and that it aims for a public offering of its stock "as quickly as possible." The new Chrysler Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne reported this on Monday, May 10th, and I think he impressed almost everyone with this announcement.

As far as I can tell, Chrysler stock has not been traded publicly since Cerebrus Capital Management bought the company in 2007 and made it privately-held. Back when it was a tradeable stock, the symbol was a "C", but that is now designated for Citibank. (What do you think the new symbol should be?)

So what's new on the horizon for Chrysler and will its stock be a good investment? Let's see, there's a new Jeep on the horizon - the all new 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, scheduled to arrive in June. It's expensive! A few thousand bucks over $30,000. But its the first and only new offering in 2010, manufacturered under Jeep's new ownership. And so far, reviews are good.

On the other hand, according to Reuters, "Chrysler has forecast negative cash flow of $1 billion for 2010 and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of between $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion. It expects to at least break even on an operating basis in 2010 and on a net level in 2011."

Breakeven doesn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings. But I'm rooting for you Chrysler. I want you do do well. I want the stock to be traded publicly. I want it to go up. I want stockholders to be happy. I want new Jeeps coming off the production line.

So, my question is this: Would you buy Chrysler stock? What is your prognosis for the future of Chrysler? Do you believe in it enough to own a piece of it? Oh wait, we DO own a piece of it. The US Government, and all its taxpayers actually own about 10% of the Chrysler Group. But whether I purchase my own personal shares or not, I'm rooting for you Chrysler!

Tags: chrysler stock symbol, chrysler stock, jeep stock

Jeep Versus Hummer. Who will we hate now?

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Tue, Apr 20, 2010 @ 10:36 AM

Boston Red Sox versus New York Yankees. Dogs versus Cats. Chocolate versus Vanilla. And Jeeps versus Hummers. As long as there have been civilian Jeeps and Hummers, there's been a rivalry. Often heated! One of the very first tee-shirts All Things Jeep produced was the "Hummer Recovery Vehicle" Tee. It was a best-seller, providing an accurate perspective of the off-road abilities of these two vehicles (as seen through the eyes of a Jeep dude.)

We sold a lot of these tees until the lawyers at GM contacted us one day and told us to stop selling them or else they would "take action". We were just a little Jeep company. We stopped selling them. But that was probably the first and last time Hummer ever bullied Jeep.

We've always enjoyed the debate, the name calling, the mockery. And the jokes about Hummers. Risque enough for us to not print them here! So, in honor of the passing of the Hummer, a small tribute. Hummer, we barely knew you. Which vehicle will Jeep owners hate now?

Best Jeep versus Hummer Debate Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaVESDbCLqk

A lively debate from my friends at the Fun Times Guide.
Jeep versus Hummer

and an Actual Technical Review of a Jeep versus a Hummer

Rip Hummer. Long live JEEP.

Tags: Jeep-Hummer Rivalry, Jeep versus Hummer, Jeep-Hummer Debate

Go Topless Day Update with All Things Jeep

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 @ 09:43 PM
Go Topless Day 2010 AllThingsJeep.com

Our plans for the Go Topless Day 2010 Worldwide Event for ALL Jeep Owners  really couldn't be going any better. Well, it could be going better. Oprah could have us on her show to discuss the benefits of going topless. Simon could tell everyone on American Idol that he was leaving the show to MC our Go Topless Day here in Lancaster. And Biden could have whispered "Go Topless Day is a big F***in Deal. But aside from all those wonderous possibilities, things are going good. Want to give you all an update. Kinda be the traffic director for the 2010 Go Topless Day Festivities. Just to make it fun, I'll do it in Q&A format.

Question: Is there a Go Topless Day Event happening in my neck of the woods?

Answer: There may be. There's about 50 Jeep clubs (and counting) signed up to participate in Go Topless Day 2010. The clubs or local groups are sponsoring picnics, trail rides, beach parties, barbeques, parades and more on May 8th 2010 - all over the world. Here is the whole list of participating Jeep Clubs Going Topless on May 8th 2010. If you are looking for an event to join, you may find one there.

Topless Jeeps on Go Topless Day 2009

We've also got a All Things Jeep Go Topless Day Facebook Page where the club activities are being listed (and you can post your own activities.)

Question: If I host some type of activity, can I get anything for free?

Answer: Always wanting something for free, eh? Sure you can! You tell us what you are doing and how many Jeep owners are showing up and we'll send you some bumper stickers, maybe a t-shirt, etc. In return, you gotta post a link on your website back to our Go Topless Day, okay? (contact email info @ allthingsjeep.com )

Question: Is there any contest or anything I can win?

Answer: Again with the free stuff? The answer is YES. We are having a Go Topless Day Photo Contest for GTD 2010 and you can win Gift Certificates to AllThingsJeep.com. And get your photos added to our historical record of Go Topless Days. Whoo-hoo.

Wanna check out some photos of our prior Go Topless Days? They are all right here in our glorious All Things Jeep Photo Album. Gotta say, some of those photos are priceless!

Question: Anything I can get for free just for reading this blog?

Answer: Absolutely. Would we let you down? Get a business sized envelope. Put a stamp on it. Address it to yourself. Fold it up and put it in another stamped envelope addressed to us at:

All Things Jeep
GTD Decal
2 Shaker Road, Unit F01
Shirley, MA 0464

We'll send you a beautiful GTD Bumper Sticker. Free.

Go Topless Day Bumper Sticker

Question: What if I want to spend my hard earned money on Go Topless Day Shirts?

Answer: Ok, that'd be great. Get yourself a Go Topless Day 2010 Limited Edition T-Shirt Here for just $10.  Buy 10+ and they go down to $8 each. Buy 25+ and they go down to $7 each.

Go Topless Day Shirts

Finally, The main page on our website that shares all the news about GTD is http://www.allthingsjeep.com/go-topless-day.html

We hope you'll join us on May 8th 2010 in celebrating the Jeep spirit. Whether you are topless on a beach, fully clothed at work, in a Jeep CJ5 at the ice cream stand, in a Jeep Liberty doing carpool, or crawling the local mountains in your XJ, take a moment to stand proud and remember, You are a JEEP OWNER. Ain't it great?

How many keys are on your keyring

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 @ 11:01 AM

Strattec Codeable Padlock for your JeepHow many keys are on your keyring? How big is that bulge in your pants pocket? How many times have you lost a key to one of your many locks? Depending upon the day, your answers may go like this. 13, big, five or six. So I was pretty stoked to come across this new product. The World's First Codeable Padlock by Strattec.

When you look at the packaging of this padlock, the first thing you notice is that there's no set of keys with the lock. That's because it uses one of your existing keys to unlock it. For most people, this key will be your ignition key. For me, it's the ignition key to my Jeep Wrangler.

After you open the Strattec Codeable Padlock packaging, you simply insert your ignition key into the lock, turn it a few times and the padlock "learns" your key and sets itself to be unlocked using your key. The more technical details follow, but basically this now means that you can buy a few of these padlocks, set them all to use your ignition key, and dramatically reduce the amount of keys you have to carry around (and potentially lose.)

My Jeep's key can now unlock the padlocks on the back of the All Things Jeep trailer, the lock on the trailer hitch, the metal toolbox in the back of the Jeep, the lock and chain I use to lock up our bikes, the lock on my metal locker at the gym. Well you get the idea.

At AllThingsJeep.com we sell the version that works with most all Jeep Keys and it's under $25. There are other versions available for other vehicle models too.

One key. Many locks. Pretty nifty, huh?

Tags: Strattec Codeable Padlock

Falling in love again with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Posted by Jean Wnuk on Mon, Mar 08, 2010 @ 07:06 PM
 

"A perfect excuse to skip work and play", says LAWRENCE ULRICH in his review of the new 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. This review below is from the New York Times and is dated March 7th 2010. His review is titled:

A Very Old-School S.U.V. With Useful New Tricks

------------------------------------------------

WHAT IS IT? A four-door all-terrain conquistador.

HOW MUCH? Base price, $32,800; as tested, $35,975.

WHAT MAKES IT RUN? A 3.8-liter V-6 (202 horsepower, 237 pound-feet of torque); 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.

IS IT THIRSTY? Does a Jeep drink in the woods? The economy rating is just 15 m.p.g. in town and 19 on the highway.

ALTERNATIVES Land Rover LR2, Toyota FJ Cruiser.

REUNIONS are often a letdown, as anyone who's been reintroduced to a high-school flame can tell you. (Who is this psycho and why does she want to dance to "Lady in Red?")

So when a Jeep Wrangler appeared on my doorstep, I kept my expectations low. I had a serious crush on a Wrangler Sahara I owned in the '90s, but I was single and carefree then. The Jeep's kidney-shaking ride, intermittent heat and nearly useless back seat were all part of its charm.

I knew that the Wrangler was still around, doing its woodsy, back-road, ski- and beach-bum thing. But as with a Facebook "friend" from the old neighborhood, being aware of the Jeep's existence didn't mean I wanted to rekindle a relationship. But then it happened. After a 10-minute reintroduction to the Wrangler, I was ready to hightail it to the nearest mountain hideaway or find some muddy ruts to wallow in.

The Wrangler is as fun to drive as ever, even in unlikely places - like my cobbled Brooklyn street. And while "icon" is used loosely in the auto business, the Wrangler - like the VW Beetle or Mini Cooper - certainly is one.

The Jeep, of course, is a direct descendant of World War II military vehicles, and the Wrangler name can be carbon-dated to 1987. And from its school-bus-style manual shifter to its painted-metal interior and fold-down windshield, the Jeep's authenticity and stout, old-school feel could melt the hardest automotive heart.

In that vein, the Jeep makes trendy, boxy urban crossovers like the Kia Soul or Scion XB look as dweeby as a Dungeons and Dragons convention.

By Jeep standards, the addition for 2007 of the stretched four-door Unlimited model constituted a near revolution, adding a roomier, more accessible back seat. And while any Wrangler is a nearly unmatched off-roader, the Rubicon version - named for the fearsome off-road trail in the Sierra Nevada - is the hardest of the hard-core. It adds a two-speed transfer case with a burly low-range gear ratio, steel-plate underbody armor and rock rails; electric locking for the front and rear axles; an electronic sway-bar disconnect; and knobby 32-inch off-road tires.

If you find yourself conversing with off-road types - perhaps when they're rescuing your "crossover S.U.V." from a slushpile - you may hear them refer to their Jeeps' "breakover and departure angles." These gents are referring to the Wrangler's short body overhangs, which, combined with 10.5-inch ground clearance, let the Wrangler climb and descend incredibly steep obstacles.

A standard Hill Start Assist feature keeps the Jeep from rolling back on steep grades; optional electronic trailer-sway assist helps to ensure that jet skis and dirt bikes don't perform tricks before they reach their destination.

The Jeep's Freedom Top is another recent development. The three-piece modular hardtop features two front overhead panels that can be quickly removed and stored on board. A more complex disassembly removes the entire roof cap (along with the doors if you like) for the full naked-Jeep effect. Adding the dual-top option lets you pop the hardtop and unfurl a fabric top over the exposed roof bars. (A softtop with a built-in sunroof is also available.)

These and other changes have made the Jeep just civilized enough, but not so much that its rough vitality is lost. There's an optional touch-screen navigation system, satellite radio, Bluetooth capability and a hard drive for music.

The steering still feels truckish and slack, yet pleasingly mechanical: like its brethren dating back a half-century or more, the Jeep makes you feel alive and attuned to every sensation. That's both compliment and criticism: once my nostalgic glow subsided, I had to admit that the Wrangler is not everyone's cup of jittering tea. The ride is noisy and jouncy, it's a taxing climb in and out and the reliability record is poor.

I'll admit two other things. First, I had no idea that the Wrangler could reach $36,000. Second, I would never pay 36 grand for a Wrangler.

But with a two-door Wrangler Sport 4x4 starting at $21,915, the Jeep remains a dream date for the young - a perfect excuse to skip work and play.

LAWRENCE ULRICH

Tags: 4 door Jeep Wrangler, 2010 Jeep Wrangler Review