Sunday, April 23, 2017

What do Mork & Mindy and Salem's Lot have in common?

Alright you Mork & Mindy superfans their Jeep was an earlier model than this but you get the point. How else would I set the stage for this post? Salem's Lot?
Without further Shazbot:
This is a 1985-1986 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade in Ice Blue Poly. Everyone knows the Jeep as the basic design carried over from WWII. Unlike the Beetle the Jeep made his way into the 1980s without forfeiting its soul (the Beetle didn't even make it to the decade in the States).
This is how I want to see or remember a Jeep; roof and doors off in warm buttery sunshine. These days the trend is to make your modern Jeep super aggressive and loaded with testosterone (one of the most popular aftermarket customizations gives the headlights frowning eyebrows so your Jeep looks angry!). That's not my Jeep fantasy. Mine is pure hilarity; the possibility of pulling off the road at any time whether onto a beach or into the mountains.
Yeah dude I'm a RENEGADE!
This is such a freaking improper name for a vehicle with clear military roots that I'm at a loss for words. A definition from Google:
1. a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.
synonyms: traitor, defector, deserter, turncoat, rebel, mutineer 
"he was denounced as a renegade"
Can you imagine if there was a Hummer named The AWOL?
Our hero has slight munchy rust nibbling at the edges but overall it's in great shape for a 30+ year old Jeep. I love the homemade padding on the roll bars. It's there to protect the cloth top when it's raised but also for folks standing up in the back while screaming on the beach.
The CJ-7 was introduced in 1976 to be sold alongside the smaller CJ-5. The 7 is a full 10 inches longer than the earlier models which in turn makes it a bit more car like. From that emblem under the license plate we can see that this Jeep has never left Long Island (I found this parked in a lot on the North Fork).
Just in case a blue Jeep on the North Fork wasn't stereotypical enough there are a couple of lacrosse stickers on the glove compartment door.
This dashboard, while modernized, retains its primitive roots. The speedometer is a big gauge in the center of the vehicle with a couple of smaller gauges just placed wherever. That padded dash fulfills the safety regulation but looks like the tacked-on afterthought that it is.
Rust is showing up around the windshield in troubling ways. Like every CJ the windshield folds forward and can be secured down flat on the hood. However the hinges provide a bit of purchase for the salty air to take hold.
Well there we have it; the perfect beach cruiser probably caught on a beer run. These rides are as fun as they look and remain pretty common. The mechanicals are dead basic so repairs are a piece of cake. When shopping for any Jeep the #1 thing to look for is rust. It will have rust, it's just a matter of how much and if it's structural. Be wary of any fancy looking diamond plate or chrome added to the corners of the body as they look flash but probably conceal rot.
Because I mentioned it I felt compelled to leave this link to the intro to More & Mindy.
And of course some Salem's Lot stills:

For no particular reason here is a glossary for all the known Orkan language ever spoken on More & Mindy.  

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