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Old 02-25-2008, 04:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
I was considering getting into rally cross before moving to Utah, as a means of getting the racing bug out of my system again. I used to do autocross back in the early 80s and had some minor success with a Plymouth Champ.

I have become very fond of my 95 Grand Cherokee Laredo. The 4.0 could use some more power, but is about as solid a motor as ever preoduced.


Jeeps and rally racing... I LOVE this forum!!!!
I'd love to do Rally-Cross with the 'Teg, but I have to drive over MO past St. Louis to do it (4.5 hours+). I was offered an prepped Audi to borrow, but I never made it over

But yeah, when it comes to wheel time, I've learned that Jeep or Rover is the best. My parents are big Jeep folks. We had an '86 XJ Pioneer (I learned to drive stick on that one -- 2.5L 4-cyl), then a '79 CJ-7 258 I-6 beater on the farm (great after-work wheeler). Then they had a '95 ZJ for a while and traded it on a 2000 XJ Sport. That, and a completely unreliable Chevy Trailblazer, completes the current farm fleet.

Back here, the local Jeep Club has folks to stand-by for rescue and tow operations. Last year they successfully placed a rally car onto a trailer after it rolled and end-over-ended. It took over an hour of intense block-and-tackle, but it was safe and efficient. The rally team was fine, but understandably bummed out.

Honestly, I was really impressed with the Grand -- from doing well on the concrete down to the mud and snow. The Medic goes after the last Rally Car, so I generally run flat-out. I turned off the traction control and had a blast in the corners The 3.7 makes the power up near 5k RPM. I video-taped the run, but watching it was completely underwhelming . Nothing beats being there and driving in snow at full speed.

Problem is, it sucked-down the fuel. Idle was fine (0.5 GPH with the inverter and heat running), but mixed cycle ended up with just short of 20 MPG (not including extended idle). What really bothered me was the trans-tunnel. Not being able to straighten my right leg was hell on my back. Otherwise, I was truly impressed with the handling and performance from the base model. True Jeep expectations delivered.

I've converted to compact cars for the daily drive, but honestly, it would be fun to wheel again . But that's the high-performance side of my split personality showing-through. I see the Evos running and miss my old one...

But, I've come to the realization that I can't drive like I want too, and A) not get tickets, and B) save on fuel (which translates to the implications of emissions and their effects). I'd just as soon take it easy from now (except once in a while, of course )

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research” ― Albert Einstein

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