It’s almost impossible to walk past a Jeep without taking a second glance. The signature front grill and boxy silhouette are motoring icons, and its reputation for surviving anything the world throws at it, which was forged in the cauldron of World War II, is legendary. Created in 1941 when the American military requested for a four-wheel-drive vehicle to be made within 49 days, the Jeep inspired a host of other light utility vehicles.
In many ways, the Jeep is more than just a vehicle. It is a symbol of determination, adventure and the idea that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. It is these qualities that attract a unique breed of drivers. They are the ones who take third, fourth and fifth glances before sliding into the driver’s seat to take the Jeep for a ride. And trust us when we say that there’s nothing like riding a Jeep in Singapore.
We chat with four Jeep owners and ask them about their love affairs with their respective automobiles.
LESTER LIM, 46, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
“I’m a huge Star Wars fan and my Jeep is orange, so I nicknamed it Rebel.”
When did you first fall in love with the Jeep?
I first fell in love with the Jeep Wrangler in 2003. I can’t forget that day when the red Jeep Wrangler zoomed passed me at Great World City, it totally took my breath away. My wife and I could not take our eyes off it and lamented that we should have bought that car instead. We had just purchased a Suzuki Jimny then.
What do you love most about your Jeep?
Everything from the look to its hardiness to the sitting position. The sitting posture and the handling of the car is actually quite different from my previous BMW X4 35i, which is probably also the reason why the Jeep is such a beautiful car to own. The overall driving experience had been simply indescribable.
JOE OH, IRONMAN
“I even own a toy model of the Jeep when I was a kid.”
What was the one compelling reason that made you decide to get a Jeep?
If you want the best, get the best! Jeep has always been a mystical brand to me since I was young. I love the car’s off-road capabilities and the individuality that it exudes.
What’s the greatest adventure you’ve had with your Jeep?
We’ve got a core group of like-minded Jeep Owners who go off-roading together (see picture above). Sharing laughter, sweating it out together and spending long nights bonding are adventures that money can’t buy. These are the greatest adventures of all. Within our group, we have Jeeps with call signs such as Red Riding Hood, Snow-White, Beer-Garden, Gecko, Elmo, V3, Simba, Rubber-Man, Road-Runner, Moses, Black Dog, and I am Iron-Man.
JEREMY TAN, 35, SHOW/EVENT PRODUCER
“The moment I saw the car, I knew I had to buy it and convinced my friend to sell it to me.”
I’ve never seen your Jeep before. What model is it?
I’m driving the Jeep Commander Limited and it’s a rare unit in Singapore. I think there’s probably around 2 to 3 units around. From what I heard, the Sultan of JB has one too! So I’m pretty proud of my ride and pretty much in love with it. I’ve been driving it for the past 3 years.
Do you have a nickname for your Jeep?
None at the moment but if I do, it will be Vader. As in Darth Vader. Like the masked villain, my car is a head-turner and able to handle the ups and down in drive and life. It’s a seven-seater and I can pack in a lot of stuff in it so it helps a lot when I’m dealing with events for work or for food hunting with my whole family on weekends.
SHEBBY SINGH, 56, FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR
“My Jeep always reminds me to work hard and that dreams are possible.”
Do you remember the first time you saw a Jeep?
I fell in love with the Jeep way back when Combat used to be on the telly! Then in 1999, I managed to save enough money to buy a second-hand green boxy Jeep Cherokee. I drove the Cherokee around for almost 18months and eventually it was too old to shuttle between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore every week as I had started work in Singapore.
In 2011, I saw an ad in the papers with the Jeep Patriot splattered on it. I did not need a second invitation! After test-driving it, I made up my mind on the spot that I wanted another Jeep in my life. And then it happened. In 2012, the Grand Cherokee made an entrance via the same newspaper and there I was at the showroom in my Patriot. The Grand Cherokee was too good to refuse so I jilted my Patriot and took home a brand new mistress (laughs).
What is the Jeep’s significance to you?
My Jeep is the realisation of a dream, that dreams are possible if I work hard. There were times when the economy hits me in the nose but I persevered despite the bleed. Plus I prefer the rugged 4×4 strong lines as opposed to other SUVs that have soft lines!