• Feb 7, 2007
This '88 Comanche's got it all: "Anti-theft-grey" paint, one mismatched (and dented) door, custom "OUCH" spray-paint graphic on one side, Batman decal on the other, and a dog that hates riding in it. The ergonomics are lousy, the French cooling system (courtesy of the Jeep/AMC/Renault alliance) is flaky, and the Jeep smokes thanks to oil that leaks onto the exhaust manifold. We're also fans of the off-kilter rear bumper, which looks right at home here. A Jensen head unit ensures that the audio system lives up to the standards set by the rest of the truck.

Despite all that, the 4.0L inline six still runs well with 175,000 miles on the odometer. The owner, Cheep Jeep Chaz, calls it "nicely broken-in." We call it today's Beater Ride of the Day.

Follow the jump for more pics and Chaz's amusing description of the car in his own words. Ride submission instructions are posted there as well.




Flickr description by Cheep Jeep Chaz:

Can a pick-up actually be a beater? They are, almost by definition, to be beaten on. Anyways, for your approval I submit this nicely broken in 1988 Jeep Comanche finished in a lovely shade of anti-theft grey fade-o-matic paint. I'm the second keymaster of this one-family-owned beast.

The superstructure of these babies is odd, as the Comanches were basically unibodies carved up from the Cherokee. Why, it's almost Camino-esque in that regard! Ergonomics are non-existent and the cabin so cramped and uncomfortable that even my Redbone Hound hates riding in the thing! Imagine: a pick-up truck hating Hound Dog...

The truck is great fun to drive, even though no one, and I mean NO ONE, will cut you a break in traffic. It might have something to do with the oil leaking onto the exhaust manifold and subsequent smoke. This 2wd-er has the wonderfully flog-able 4 litre straight 6 under the hood. I'm sorry that Jeep has retired this semi-torque-y motor, despite being the Earth's last living dinosaur. After 175k miles, it still runs quite well without any major repairs outside of the usual. Lately the cooling system has been giving me fits, it being this crazy closed system imported from France-- a leftover from the days of the unholy Jeep/AMC/Renault Triad (I love showing off the American Motors keys on my fob!). Wiring the auxiliary fan for full time duty has dimmed the 'Engine Hot' idiot light for the time being. It's just a temporary fix and as soon as the sun is warm and my driveway dry, proper repairs will be made.

Custom touches include Batman sticker and steering wheel cover. The one blue door was necessitated after an unprovoked tree attack. Dent in blue door applied by drunken bonehead (not me). I made a surrey style top and astro-turf floor for the bed (not pictured, obviously) for festival duty at the annual Drive-Invasion (car show, 'b' movies, bands, and beer!) that takes place at the Starlight Drive-in here in Atlanta. Tunes are delivered via a Jensen, nee Audiovox, 160 watt lo-fi stereo-like unit. Sweet!

How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      One of the problems of owning a pickup is that friends always want to borrow it.

      This one can be lent without fear!
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Jeep was smart they'd bring this back, both in spirit and utilitarianism instead of producing garbage like the Compass that makes me vomit in my mouth every time I see it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey I think the pic says it all. One tough and reliable ride and the dog well thats another story..lol anyway I own 2 comanche trucks and being in Ontario canada both have suffered severe rust on the boxes.So I am off to find a good solid box or 2 so I can get my trucks back on the road. The ford dodge and chev 4x4 owners are happy to see both of mine parked I guess that means they get to the top of the hill before me for a change. But when I find the box I will be at the top before them as usual. later folks and kep on jeepin
      Comanche dave
      • 7 Years Ago
      Go away?! That's crazy. I'm loving these articles--they remind me of the first half of my car owning existence. I have a lot of fond memories of some of those old beaters, ugly beasts that they were.
      jeepkid
      • 7 Years Ago
      hell yeah! beaters are the best! lot more entertaining than those 50,000$+ rigs that rich boys get their daddys to build for them then tell the rest of us that they know how to 4-wheel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love the dog, too. He looks like he is wondering "How in hell did I wind up in this truck again?"

      I have a Ranger with the same tilted bumper. Mine was caused by an idiot uninsured woman yakking away on her cell while not looking where she and her teenaged son were heading in their white Camry. Maybe I should enter it - it has 160k miles on it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apparently this is a Jeep thing and I don't understand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Love the dog!
      • 7 Years Ago
      As the former owner of a 1989 'Manche, I love it!

      Mine had a 6 inch lift and 33's, but it handled everything I threw at it and then some. I dumped it at ~175k trouble free miles making the biggest mistake I ever made. I would give ANYTHING to get it back and I scan the classifieds weekly for another.

      The 'manche really was unique in it's frame design, XJ cherokee unibody in the front and a composite frame in the rear, all tied together...

      God I miss mine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My Jeep Comanche was a very good vehicle. Unlike Ford, Chrysler and GM 4WD pickups of the day, the Comanche was designed for 4WD. It was low enough to go into underground garages the other wouldn't fit into.