Beater of the Day: 1988 Jeep Comanche

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!

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