I never knew about this. In fact, I still wouldn’t know about this if not for Christian Hepler, a vigilant reader from the Gaithersburg, Maryland, area who, like me, clearly spends way too much time on eBay.
The “this” I am referring to is a stick-shift Jeep Grand Cherokee. For those of you who also didn’t know about this, and therefore think it’s some sort of bizarre transmission swap, I can assure you this is not the case. Apparently Jeep really did offer a manual transmission on the first few Grand Cherokee models, including a full complement of three pedals, a tachometer, and a gear lever that resembles a hockey stick in both shape and size.
The real crime here is that Christian sent me the eBay listing AFTER the auction had ended, which is a shame, because this thing would’ve been pretty cool to bid on. Oh, sure, the speedo only goes up to 100 miles per hour, and the controls look like they’re from the 1970s, not the 1990s. And yes, it’s finished in a paint shade that the owner identifies as “Wild Berry Metallic,” which sounds like a statue they might have at the corporate headquarters for Gushers.
But this is still very much the kind of vehicle I would want to buy, or at least test drive to find out just how awful that gear lever really is. And so, if you see another of these come up for sale, let me know. That’s unlikely, though, considering they only made about 1,000, and 975 of those are probably rusting away in a junkyard with the rest of Chrysler’s forgotten products.