There’s some writing inscribed on the dashboard grab handle in the Wrangler. It simply states ‘since 1941’. Not even Land Rover can match that – the first Series I didn’t arrive until 1948.
And while the latest Jeep is a darn site more comfortable that that first model, it still looks very much like that 74-year-old machine that drove the Americans into the Second World War.
Oddest thing is, I am actually enjoying the Jeep so much more than expected. It’s attracting plenty of attention too. The Wrangler is almost chic, in a rough and tumble sort of way. The Cotswolds is awash with Land Rovers of every shape and size – driving the Jeep is that little bit different.
As well as that, the Wrangler is also just as capable in the rough stuff as a Defender. It also happens to be a lot more comfortable, thanks to a softer suspension set-up. Both it and the Defender crash over potholes and can be jolly bouncy but somehow the Jeep edges it.
Land Rover can’t introduce their replacement for the Defender fast enough, I’d say. It’s due in 12 months time…