Jan Richey’s 612,000-Mile 1988 Jeep Cherokee
This is a one-owner 1988 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer 4x4, with the original engine, in top condition after 612,000 miles (as of February 2011). Jan drives it nearly ever day.
Jan had it repainted the original Colorado Red. The 4-liter straight-six engine, however, has required no internal work. He has all the service records, and three log books documenting every expense, including gasoline with mileage and location. Jan personally performs all lube and oil changes, using Mobil 1 synthetic oil with Tufoil as an additive.
The upholstery on the seats and the carpets are original — the carpet was completely covered with a custom mat when Jan’s kids had muddy boots. The rear seat is in perfect condition. Jan wrote, “Have you ever worn out a seat belt buckle? I did so that is why the replacement does not match.”
If you attended the Dream Cruise in Detroit during August 2008, you may have seen it with signs on the Yakima rack proclaiming "600,000" miles. That was a bit of an exaggeration but he can now truly document the 612,000 miles.
In 2001, my daughter decided to move to Minneapolis to attend the Aveda Institute. She and her boyfriend (now our much loved son-in-law) found the biggest U-Haul Trailer in town. They packed it front to back and top to bottom so heavy that I used low-range to pull out of our up-hill driveway. My log book documents the odometer quoted 446,191 miles when I filled the Jeep with gasoline at $1.36 per gallon just before starting the trip from Brentwood, TN, to Minneapolis, MN. My wife was nervous and feared every mile that our Jeep would breakdown leaving us stranded on some strange roadside. The Jeep Cherokee just kept pulling like The Little Engine That Could. On schedule, I documented filing with gasoline in Mendota Heights in suburban Minneapolis with the odometer reading 447,111 miles. Yes, we also breezed home to Tennessee, minus the trailer, with no problems.
I participated in my first Jeep Jamboree at Land Between the Lakes in 1999. Later my son and daughter joined me on other Jamborees. In 2004 my Mom, 84, had fun with us on the 15th Ouachita Jamboree in Arkansas. So, this unstoppable Jeep has provided lots of family fun as well as daily chores. Ziebart provided rust protection soon after I purchased it new from Alexander Jeep in Franklin, TN, so it has little or no rust.
Rural Tennessee has great backroads this Jeep loves to tour. Rodney Morris at Alexander Jeep and Alex Hendry, owner of a local alignment/suspension shop, are the only techs I allow to touch or drive my Jeep.
The interior features a headliner from Stephens Brothers.