The fabled Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is up for sale again

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One of the best things about Twitter is an account called Bustleton Auto; I’m sure some of you have heard of it. It’s genius. Every day it posts degraded, seemingly AI-compiled low-res images of cars “for sale” that don’t actually exist, along with makes and models like the CZHOTY TROND that I suspect are borrowed from a list of names of companies selling Bluetooth adapters on Amazon. Bustleton does this 10 times a day, for free! You can’t beat that.

Anyway, yesterday I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, as I often do when our Editor-in-Chief Rory calls a Zoom meeting, and I came across another installment of my favorite Twitter series. Except this non-Euclidean metal gear wasn’t a crap post; it was real. car bibles’ Kevin Williamsa cool guy I follow and you should too, described it perfectly:

That’s exactly it! Specifically, it looks like the result of that error where your car becomes infinitely wider if you drive around it after parking it at the scrap yard in a very specific way.

This is a 1987 Jeep Cherokee, and it’s not the first time it’s appeared on Jalopnik. David Tracy wrote a bit about it — off course it was David — almost exactly four years ago when it also found its way to Craigslist. At the time it was listed for sale in San Luis Obispo, California. This is what David said:

If I had to guess, the owner rolled this thing off-road, smashed the roof and also bent the front of the hood. So to fix it maybe the owner just chopped the car in the middle of the pillars and replaced the top with a big flat piece of metal? How they got the A-pillars to lean back so far, and if the windows still work, are questions I’m dying to know the answer to.

Image for article titled The Mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is for sale again

David wrote that he had “called the owner daily” but never received a call back. The current listing lists the vehicle’s location as Atascadero, just 17 miles from San Luis Obispo. Either this vehicle moved across town since 2017, or it never changed hands at all.

Before we go any further, we should note in the description. Pure poetry:

Start it, run it and don’t stop until you warm it up. 750 pounds of weight has been removed and it’s supposed to get 24 mpg FREEWAY. I didn’t do the job. I have drawn a map to explain the interior. Everything in the vehicle is included. Spent $1800 tagged and smogged for DEC ’22

I emailed the owner last night asking basic questions like what happened to this XJ and why and he was kind enough to respond quickly. I humbly thank him for that. But his response was short on details, rather cryptic, and ultimately left me puzzled:

I will tell you that nothing new has happened with it. I know there are gears that do certain actions and it had removed 750 pounds. That’s all. I bought the vehicle to support mr. [REDACTED]s masterpiece as well as his health.

For now, that’s all I have. I followed up with some additional questions and will address the answers I get to the end of this post.

Image for article titled The Mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is for sale again

The windows appear to be half, maybe two-thirds high. The hood is dented forward, but bulges out well above the bottom of the windshield. The entire front of the car, from the flared arches to the hanging hood and lowered fascia, looks like it’s melting. Or develop. “If you stare at it long enough, it’s basically one Mk III above“, said my colleague Raph. I see his point. I hate it, but I see it.

When David wrote about this XJ he wanted an interior shot. Well mate, it’s your lucky day. For this time there is pictures of the interior – but unfortunately not of the aforementioned map that the owner claims to have drawn. If you’re unsure why a map might be necessary, it will become clear in about two seconds.

Image for article titled The Mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is for sale again

We see a steering wheel missing about 60 percent of its rim, with the remaining portion attached to the spokes with what appears to be electrical tape. It’s like a yoke from hell. The seat cushion is practically on the floor. I count at least two multimeters, maybe a third depending on what purpose that box to the right of the two reds serves. There are lots of extra gauges, these enigmatic “switches that perform certain actions” and copious amounts of foam tubing protecting the edge of the dashboard. It’s the same general principle as airbags, just applied differently.

Image for article titled The Mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is for sale again

You may not like it, but this is what 750 pounds of weight savings looks like. Your standard 1987 Cherokee was rated for 23 MPG highway; this one gets 24. “Probably,” as the seller says. $1,400 for the lot.

Please one of you (David) buy the XJ Superleggera so we can reveal its secrets. Or if you are reading this, the owner or Mr. [REDACTED] yourself, educate us all in the comments. I have so many more questions: Namely, how tall are you?

Image for article titled The Mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is for sale again

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