The mythical Chopped Jeep Cherokee XJ is 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. That’s ingenious. Every day it posts degraded, seemingly AI-compiled low-resolution images of cars “for sale” that don’t actually exist, along with makes and models like CZHOTY TROND that I suspect have been borrowed from a list of names of companies that sell Bluetooth adapters on Amazon. Bustleton does this type 10 times a day, for free! You can not beat it.

Anyway, yesterday I flipped through my Twitter feed, as I often do when our editor-in-chief Rory calls for a Zoom meeting, and I stumbled upon another part of my favorite series on Twitter. Except that this non-Euclidean metal equipment was not a piece of shit; it was for real. Bilbiblar ‘ Kevin Williamsa cool guy I follow and you should too, described it perfectly:

That’s just 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 this is not the first time it has been shown at the Jalopnik. David Tracy wrote little about it Of 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 while off-road driving, smashed the roof and also bent the front of the hood. So to fix that, maybe the owner just hacked the car in the middle of the pillars and replaced the top with a large flat piece of metal? How they made the A-pillars lean back so far, and whether the windows still work, are questions I long to learn 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 indicates the vehicle’s location as Atascadero, just 17 miles from San Luis Obispo. Either this vehicle moved to the other side of town since 2017, or it never changed owners at all.

Before we move on, we should note in the description. Pure poetry:

Start it, run it and do not stop until you have warmed it up. 750 pounds of weight has been removed and it is said to get 24 mpg FREEWAY. I did not do the job. I have drawn a map to explain the interior. Everything in the vehicle is included. Spent $ 1800 tagged and smuggled for DEC ’22

I emailed the owner last night and asked basic questions like what happened to this XJ and why, and he was kind enough to respond promptly. I humbly thank him for that. But his answer was short on details, quite cryptic and eventually puzzled me:

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

Because now that’s all I have. I followed up with a few more questions and will address the answers I get by the end of this post.

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The windows look half, maybe two-thirds high. The hood is bent forward, but curves far above the bottom of the windshield. The entire front of the car, from the flared arches to the hanging bonnet and the lowered facade, looks like it is melting. Or evolving. “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, buddy, it’s your lucky day. For this time there is pictures of the interior – but unfortunately not of the previously mentioned map that the owner says he drew. If you are unsure why a map may be necessary, it will be ready in about two seconds.

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

We see a steering wheel that lacks about 60 percent of its rim, with the remaining part 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 many extra gauges, these enigmatic “switches that perform certain actions” and large amounts of foam hose that protect the edge of the dashboard. It is the same general principle as airbags, only applied in a different way.

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 saving looks like. Your regular Cherokee from 1987 was rated for a 23 MPG highway; this one gets 24. “Probably”, as the seller says. $ 1,400 for the plot.

Please, one of you (David) buys 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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