Weekly Roundup: Beep Beep I’m (Not Quite) A Jeep Edition

There are so many things I don’t understand, and many of them are, in fact, Jeep things. The last time I drove a Wrangler I was far from impressed. It’s never occurred to me that I should own one.

Strictly speaking, nothing’s changed; the vehicle you see here is not mine, being the property of the infamous Danger Girl, and it’s also not a Jeep. Or is it?

For a variety of reasons that don’t warrant discussion here but will be obvious at some point in the future, I’ve been shopping for a side-by-side utility vehicle. For work, not play. Plowing snow, pulling a mower, herding cattle sheep goats chickens? It’s all on the table. As a Ninja owner since 1994, my thoughts naturally went to the Kawasaki Mule. It’s not only the right tool for the job, it’s also assembled in Lincoln, NE.

(And as far as I can tell, “assembled” is all it is; Kawasaki doesn’t have a Honda-of-Ohio-style support network around the plant. The Mule is basically a Japanese CKD, or “completely knocked down” kit.)

Used Kawasaki Mules, just like every other used vehicle in the country, have become insanely expensive. So I went looking for new Mules. Turns out they are mostly sold out before delivery, unless you’re willing to take the twenty-grand-with-delivery-fee Platinum edition. Which I kind of was.

Ah, but there was a potentially better option right on the showroom floor of my local Mule dealer: a 2018 Mahindra Roxor with under 300 miles. Now, if you’re a Jalopnik reader or a participant in Weird Car Twitter, you know what a Roxor is. For the rest of you: Back in 1949, Willys sold some tooling and a production license for the CJ-3 to the Mahindra brothers in India, who then built a business as a local producer of Jeeps. For the last seventy years the firm has essentially built time-warp Korean-War-era CJs for its home market, labeled “Thar”.

(Earlier this year, Mahindra finally introduced a new Jeep, engineered in-house to have no relationship to those original CJ-3 copies, but it’s only available in Southeast Asia.)

If you’re a firearms enthusiast, you may recognize this story as similar to that of Taurus, the Brazilian firm that made its reputation building copies of the Beretta 92 using tooling sold to the Brazilian government by Beretta in the Seventies. Back in the Nineties I had a stainless-steel short-barrel PT92CS, and rather astoundingly I was able to find the exact gun I once owned on the Internet a while back. As I recall, it was a finicky feeder of anything but standard ball ammo, but it was quite nicely made.

Back to fake Jeeps. The Roxor is an American-assembled Mahinda “Thar” jeep. In this case, “assembled” isn’t quite fair, because the company is claiming 50% domestic content from it’s half-million-square-foot facility in the Detroit area. The engine is a Peugeot-based eight-valve pushrod turbodiesel inline-four that has made a name for itself as an everlasting, if not particularly powerful, way to move a jeep. The transmission is a five-speed Mahindra unit.

As with the Taurus 92, which ended up looking much like a Beretta 92 while being quite different mechanically, the Roxor looks kind of like a mashup of a “flatfender” Jeep and the CJ-5/CJ-7. Some of the running gear is apparently very similar to what’s in a CJ-5.

Compared to a standard Kawasaki Mule, the Roxor is a little bigger, a little heavier, a LOT more powerful, and a bit simpler in most respects. Most critically, because it’s not CVT-equipped, it can tow quite a bit more, to the point where I’d feel comfortable using it to maneuver a loaded car trailer around our property. It can push a plow and pull a mower.

While Danger Girl was sitting in the Roxor at the dealership, no fewer than five people came up to tell her “That ain’t street legal, just so you know.” Well, in Ohio at least, it can be. A brief, ah, closed-course test suggested to me that it would best be operated at low speeds on side roads. In particular, it has a CJ-5’s appetite for feeling unstable in sharp turns. Overall, however, it’s a charming device, and about as far away from a modern Wrangler as a 356A is from a new 911 Carrera GTS.

It has a winch and a massively obnoxious KC lightbar that I suspect the original owner used for poaching or spotlighting deer. As a Roxor LE, it has various little upgrades like aluminum wheels but it’s certainly not like my ex-girlfriend’s Wrangler Sahara or anything like that, luxury-wise. I’m looking forward to many years of plowing snow and driving two-track trails in it.

In consideration of the generally non-thought-provoking nature of this week’s post, I’d like to direct you to a couple of additional viewpoints: Scott Lockin on Ten US Health Problems That Are Worse Than Corona and some Christmas perception at Up In The Valley. I’ve read both pieces a few times, so feel encouraged to discuss them here.

Last but not least, Merry Christmas to my readers. While in the near future it may be necessary to reveal that we are Riverside Green were always virulent detractors of any religion but socialism, for the moment we are charmed to share the celebration of Christ’s birth with all who would hear the good news.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about serious little flags and an alternate Phaeton past.

69 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Beep Beep I’m (Not Quite) A Jeep Edition”

  1. Tom Klockau

    Tempo Marine here in town got several in, circa 2019, but they didn’t sell since they’re not road legal in Illinois. My buddy over there sent me home with a ton of brochures though.

    I took several pictures in the showroom, meant to do a post, but it was one of dozens in ‘back burner’ status.

    Reply
  2. Binksman

    I’ve driven a Mule, and helped a family member swap a Yamaha R7 into a Mule. Neither were impressive at anything. They are geared too low for work and don’t make enough power to get anything done quickly- the combination just makes for frustration. The R7 Mule now sits in a shed and was functionally replaced by a Razor Side by side and a New Holland tractor.

    The Roxor seems like a decent machine, better than the tractors they throw together at our local assembly plant anyway. Enjoy your new ride!

    Reply
  3. hank chinaski

    Playing with new toys the day after Christmas never ages out.

    I caught that UITV piece earlier this morning and enjoyed it enough to share it with the Wifey.
    Related, via VD: https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/new-study-shows-vaccines-must-be

    One report, from God knows where, reported 50% of random asymptomatics testing positive with Omegatron. I’ve several friends and family members ruining their Christmas over being exposed to someone who ‘tested positive’ with either no symptoms or literally the sniffles. Naturally, the insane are bragging on social media about torturing their children for Christmas , the ‘winner’ having saran wrapped and duct taped their daughter’s bedroom door for ‘quarantine’.

    Most concerning though is that the faster the narrative collapses, the faster our elected officials (guffaw) are to double down on lockdown measures and related punitive actions. Luckily, NYA416 (COVID camps) has died in committee. This will not end well.

    For some crazy reason I expected ‘Katrina’ and ‘Cassie’s father’ to crash and burn in the Phaeton.

    False flag in Ukraine when?

    Reply
  4. John C.

    I enjoyed both the Phaeton and the little flags articles. My car has those little flags on the seats and my wife loves them. My backside notices that the seats are not as perfectly shaped as when it was done by Swedes employed by Ford. As you say though it is our duty to celebrate the efficiency that is brought to our life by stamping out national identities.

    Not sure what the sporty package would have done for the Phaeton. Seems like a silly thing to do to a car named Phaeton while weighing 5000 pounds, and there was after all an S8 Audi with all that lightweight aluminum and better yet a XJR that was both aluminum and light weight.

    Regarding buying the accoutrements of a green acres future. Perhaps it would be better once you were on the farm doing it to see what you really need before the whole budget is spent.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Oh I think I’ll be plowing snow yet this year with this little fellow, no worries.

      I didn’t come up with the idea for the RSi Phaeton but as a V8 owner I can see the appeal. The only reason they didn’t have that engine in that car was so that Bentley could sell Flying Spurs in Germany.

      Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          Very much so…
          BUT…
          …in this case there’s an exceptionally weak and sentimental argument to be made that every VW should have a GTI or RSi variant.

          Keep in mind I did HUNDREDS of racetrack laps in my Phaetons, so I have a deranged view of the situation here and I freely admit that.

          Reply
          • -Nate

            RE : VW Phaeton ~

            Jack has repeatedly commented how and why these were terrible yet wonderful cars simultaneously .

            Now he’s admitting zero rationality, time to let it go .

            -Nate

  5. Bmh

    Lockin’s article is one of the few things I’ve read recently attacking the substantive problems in America—as someone currently resident on an American college campus, I can confirm most of these issues as far worse than COVID. The standout part to me? The linked study on hops and estrogen; might explain why every “craft beer” obsessed autojourno and frat bro I know is an effeminate cuck, and why (in the frat brothers’ case) their girlfriends or ex-girlfriends usually find themselves in my bed on any given Saturday night. It isn’t because of my good looks, I’ll tell you that much.

    Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      I wonder if there is a market for an agency to certify that a food product is PEF, “Phyto-Estrogen Free” like there are for certified organic, non-GMO, kosher, and halal foods.

      Reply
  6. -Nate

    I’m keen to learn how well this Mahindra works out ~ original Jeeps were all way under powered too and it was never any problem for us in New England .

    You say it’s legal in Ohio, does this mean registered as a farm truck or what ? .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Couple of different ways: you can register it as a rural-use ORV since it has a full complement of lights and turn signals, or you can run it as a farm vehicle.

      Reply
  7. MD Streeter

    The Mahindra reminds me of the “Jeep” Mitsubishi once sold in Japan. When I was there for study abroad some 20 years ago, there was a very cute Japanese girl who always did her makeup and wore classy clothing to her classes in the English-learning part of our campus. She was in stark contrast to the American students who showed up to study Japanese still in their pajamas. This pretty young lass who undertook the expensive adventure of getting her manual-transmission-approved driver’s license decided to hone her shifting skills behind the wheel of one of Mitsubishi’s rag-topped beasts. I’ve never seen anyone in fancy heels shifting a vehicle that amounted to little more than farm equipment. She left quite an impression while I’m certain I was easily and quickly forgotten.

    I’m glad you linked to Up in the Valley again. He was one of my frequent reads and then my phone suffered an incredible mishap involving an unflushed toilet that erased all my links and bookmarks. In the months since I’ve been slowly re-adding to my long-lost bookmarks list on my crumby new phone. I’m happy to put him back on my list.

    Reply
  8. LynnG

    Congrats on the new toy, guess Santa was good to the Baruth household this year. Question, why is there a bullet hole in the bottom of the windscreen? Jack did you pull an Elvis like when Elvis did not like something he saw on an RCA Victor console television?

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Not a bullet hole, a mounting grommet for the hinged windshield!

      For a minute there you had me… all shook up!

      Reply
  9. 94 metro

    You keep teasing a move to the boonies. When is the article about that coming? I’m gonna need details on the composition of and plans for the acreage.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Soon as it’s not possible for a wealthier person with more money to swoop in and break my contract… so 45 days.

      Reply
  10. Disinterested-Observer

    “If you’re a firearms enthusiast, you may recognize this story as similar to that of the G3, the battle rifle made by the German firm ‘Heckn’ and Coke’ or something, that made its reputation building a bunch of stamped steel replicas of the Spanish CETME using tooling sold to them by Franco in the Seventies.”

    BTW if you were not aware, GENERALISSIMO! FRANCISCO… FRANCO! IS STILL DEAD! AND HK STILL THINKS YOU SUCK, AND THEY HATE YOU! ESPECIALLY THE HOST OF THIS SITE!

    Reply
    • John C.

      I am no firearm enthusiast, but Franco selling rifle tooling to Germans doesn’t exactly raise up as many heckles as say the Kalashnikov family scions viewing the Chinese selling cheap knock offs to corner the African machete replacement market. It is also a refreshing turnaround from the 1890s Mausers traveling the other way. Now you need rifle designs from us? Must have made Franco laugh.

      May all the Generalissimos rest in peace. The lovers will still love and the haters are going to still hate, and the rest of us can usefully compare and contrast them.

      Reply
        • John C.

          Of course, though the enterprise in Spain probably was started by Mauser earlier. The USA faced Spanish Mausers in Cuba. Remember the whole works of Mauser was carted off by the French in pre-Shoah reparations. The modern entity was an attempt to put it back together in the 1950s with the prospect of large Bundeswehr orders. You should check out the history of the modern entity after 1990. Very representative of the modern financial world. Every few years there is a new round of reparations due the new owners and then the ever fewer employees trying to keep it together. You would think the local assault rifle company would be recognized by Germany as strategic infrastructure so immune from such bs.

          Reply
    • Harry

      I am not a good pistol shooter, and I look very awkward doing it right-handed and left-eye dominant. That being said the USP .45 match was the easiest pistol I have ever shot. I looked at getting one when I moved to a state where that was a possibility, but it was discontinued in 1999 (I am way out of it) and now everything is “tactical” It makes me feel goofy to have a barrel threaded for a suppressor.

      Reply
  11. Fred Lee

    Interesting post. I too have been in the market for a utv and hadn’t considered the roxor, despite being intrigued every time I see it.

    Frankly its price even new is not out of line given the pricing of the more traditional side by sides…

    I do wonder whether it’s quite as adept at maneuvering in tight places on my property, but for plowing and hauling duties it’s probably perfect.

    Reply
  12. Tyguy

    Neat little truck. I considered getting one since where I live (Wyoming) they are street legal except for for interstate highways. I ended up picking a 1974 CJ5 instead. I do love it, in most ways it worse than my 1972 Scout that I restored in 2009, but I found myself grabbing the keys for it last summer more than my Morgan, Range Rover Classic, and that Scout. The Mahimdra and the CJ5 it is based on are not objectively great but are enjoyable back to nature vehicles.

    Reply
  13. Tyler

    Jack, serious question regarding your memory of suburban/exurban Ohio in the 80s and 90s, relative to anywhere else. Were so many people quite so clubbing-in-Liverpool-grade stumble-drunk/stoned/otherwise incapacitated quite so frequently? I don’t want to discount the possibility that it is as it ever was and I was just too young to notice or care. But I do think Mr. Locklin’s listed crises have a common ancestry in normalized effedupedness, and I voice it as no teetotaler myself.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I honestly don’t know.

      I can say that I have known a LOT of functional alcoholics in my time here. Other than the guy who was too drunk to get my snow tires done and inadvertently sent me down the path of some nontrivial tragedy, most of them are hard to detect.

      Reply
  14. Power6

    Hey Jack! I can’t figure out why commenting over at Hagerty isn’t working for me, but anyways…just wanted to say, as I sit here in my Gustin jeans wearing my Alial Fital shirt, you def had an effect on me and helped me change my entire wardrobe over to US made. Almost anyways, still can’t find an American made sneaker I like, and I bought a chinese made winter coat. It’s such a simple philosophy, employ Americans. The side effect is it mostly makes sense to only make high quality stuff here. My US made denim collection is barely broken in after 5 years, may last me decades. And as you probably know Gibran closed Alial Fital some time ago but I am still wearing his shirts for years now.

    The Volvo Swedish flag pic on that article hit home a little as I recognized it from my own car. You did cherry pick a little, of all the acquisitions of automakers, Geely did leave Volvo alone for a long time, to do their own thing in Sweden. You picked the one model made in China. I do feel good my Volvo was assembled in the US, at least there is that, even if only 15 pct domestic content. That Mahindra is impressive in it’s domestic build and content.

    Anyways just wanted to note you’ve made a difference beyond your own actions.

    Reply
  15. stingray65

    When you think about making stuff in China or other cheap labor country rather than in high cost US/Europe, it is interesting to consider what that entails. First, English/German/Italian/French speaking designers/engineers/marketers need to find a reliable and cheap production site in a country that doesn’t speak their language, has workers that are probably less educated and skilled than their credentials suggest, and has a legal system, tax system and property (including intellectual property) rights protections that are different and likely more uncertain and more reliant on bribes. Then assuming raw materials can be procured and production proceeds with sufficient quality and with the desire low costs, must secure logistics support to transports goods half-way around the world, and then once the goods are in local stores must endure headlines about use of slave labor, putting Americans out of work, environmentally unfriendly manufacture and shipping of goods that can tarnish the brand reputation, and will demand expensive lobbying in Washington to prevent tariffs or other barriers to global sourcing.

    When you look at all the potential places where things can go wrong and where things can be more expensive than anticipated with global outsourcing, it really shouldn’t be very attractive to most companies unless the governments in their own countries basically force them by requiring expensive/unreliable renewable energy and onerous environmental regulations, forces companies to hire for diversity rather than competence, requires employers to pay “living wages” and “free” health insurance to unskilled workers, offers a schooling system that turns out illiterate social justice warriors rather than engineers, toolmakers, and welders, and has high tax rates on corporate profits earned in country.

    Reply
    • John C.

      I agree it is somewhat the fault of the American government for the outsourcing but not because of the standard laundry list you bring up. It was in allowing it to happen in the first place. We had a situation where we made our own stuff and paid decently with less pollution over time. The risk our side worried about was socialists taking over the means of production. Instead we allowed people in authority to do something far more immoral. Socialist may steal a factory from it’s owner but will keep it open. The financialization of the economy that was allowed and celebrated, closed the factory completely so the pie could be recut for the passing through owner in the hope he will tinkle down on us. Who doesn’t feel tinkled down on now?

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Funny how so many workers in “socialist paradises” with their “safe” factory jobs are willing to risk their lives to move to racist/sexist capitalist countries. It is also funny how legal and illegal immigrants will take “jobs that Americans simply won’t do” because they are dirty, low-status, and poorly paid, and somehow not only afford to live in their new country, but also have enough money left over to send some to family that remains in the old country. It is also funny how Trump’s lower corporate taxes, support for cheap and reliable energy, de-regulation of industry, and control of the border raised employment and brought record wage increases for the lower classes and manufacturing jobs back to the USA, but the “people” voted him out because they didn’t like his mean tweets.

        Reply
        • John C.

          It must be galling to have to credit Trump with achievements that belong to Paul Ryan. If only Ryan had gotten through his Social Security replaced by coupons to buy annuities than perhaps the boomers would be sitting as pretty as the lower classes with all their new super high salaries. The saddest words of all, it might have been….

          Reply
          • Panzer

            Lol what?

            When did Paul Ryan start a trade war with China and force them to the negotiating table?
            When did Paul Ryan create a successful framework to reduce the scope of the federal government?
            When did Paul Ryan make an end run around Congress and use the military construction budget to secure the Southern border?

            Ryan belongs to the class of Chickenhawk Republican whose only real contribution to politics is to whinge about abortion while protecting the sanctity of “muh free markets” to the extent that trade that enriches our Chinese enemy can never be assaulted. He’s a fake patriot like you.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            Even as a fellow Miami University grad, I can’t stand Paul Ryan. He stands for nothing but the further enrichment of the rich.

          • John C.

            I was being sarcastic Panzer. Listing that tax cut to Ryan’s buddies as Trump’s big achievement as if tax rates were like they were in 1961 or 1981 just showed how out of touch Ryan is. His Obama era budget blueprint for America had already shown how off track he was. Any politician backing that was suicidal. Remember Romney’s mistake of picking the guy that would lose him Florida over the guy, Rob Portman, who would have won him Ohio. It all seems so long ago when we still had hope for the establishment on our side.

            Now in his grifting retirement far from Janesville, he tries with Lachlan to destroy Fox News. Even worse than grifting old Boehner passing the toke with Vincente Fox.

          • Panzer

            “Further enrichment of the rich” = Fake Reaganite, as if this is still 1979 and that road is gonna get him the presidency.

  16. Mike

    When we bought our little slice of heaven almost a decade ago, I immediately went shopping- and ended up with an 18HP diesel compact/subcompact tractor (the classifications are a bit muddy to me). A friend of mine had a ute, and it just never seemed to be as useful as my tractor. The only thing the tractor doesn’t do well is go fast- top end is about 8 mph, and with no suspension, 8mpg is really only doable on flat, level, even terrain. But that’s still faster than I can really run, so it makes for quick work of moving heavy stuff around. The bucket is also invaluable, at everything from carrying car engines to moving snow. The tractor can only carry one person, but again, that’s never really been a problem.

    If we had a LOT of land though, say 20-30 acres +, I could see the ute being handy for some things, and quite fun.

    Reply
    • Mike

      Also, on the Kawasakis- we use them at work, and they are CONSTANTLY breaking. The CVTs are garbage, and they rust like a 1975 GMC pickup.

      Reply
    • stingray65

      I think if I had some acreage with semi-serious lawn, snow removal, and towing work I would be very tempted to get something like a 40s-50s eras IH Cub or B, JD B or H, or Oliver 55 or 66, which can often be found at farm auctions in nicely restored/working shape for very little money (less than $5K – often way less). They are all overbuilt and dirt simple, and parts availability is very good, so DIY upkeep is easy.

      Reply
      • Mike

        The issue with them is many aren’t 4 wheel drive. My friend who had the ute also had an older John Deere compact utility tractor, but only a 2WD model. My tractor is smaller than his, but is ultimately more useful since it has all four wheels driven. A couple of times the shear pin to the front axle broke on mine and I had to stop work and fix it. In 2WD mode it was practically worthless- especially for plowing snow.

        I picked up my 4WD compact tractor for about 4500 used, with around 1000 hours on it, and it’s been pretty good to me. The hydraulic hoses are 30 years old, now, so they do leak and need to be replaced occasionally, and the alternator quit, so I have to keep a trickle charger on it when it’s not being used. But being an old mechanical diesel, all the battery is for is to run the starter.

        Reply
  17. Pingback: Nogglestead Christmas Round-Up – Musings from Brian J. Noggle

  18. LynnG

    Depending on usage I to would ask why a CJ based vehicle and not JD Gator or a Jd 3838E or a 750 or 850. the Gator ca do many things you discussed where as the 3838 or 750 series can do real work. However neither are for highway use. Likewise as someone correctly pointed out, the equipment needs are based on the real estate, it is best not purchase a 72” zero radius JD mower for a 6250 square foot conforming lot in Arlington County as it is a greater gauge then necessary for the target at hand.

    Reply
    • Mike

      Mine is a Yanmar 186D, which Yanmar also built for JD as essentially the 750. Being a Yanmar, though, I avoided the “Green Tax”. The 750 and 850 are great tractors, though. I’ve been half-looking for an 855 to eventually replace my Yanmar, as the 855 is a bit bigger, and full hydrostatic drive, which would make it more user-friendly for my non-shifting-friendly life partner.

      Reply
  19. NoID

    Speaking of Made in the USA, we were doing some post-Christmas shopping with my teenage son and were pleased to find skateboard trucks made in the USA, and not just assembled but actually forged here, under the Thunder Trucks brand. Forged and assembled in California. As well, the local skate shop we visited to find them carries decks made locally, in the same city as the store.

    The skate shop proprietor also took a very keen interest in the hobo who was considering breaking into my vehicle while we were shopping, taking care to go outside and shout some unpleasant things at him. I had my eye on the guy and would certainly have intervened if he had tried to gain entry, but it was nice that the shopkeeper wasn’t some soy punk who sheepishly accepted street crime as the inevitable sacrifice for urban progress. He was righteously an rightfully pissed, because an unsafe store is an un-patronized store.

    Reply
    • CitationMan

      The Harry’s Farm channel from Harry Metcalfe of Harry’s Garage is also good. Even though he’s known as a car guy and for starting EVO magazine, his degree is in agriculture.

      Reply
  20. JustPassinThru

    You mention the Roxor as a CJ3 copy; but in fact, it’s more-closely related to the CJ-7.

    There were some forks in the Jeep lineage…one, in-house, where Kaiser decided to move it’s M38A1 manufacture over to the former Studebaker truck plant in South Bend; the derivative DJ-5 Postal truck was made there when they got the bid. The Postal, right from the start, was different from the commercial Jeep DJ-5 with a different engine (Chevy II four) and Powerglide transmission.

    AMC bought the whole lot and created AM General to handle government contracts. They stretched the CJ wheelbases (5 and 6) two inches, in Toledo but not the Postals – they bulged out the radiators (and had that huge 500-pound six too far over the front axle). The M38A1 continued as original, right to the end (with the M151 Mutt, Ford design, AM General getting a bid to clone it).

    Mitsubushi licensed the CJ-3B but never updated their version. It continued into the 1980s, IIRC, unchanged.

    Mahindra had licensed Jeep manufacture from the Willys days; they had updated to make a CJ-5; but with a Perkins diesel four. They never lengthened the wheelbase when AMC did, but did clone a CJ-7 with a twelve-inch longer WB. The Roxor is 91 inches, instead of 93 on the CJ-7 and YJ Wrangler or 81 inches of the earlier CJs. As well, you can see a difference in the door cutout…the back cut is vertical, instead of angled.

    I had a good look at them; the Yamaha dealer in town was an enthusiastic new dealer (before the legal work-stoppage) and had several. Here the law is pretty lax with ORVs with plates traveling on city streets; for a time we’d see several about. They’ve gone into hiding, more recently.

    I wouldn’t have a use for one, but I liked it. It was a CJ-7 as a true utility vehicle – as Kaiser would have done it, had Kaiser kept control, and if they were trying for true utility, instead of fashion ersatz-utility, as Jeep now does.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I don’t know what it says about me that I didn’t really understand how big the mahindra was until I read the numbers in context. In my mind it’s the same size as a postal Jeep.

      Reply
      • JustPassinThru

        Armchair Jeep expert at your service, sir.

        I grew up around them…my old man, a WWII vet, was, after V-E Day, a chauffeur-translator for Allied brass. He loved the Willys products.

        Later he bought a Kaiser Wagoneer. He was less pleased.

        I have owned several Wranglers, several Postals; a brother owns a CJ-7. In addition, I enjoy business histories; and the story of Henry Kaiser…his rise and the end of his life, and how his family had to liquidate Kaiser Enterprises (holding company for Kaiser Jeep, Kaiser Broadcasting, Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Permanente and other entities) is fascinating.

        Had Henry Kaiser lived some years longer, he and son Edgar…would have owned AMC. Not the other way around. No historian says this, but the facts are evident: Kaiser owned a HUGE block of AMC; and were slowly buying more. They had talks of “merger” for some years before 1966.

        After Henry’s death, and his poor estate planning, it was all off. The Kaiser family had to sell much of the business to pay estate taxes. Kaiser interests proposed to American Motors that they buy Kaiser Jeep Corporation, and they had the shareholder votes to back it. It was so proposed and approved by shareholders, and it was done.

        And then Kaiser, what was left, slowly sold AMC stock in the open market.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          I wish I’d gone postal (shopping) when they were a grand each in decent shape; would be nice to have a DJ-5 next to the Roxor.

          Reply
          • JustPassinThru

            You would have found the Roxor far more engaging.

            As mentioned, I had the Postals. They were parts-bin engineered, and, very-literally, dangerous.

            The original Kaiser 100 Postals were not bad. Chevy II engines and Powerglide transmissions. But AMC saw fit to put that huge 500-pound six in the engine bay, and bulged out the grille to make it fit. That, and a garbage Borg-Warner automatic.

            It obviously was done for costs; to sell AMC engines; because the Chevy II engine was discontinued, and because the Post Office accepted it.

            Two-thirds of the engine was FORWARD of the axle. And there was little weight in the Postal carbody – two people could lift it, and I know, I rebodied one. What this meant, was, you could easily nose-over one…even more so than a CJ-5.

            Contrast that to the more-carefully-engineered YJ…which had the AMC four, SET BACK. ALL of the engine was behind the front axle; and the handling really demonstrated it. That was a better highway car than many passenger cars I’ve owned. I don’t know how the six, with the weight more forward, would have handled…never drove one.

            But what tipped me off that AMC’s people knew what they were trying to do, was that the four was shoved up against the firewall, with nearly a foot between the front of the engine and the grille. You could see the whole of the axle, forward of the engine. Strange design, the unschooled might think…until he drove it.

            A Postal is fun…on side streets. Otherwise…HONESTLY…the Roxor is a better road rig.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.