Jimny Fever: Part 1
Once upon a time a one car family. And nest emptied – still only the one vehicle for a hilly ten-acre block. No tractor, no farm truck, no farm bike, no farm all-terrain-vehicle, and no sit-on mower. But we do have a tandem axle trailer, shanks’s pony and a large orange wheelbarrow: The Red Wheelbarrow.
We relied on the car to get us out and about (no public transport out our way!) as well as to haul a trailer load of hay, logs, manure. posts and whatever. All secondhand, we started with a Subaru Touring Wagon (high/low ratio 4WD), followed by a full-time 4WD Subaru Legacy, and for the eight years pre-Jimny, a full-time 4WD Subaru Forester.
Then “as you do” (or so it often seems), we bought a new car when we retired; in December 2019, after an excruciating nine month wait for new stock to arrive from Japan (such was the demand), we took possession of the latest iteration of the Suzuki Jimny. A 3-door Tonka Toy that’s anything but a toy (unless you count the 8 cm long replica on my desk). A small car with serious “off-road chops” and passable “on road manners” is the sort of thing you read in the vehicle reviews.
Two attributes gave me ‘Jimny Fever’ real bad : the look of the thing and its off-road potential. The design is reminiscent of the Land Rover Defender and the Mercedes G-Wagon, while remaining true to much that appealed in the three earlier generations (spanning some 50 years) of the Jimny model. But of course, the Defender and G-Wagon are in a different league – they’d have to be to justify spending two to three times as much on a Defender and four to five times as much on a G-Wagon.
Ironically, for a vehicle engineered to be an excellent performer off-road, the fourth generation Jimny won the World Urban Car of the Year award in 2019. The design would have been key to its eclipsing ‘the trendies’. In fact, it placed third for World Car Design of the Year.
Besotted! That I am. Rational thinking has an uphill battle on its hands.
I’m no different from any other off-road 4WD drive enthusiast when it comes to wanting my chariot to look and act the part both on and off-road. And there’s the rub – when I’m in the throes of Jimny fever I find it hard to stop myself from buying automotive aftermarket ‘necessities’!
It doesn’t take much to convince myself of the ‘necessity’ – much harder to convince June! Quite the balancing act when you take into consideration the genuine necessity of keeping our “daily”* at the ready to serve a multitude of needs.
What the hell, no way does it stop me battling on as I pursue my dream of being more “weekend warrior”** than one of the “shinies”. ***
*daily: short for “daily driver” – the vehicle you use every day for personal transport (not that we use ours every day by any means).
**weekend warrior: a person who goes off-road at weekends or every now and then.
***shiny: a nicely polished 4×4 with the look of an off-roader but never actually used as such.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. In Jimny Fever: Part Two, we’ll take a look at the automotive aftermarket ‘necessities’ that I reckon I’d better have for going into battle as a weekend warrior.
Thanks for your company. Bye for now.