Jonathan Baker, 40, marketing director for Sid & Ann Mashburn, a renowned men’s and women’s clothier in Atlanta, on his 1995 Jeep Wrangler (YJ), as told to Mike Jordan.
I’d always wanted a Jeep. They just appealed to me—the look of them, the Spartan element, the utilitarian type of vibe. I just thought they were cool.
One of my best childhood friends, Chris Hannah, was a junior when I was a freshman at Collins Hill High School [in Suwanee, Ga., a northern suburb of Atlanta], and a mentor of sorts to me. He had one: A 1993 Wrangler (YJ), cherry red, with a lot of chrome and a great sound system. We’d go tooling around suburbia after school, before our drumline practice, listening to rock ’n’ roll.
And to be hanging with an upperclassman in a Jeep with no top? It was like heaven. It was an introduction to independence. There was this levity that it brought—a lightness, excitement, adventure. My affection for the car started there, and that was 1995. There’s certainly some synergy there that I own a car from 1995.
In 2017, it was a time in my life when I was trying to think of something to improve myself—a new skill or hobby. I was trying to cope with [a divorce] and trying to think of creative ways to better myself as a man and as a dad. So I started looking on Craigslist, researching [Jeeps].