Oloi continues its off-road journey this holiday season with Nat Moody’s 1997 Jeep Wrangler. This was the first year for the TJ generation Wrangler, which brought along some major changes and updates to the iconic small truck. Suspension components borrowed from the Grand Cherokee replaced the YJ’s leaf springs with coils. Purists welcomed the return of the circular headlights, which have graced every iteration of this rough-and-tumble off-roader since the days of the CJ (Civilian Jeep)

Nat’s TJ is a Sport model, which came standard with a 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder AMC engine. It produces 181 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed manual transmission. He ordered his Wrangler bone stock aside from the factory hardtop, which includes full metal doors and roll-up windows. The Sport came standard with a back seat, AM/FM radio, and wider tires over the base model Wrangler SE. It lacked a rear defroster, though Nat added one later on.

Nat is the first owner and has put 105,000 hard miles on his TJ, which still rides on its original clutch. He has modified it for extreme four-wheeling and actually put it through its paces. This is no lifted and clean pavement-pounding Wrangler. It has lived up to its ancestral history by fording rivers and crawling over boulders. Nat’s modifications to his TJ include larger wheels and tires, a lift kit, armor, winch system, stronger axles, off-road seats, additional lighting, and locking diffs.

This second-generation Wrangler has been joined by a new Jeep Gladiator, and Nat plans to take both vehicles up to the Rubicon trail next year.

As the end of the year approaches, this Flame Red Wrangler gets a much-deserved break and adds to the holiday spirit. Nat and his family deck out their TJ with reindeer and lights every Christmas season, giving Santa’s sleigh a run for its money. The “Red Jeep House” has become part of a local holiday tradition in the neighborhood.

Check out more details on this red-hot ride over at Oloi’s blog:

Nat Moody’s 1997 Jeep Wrangler

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