Trivial fact #3756 - I designed the muffler for that Jeep. For a year or two at one point I could say that about every Jeep in current production. That was the job that completely changed my opinon on XJ Cherokees. Had zero interest when I started working on them, then ended up having one built to order cuz I liked them so much. Probably still my favorite car I ever owned. The guys at Ford used to get pissed when I'd tell them that. They'd say stuff like "I don't get it. Cherokees have a bunch of design flaws (door size, etc) but everybody loves them..."This jeep was manufactured in March 96, and titled as a 97, making it the earliest tj I've seen.
Fun filled related story - I drove a pre-production TJ to lunch about a week before they were officially released. When I came out (Taco Bell in Columbus, Indiana) some guy was crawling all over it with his camera. The round headlights attracted people like moths to a flame.
Somewhat related Jeep story - I had (use of) a (ZJ?) Grand Cherokee before they were released. Rather than having camo on it, it was white with no badges or branding. Drove it to the Jeep dealer to check on something. The salesguy was leaning against it talking to me and never even noticed what it was. One salesman in the building was looking it over with a confused look on his face but wasn't curious enough to come outside... that was back when the job was fun and they gave you cars to drive rather than computer files to analyze. Contrast to my latest Cherokee story. I worked on that platform for a year before I realized it was a Cherokee. We had a pre-production test vehicle show up at work and when I showed interest in it one of the guys thought I was kidding. "You know this is what you've been working on this past year, right?" Well, no, in fact I didn't care enough to notice what vehicle I had been working on before that...
Sorry, I'm two hours into a conference call after a night of three hours sleep. Slap happy and doing what I can to stay awake... but at least now i'm on topic for the watcha doing today thread!
EDIT: Pop Quiz! Back in the '90s the place I worked added a prefix to part numbers that was based on what brand they were being designed for. GM parts started with a "G". FoMoCo parts started with an "F". Jeep parts started with an.... "N"
Why? Googling earns an instant disqualification... older guys will probably know but I'm wondering how you young pups will do...