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From ghost towns to lunar craters and
highways connected to our own Civil
War heritage, the big Jeep had things

This particular Grand Cherokee had
the middle ground of grand engines
under the hood in the form of a
smooth 4.7-liter V-8 powerplant and slick 5-speed automatic transmission. Power comes on strong early as it should with a V-8, and stays linear up to the shift points. All-wheel-drive is present all the time with an optional four-wheel low lever tempting one to climb the basalt rock-encrusted hills of Mineral County. Temptation was overruled by the nearest replace-ment tires being 300 miles away, at best. A shortcut on the 93 to Ely was the 318. The 4.7 had a lot of the same feel as the LA block 318, but shares no mechanicals with its pushrod predecessor.

Any trip heading toward Las Vegas from Los Angeles always seems to start with traffic. Lots of traffic. The horror in this case was not the deception of destination and ridiculous gas prices of Primm, but that this traffic stretches all the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Traffic in the middle of nowhere is a source of great mystery. That being said, the left turn onto the 93 heading north to Ely and points salty in the big Jeep 4X4 was quite possibly the best left turn, ever.

The turn was made in a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which was
rented to serve as both transportation to and accommodations for
Speedweek at Bonneville 2006. A handy tip for those wanting to go to
Speedweek is that hotels are booked solid nearly a year in advance.
The big Jeep obliged both these purposes well, and was up to every
task thrown into the steering wheel.