For months we contacted scores of dealers and checked all of the online sources/auctions where vehicles were listed for sale. Over a period of nearly a year (we were in no hurry to find the exact Jeep we wanted at the right price), we found over one hundred 5.9s, most of them not white. During that period of time less than two dozen white ones came available for sale, some of them had more than 150K miles, some had over 200K miles, some of them listed issues and imperfections, and most of them did not have the off-road package. Too many of them were overpriced but we were patient and stuck to our plan and finally we struck gold.
After missing on an online auction, I decided to check out Autotrader.com where I had had no luck just a few days earlier. Bingo! There it was about 800 miles away at a small used car dealer in Oakley, California. As we carefully looked over the pictures and description, it was exactly what we’ve been looking for and the price was the sweetest part, under $4000 with a 90 day warranty. I called Craig Gordon, asked him a few questions, had him crawl around and under the Jeep while I had him on the phone, and bought it sight unseen (as I have bought so many other Jeeps in the past).
The next step was to fly to Oakland and pickup the Jeep, then drive it back 800 miles to Phoenix which was done three days later. I was met by my good friend and fellow Jeep Expeditions member Tim Woodson. Woody has turned his 5.2 Limited into a very capable overland Jeep and is currently working on his own 5.9 Limited.
So let me tell you a brief history of the project Jeep. One thing that is invaluable is a Carfax report and this dealer pulled one on every vehicle he has sold. The report told me a number of important facts including that it had never been in a reported accident, there were no reported issues (like failing to pass emissions or safety inspections), there were no title issues (like a reconstructed title), no odometer issues, and there is usually a history of ownership, use, and even service. The Carfax showed me the average miles per year the previous owner had driven it, and it had service records from the Jeep dealer. It gave me peace of mind that there were no issues to affect the value of the Jeep in the future.
This 5.9 Limited spent lots of time being pulled behind an RV. The owner must have kept it in a garage when not being used, judging by the condition of the paint and the absence of any fading of the interior or the instrument cluster. The primary driver was a woman as the evidence was clear: scratches in the leather between the door and the door handle could have only been caused by long finger nails, the radio buttons had clearly been pushed by fingernails and not soft fleshy fingers, and the tell tale wear was the spot on the carpet by high heeled shoes.“