Real Wheels: Family loves its Jeeps

LIMA – At the age of 13, Dylan Wohlgamuth knew he was a “Jeep man.” That’s when he bought his first Jeep, a 1998 Wrangler TJ, that his grandfather, Tommy Wohlgamuth, was selling.

Never mind that Dylan was three years away from getting his driver’s license. The way the 2017 graduate of Perry High School figured it, the keys to that ‘98 Jeep belonged in his pocket.

“I had some money saved and was doing odds jobs, mowing yards, raking leaves … I didn’t want to let that Jeep slip away,” he said.

That’s not surprising if you know the Wohlgamuth family. They love their Jeeps.

Dylan, now 26, still has the 1998 Wrangler. It’s been a good vehicle with just over 75,000 miles on it. He also owns a 2016 Wrangler JKU, which he calls his “everyday driving vehicle.”

Both his father, Kip, and his mother, Tess, drive 2021 Jeeps. His dad has a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and his mother a Wrangler Sahara 4xe.

Not surprisingly, Dylan’s wife, Ariana, is also a Jeep person. She owns a 2017 Patriot and recalls, “One of my favorite trips was the year we went riding in Hocking Hills.”

As for Dylan’s sister, Kyra Nguyen, she used to have a Jeep but sold it. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she buys another Jeep down the road,” said Dylan.

Dylan and his father have done a frame-off restoration of the ‘98 Jeep.

It came with a factory, 4 cylinder, five speed engine when his grandfather bought it new. Dylan and his father have since converted the engine to a V8, 5.9 liter Dodge magnum. They also upgraded the axle, added a wench, gave it a 4-inch lift, and equipped it with 35-inch tires.

“It was a father-son project … just a lot of fun,” Dylan said.

He’s looking forward to taking it to the Cridersville Fire Department Food Truck Festival and Jeep Invasion being held on Saturday, April 27. Main Street will be lined up with Jeeps of all kinds as well as 30 food trucks. A friend of the family, Mike Mitchell, describes it as a Jeep-lover’s dream show.

“My Dad and I missed the show a year ago. We were busy with the frame-off restoration. We’ll be there this year,” Dylan said.


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