Trail Head

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - —Rick Péwé jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com

Our coun­try thrives on wheels, and our love and lust for all things au­to­mo­tive is known through­out the world. The mus­cle cars and associated hot rod cul­ture from the six­ties are uniquely Amer­i­can, and they are adored and em­u­lated in coun­tries around the world. But the Jeep cul­ture is even more unique and even more revered in its own seg­ment, as ev­ery Jeep tells a story.

Ev­ery time I drive a Jeep and stop for fuel or sus­te­nance I in­vari­ably end up talk­ing with the guy on Pump #7 about the Jeep he used to have, or the one he’s restor­ing, or his un­cle’s Jeep he learned to drive on. It’s a great thing, and I’ve spent hun­dreds of hours con­vers­ing with other Jeep own­ers about their present or for­mer jeeps and the sto­ries associated with them. Those sto­ries alone could fill a mag­a­zine or a book—and some­day I may have to re­late some of those. Sure, some of those sto­ries may have been mod­i­fied through the cloudy lens of time, but the ba­sic story holds through re­gard­less. Some of us have more Jeeps than oth­ers and hence more sto­ries, and that’s what re­ally makes Amer­ica great.

The other day I ran across a great guy who has a cool col­lec­tion of Jeeps. Some of them were al­most rusted into the ground, yet oth­ers were nearly mu­seum qual­ity.

The most in­ter­est­ing thing, which I to­tally un­der­stood, was that they are all equal re­gard­less of age, stature, con­di­tion, rar­ity, or pedi­gree. As my buddy ex­plained about this jeep or that one, it truly came home how each Jeep tells a story. There was one he had watched in a field for 20 years, and fi­nally the owner let it go, along with the history and awe­some story of that Jeep. It wasn’t in any shape to re­store, much less ever drive, but its sto­ried past still made it worth sav­ing from the scrap­per—to be al­lowed to live what’s left of its life out with its other com­rades in arms.

“It’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t un­der­stand.” This is a phrase that may be mocked by some, but it truly is so, be­cause those other peo­ple just don’t get it. I’ve driven all sorts of Jeeps all over the world, and re­gard­less of make, model, year, creed, re­li­gion, or cul­ture, a com­mon bond ex­ists be­tween all real Jeeple. Real Jeep­ers do get it, and col­lect, save, store, re­store, and love these jeeps for the Jeep—not for the money that may be made from sell­ing, part­ing, or scrap­ping them. What’s your Jeep story?

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