“Do I re­ally need an­other Jeep pro­ject?” isn’t re­ally the ques­tion, as the

Jp Magazine - - Trail Head - —Rick Péwé jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com

an­swer is ob­vi­ously yes. The ques­tion should re­ally be some­thing like “Do I have the time, en­ergy, room, funds, space, and ex­pe­ri­ence to de­vote to the pro­ject?” Most likely that an­swer would be no, but that still doesn’t stop a true Jeep­a­holic like me. If I ever win the lot­tery, my com­pound will be lit­tered with rusty hulks of awe­some­ness wait­ing to be res­ur­rected to their for­mer glory. Or maybe they would be­come yard art, or even just be started up and limped around a few feet ev­ery year. The sad truth is that is ex­actly what I do now, and no,

I’ve never even come close to win­ning the lot­tery. Of course, I’m com­pletely out of the afore­men­tioned time, en­ergy, room, funds, space, and ex­pe­ri­ence, but that doesn’t stop me much.

That may be my af­flic­tion and ad­dic­tion all rolled into one—Jeep col­lect­ing. In fact, it doesn’t much mat­ter the size, age, cost, condition, or lo­ca­tion of the beast; they all have their value, from a BRC to a JKU. The other day a Jeep neo­phyte asked me about a re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of mine. I showed him the photo like a proud poppa with his first-born baby in swad­dling clothes. It was a 1959-ish Willys Wagon, re­s­plen­dent in white­wash over some cool, old graph­ics hand-let­tered on the orig­i­nal Glen­wood Green paint. Perched upon the res­cue trailer, it lit­er­ally glowed in the wan­ing light of the evening, rev­el­ing in its own glory. Then the new guy asked, “Does it run?”

Need­less to say, I was at a loss for words. I un­der­stood where his new­bie mind­set was, but I had to guide him to­ward true nir­vana—where the ac­tual run­ning of the Jeep was merely sec­ondary to sim­ply ap­pre­ci­at­ing it. Why, we could MAKE it run by golly, with a can of ether and a good push-start! And as a mat­ter of fact, I had driven it un­der its own Su­per Hur­ri­cane power onto the trailer. I steered it up the trailer ramps like a Mis­sis­sippi River barge as the pre­vi­ous owner lay sprawled un­der the hood, drib­bling gas down the car­bu­re­tor while hold­ing the bat­tery ca­ble on with his spare hand. Good thing the brakes worked.

In the end, the ques­tions aren’t do I need an­other Jeep, or does it run. Those an­swers are a given. Of course I need more Jeeps, and it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter if it runs or not. The real ques­tion is where will I find the time, en­ergy, room, funds, space, and ex­pe­ri­ence to go get that new pro­ject? It’s a real dilemma, but some­one has to deal with it!

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