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Old 06-14-2014, 08:55 PM
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My Dad Left Me His Jeep

When I was 11, my dad taught me to drive in his '72 El Camino. When I was 14 or 15, he asked me what kind of car I wanted. I told him "a Jeep CJ-7". That didn't fly. He said I didn't know enough to appreciate how to take care of a Jeep. He said I would roll it. He said, "Maybe someday, you'll have a Jeep." I started, instead, with a 1966 Dodge Coronet: a veritable Kleenex box with a V8, two manual kill switches, and very sticky throttle (maybe the reason for the kill switches). In college, I came across a CJ and almost got into it. But the dealer being a dealer wouldn't budge; and it was obvious that the humble rig needed more attention and money than a college student could put into it. So I kept on.

A few years later, my pop bought a '95 YJ. At first, I kind of rolled my eyes at the square headlights in those stray years when they came off the Jeep lines, but they started growing on me. He looked really good in that Jeep. It fit him: a little different, but still American made, still proud. He drove it from '97 until last summer. He made room for it in a crowded shop/garage. He babied it and rebuilt most of it: engine, drive train, body, suspension. At 68-75 years old, he used the 4x4 to get into remote wooded areas, trailer-in-tow at 7500' + elevations to cut down trees for firewood, the only source of heat for him and my step mom. That Jeep fit him: Die-hard and aging, but always going the extra mile.

Our hearts broke when dad died in October last year. The Jeep sat idle through the winter as we all kind of carried on. At the beginning of this year my step mom called. "You're dad wanted you to have his Jeep," she said, "He says you always wanted a Jeep." We took our last few fishing trips in that square-headlighted YJ. On the most recent of those trips, we bagged enough trout to last for several months. Three weeks ago, my stepmom had her brother charge the battery and try to start Ol Blue. It fired instantly on the first turn of the key, ready to ride. Last weekend, I tightened up a gasline clamp to stop the pesky leak that is apparently a given for that range of Wrangler. I rolled her front tires up on to a Tow Dolly, pulled her shaft, put her in neutral, and had a friend of mine tow her from Ruidoso, NM to Austin, TX... after leaving a 6' skid mark on dad's driveway from the Jeep's well-working parking brake. (I could have sworn I heard him laugh).

She passed inspection with flying colors, and got her residency papers for Texas. As I pulled out of the DMV and took her to work for the first time, I smiled and maybe got a little bit misty as I leaned forward and looked up to the partly-cloudy blue sky, smiling.

"Thanks pop," I said, "I got 'er from here. I'll take care of 'er."

My Mazda's been kind of idle in the driveway for the last 4-5 days. Maybe I'll donate that perfectly running rig to one of my up and coming nieces or nephews or cousins in the next generation. Nothin' personal, but I'm thinking for now I kind of like my headlights square.

Jeff I. (aka jeffreyeye)
Austin, Texas
1995 Wrangler YJ/SE Sahara IL6, 4.0L Blue with Spice Supertop (aka Ol' Blu)
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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Awesome, awesome story man... Welcome from Fort Worth! And great name too


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Old 06-15-2014, 05:29 AM   #3
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and enjoy the forum!
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:49 AM   #4
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Brought a tear to my eye Jeff!

It is stories like these that make a Jeep a Jeep, and to be able to carry it on from generation to generation is the key.

While I've not kept my Jeeps for long periods of time, I have had quite a few. But due to Military PCS Moves, or needs of the family over the years, I have left them go one by one.

Now in semi-retirement, in a home, and settled in, I have my latest Jeep. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that my grand kids would be drawn to a vehicle like they are. When we go for a ride, it is always in the Jeep.

Latest venture a few weeks ago we took a few of the kids to a Drive In. I've not been to one in ages. When the movie started I had one grand daughter in my lap all curled up and a grand son sitting on the center console with my arm around him. Oldest grand daughter was snuggled up to him on the passenger seat. Wish I had gotten a picture of that!

I am happy you have your Dad's Jeep. Cherish it, share it with others and enjoy it for the basic and utilitarian vehicle that it is.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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Sorry for your loss, glad the Jeep has a good home.

Welcome to the forum!

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Old 06-15-2014, 10:45 AM   #7
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Great story and welcome!
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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Jeff, Welcome Aboard!
"Own a Jeep and own a piece of history."

"The Hunter is not concerned with the opinion of the Bear or the Wolf."
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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Welcome Jeff. I will keep an eye out for you in the area.

98 TJ 4i in currie with Currie bars front and rear
2014 JKUR AMP"D,Ace slider,BFG AT/KO's 33's
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I love my country. That's why I despise the government.
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dad , gift , new yj , stoked

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