As Far From Germany As I Can Get

When I was pretty young we would make what I recall to be fairly regular visits to Blanding, Utah to visit my great grandparents who lived there. The Four Corners region is an interesting enough place by itself, but my great grandparents made it even better. They lived in an old house on a rise there in town. You could see Ship Rock in New Mexico from their kitchen window. Grandma was a great cook and always had something to eat and more often then not a dessert. She was always anxious to spend time with you and hear what you had to say and then beat you in a game of checkers (she pulled no punches there). Grandpa had a pretty savvy mechanical mind and was always tinkering with something and being the person I am I loved following him around. Grandpa was also an explorer. He always had a Jeep and would take us on adventures to all sorts of places that vehicles shouldn't be able to get to and as a pretty young kid rides with him would terrify me, but I kept going back for more. The Jeep he had when I showed up on the scene was a light tan and brown CJ7.
                                                                 Me and my brother and the Jeep.

I loved that thing. I'd sit in the driver seat and beg to be taken somewhere. Even after grandpa died I would beg my dad to go and ask grandma for the keys so he could take my brother and I out in it. It wasn't too many years after that when my mom's cousins bought the Jeep from grandma (who didn't drive it at all) and that's the last I saw of it. Fast forward a decade or two (let's not count how many) and I hear that my mom's cousins have quit driving the Jeep due to some mechanical problems and that it was sitting under a carport at my Aunt's house in Salt Lake. I discussed the idea of getting the Jeep with my uncle and we drove up to do some reconnaissance on the situation. The Jeep had been lifted, backed into a thing or two by the looks of it, and had some extensive rust starting to take hold.

Now my mom's cousins family has a gene that seems to make them hold onto things. They just don't tend to part with stuff especially family relevant items. Knowing that and looking at the work it would take to make the Jeep whole I hummed and hawed a awhile and finally about 2 years ago I worked up the courage to call my mom's cousins and ask about grandpa's Jeep. They hummed and hawed and said they'd think about it and get back to me. A few week ago they finally called back and said if I wanted the Jeep that I could come and get it provided that I grant them 24 hours of visitation each year. I asked how much they wanted for it and they responded with a sentimental,"we think grandpa would like you to have the Jeep." (I think they were slightly suspicious that they might not get much for it anyway.) At any rate it was a nice thing to say and a nice thing to offer so before they could change their minds I found a weekend and rounded up a borrowed truck and trailer and went and got it.

Is it German? No. In fact it is an American Motors product. At least it's not a Chrysler, right? It was purchased from a dealership called Key American in Albuquerque New Mexico and aside from that has spent it's whole existence in Utah. It has the 258ci Inline 6 cylinder engine and the 5 speed gear box. No other features were ticked on the cardex except for the high back front seats from the Laredo package and the steal doors and hard top. No radio. No A/C. The Salt Lake winters (where they apparently coat the road in more salt than is humanly imaginable) were not kind to this Jeep from the dry South West. The familial pressure is going to be a little more than I bargained for I think. I mean this Jeep is on my grandpa's tomb stone for crying out loud. It's in a surprising amount of the family artwork too. Am I Jeep person? I apparently am now. My garage mate who is a decidedly staunch Land Cruiser devotee has agreed to tolerate it's presence in our work space. I am apparently going to have to go and find what few standard wrenches that I had and quit using when I got rid of the Blazer. I'm not a generally sentimental person at this point in my life, but there is something about this Jeep. As my garage mate will attest I am also pretty dead set against the naming of vehicles, but for this one I'm going to make an exception. In honor of grandpa this one will be called Lynn.
Welcome to Nevada Lynn.

1 comment:

Mi mundito said...

Love this! I hope it's a good time fixing Lynn up.