It was starting to get cold, it had to be around mid October and the jeep had half doors, a bikini top, and a bypassed heater core. So the list for the Jeep began. The Heater core was first, the kid working at NAPA ordered the wrong one and took his personal vehicle (70’s 2 door Cherokee with a 408, awesome rig) to the NAPA in Parker, CO, we were in Castle Rock, CO. He then proceeded to deliver it to my house (10 miles into farm country), just to make it right. I never knew those kind of people existed anymore. It was truly an amazing gesture. I got the heater core in that afternoon, it was a revelation, even without doors and a proper top I could feel the heat and it was beautiful.
At the time I was commuting to I-225 and Parker Rd. from Sedalia, CO. I was that guy, driving my old jeep with a rabbit skin hat, yes with the earflaps, heavy jacket (florescent yellow from snow plowing work), ski gloves, and two pairs of pants. Maybe the client I was working with would have liked me better if she had known what I was going through just to get to work everyday… doubtful.
I knew I had to get upper doors and a top before it started snowing. I purchased upper door skins from a shop by the name of Bach Crawlers in Monument, CO (Terrific people, stop in and say hi if you are in the area). Just like that I was one step closer to being indoors for the winter, its amazing that such little material can make such a difference. Shortly after that I found a top for sale on Craigslist in Woodland Park, CO. It was the right price and the color spice; to be fair I couldn’t have cared any less about the color of the top; I needed to get a top put on before the snow started flying. The night I picked up the top, I had no idea how far away or how high the elevation of Woodland Park really was, it was cold and after work, so it was late. I saw the top and grabbed all of it and threw it in the jeep with the framework. It was all packed up in black trash bags and occupied a lot of space in the Jeep. I remember sitting at a light on the edge of Colorado Springs, in my winter garb, when the couple in the car next to me looked over and were looking at my jeep, its contents, and myself. I realized how it looked, their window was down because they were smoking, so I pointed at the trash bags and told them it was a body, then like in the movies the light changed and I drove off. I thought it was funny.
The next day I tried to get the top on the jeep only to find out that the frame I got was broken, poorly repaired, and incomplete. So now I was on the hunt for a frame for my soft top. I was and running out of time so I caved and ordered one online and anxiously awaited for its arrival. The rest is history really, that’s the story of how the jeep became the saving grace in my life when all others had let me down.
There will be more episodes of the Jeeps history to come. Just wait till it started snowing and I needed 4 wheel drive.
I should also mention that this was the time of my life when I did the doucheist thing I have ever done and have never forgiven myself for doing.
While I was in financial straights with my truck being broken, and those damn monthly payments coming up every month, I was considering selling the Jeep. The caveat to this idea is of course is the fact that this Jeep was given to me by a very good friend, and he had requested for first right to refusal if I ever sold it. In a weak moment I called him up and asked if he wanted it back, I wouldn’t have made him pay for it, but the whole point of selling the Jeep was to raise the funds to fix my blue truck. It was probably six months since I had been gifted this vehicle. Needless to say he was not pleased with my inquiry and told me to do what I needed to do with the Jeep. I have heard a lot of things come out my mouth that I wish I could get back, but if I could only have one of them back, it would be this moment over any other.
Look at where we are now. I have rebuilt the jeep from the top down front to back. I love this Jeep it has been one of the best companions I have ever had. It has so much personality, built with love, care, cursing, hammers, and breaker bars, but in the end there is always victory! It has inspired an entire webpage and blog for me. Where would I be if I had sold the Jeep?