Running out of printer stuff to get pissed about, or at least NEW stuff to get pissed about, so you get car stories again today. My first car was a 1976 Ford Grand Torino powder blue station wagon, and I told you a few memorable stories for me that occurred because of or with that car. Well my second car was much cooler. A dark blue 1976 Jeep CJ-5.
The Jeep was legally my father’s ride, but after he got a work truck it became mine. Once it because mine we took the top off at the end of April and left it off until the end of September. If it rained, my buddy drove. Either way, as an 18 year old, we were cruisin’ in either a convertable Jeep or a 1972 Chevelle SS.
So the first story happened the winter before the Jeep became mine. I was on a bowling team just over the border in Indiana . We had 4 friends (all 17) and some 23 year old guy we picked up to fill out the team. We were kicking EVERYONE’S butts. I was nothing special, just a consistent 170. But 2 of our guys had 195 averages and could easily string up a 230 game. The first half we lost only 4 games and it was pissing off all the older guys in the league. They thought the 2 guys were sandbagging (which they probably were). That and 2 of our guys were kinda assholes about being good. So come the end of the first half, we are 4 points in front of the second place team, who for the last several years has been the team that won everything. Needless to say they were a bit miffed at us kids. So the position round come sup and if they beat us 2 of the games and series they can take first for the half. That day it snowed. A lot. We figured they would cancel bowling as the roads were pretty bad but it turns out that the guys we would be bowling were also the President, VP and treasurer, AND they all lived in the sub division right behind the bowling alley. They could walk there if needed, so no cancellation. So I grabbed the Jeep (still dad’s at that time) and pick up 3 of the guys that lived by me and off we went. No snow is going to stop me! I put it in 4WD and off we go, going thru the snow like it wasn’t there. We see all sorts of cars stuck or in the ditch but we keep going. We reach the bowling alley and I slow down to wait for traffic to pass by so I can take my left into the (unplowed) lot. Out of habit I look in the rear view mirror and I see a Caddy sliding towards the back of my Jeep at a funny angle. I look up and oncoming traffic is still there so I can’t turn, so I decided to just go forward and hopefully avoid contact. Nice thought but it didn’t work, as the Caddy slammed into the back and propelled us forward into a snowbank. We were fine, Caddy was pretty messed up and the Jeep had a dented corner. We went in and beat the snot out of the guys who showed up. There were only perhaps 6 teams worth of bowlers there on a 32 team league, but we beat them handily. However the fallout when I got home over the dented Jeep was pretty intense. To say my dad was mad would be an understatement. And the few of you who knew my dad knew that him being mad scared the hell out of me, at any age.
The spring after the accident, the Jeep became mine. As I mentioned above we took the top off and it stayed off all summer. We used to ‘cruise’ down a few of the main streets that still did that back then. We seemed to get more attention to my plain, dark blue jeep than we did when we were in my buddy’s Chevelle. There are a lot of stories I could tell about those nights, but Mrs. Pissedoffprinter doesn’t like reading about those, so on we go to the most memorable.
My best buddy at the time (the guy with the Chevelle) also raced dirt bikes. He had several and I used to ride them occasionally with him. Not very well, but I didn’t kill myself so there is that. He lived on a dead end street and there were some woods behind him where he crafted a dirt track of sorts to race on. We used to take my Jeep, a radio and a cooler of beer and I would follow him thru the woods to the track, where we would take turns going around the dirt track, listening to music, enjoying a few cold beers and enjoying the day. One day I got the bright idea to follow him around the track in my Jeep! I made it around almost the whole track when I came to a hill that we would jump. I am not going to try and jump it in the Jeep as I am not going that fast, so I crest the hill and take a left. That was my fatal mistake. As I come down the hill I start to lean to the right. Then some more, and more and before I know it I am now upside down looking at dirt above my head, held into my seat by the seat belt. Oops. Buddy comes over and we manage to tip it back over, nervously laughing and I am happy that there appears to be no damage other than a little scraped paint in the top of the rollbar. We finish up a little while later and I head home. 2 blocks from home I press in the clutch and ‘BAM”, the clutch just stayed pressed to the floor and I was coasting to a stop. I have to call my dad to help me push it the rest of the way home (he was NOT happy) and we found out that there were 2 bolts holding the clutch assembly to the outside of the trans. ‘Were’ being the operative word here as I seemed to have sheered them clean off with my last press of the clutch. I must have hit it hard a few times going around that track. The kicker, I can’t tap them both out without removing the exhaust system as it is in the way, and if I do that, I’ll probably have to replace it as it is very rusty. We were able to reach one bolt, so we tapped that one out and replaced it. It was good enough to run, and since it was the end of August and I was starting college in about a week I ended up selling it as-is. All the stories I could have had with me having a Jeep in college just evaporated.
I miss that Jeep, but no way in hell am I paying $40k for a new one.