Please Help Me Get My Rusty 1948 Jeep 1,800 Miles To Moab

Illustration for article titled Please Help Me Get My Rusty 1948 Jeep 1,800 Miles To Moabem/em

I’ve only got about a month to prepare for my trip from Detroit to Moab’s Easter Jeep Safari, but I’ve still got about a decade worth of wrenching to do. I really didn’t think those whole project through, but screw it, it’s too late to turn back now! Here’s the approximate route I’m taking. If you live anywhere along it, I might need your help. Also, prepare for a cloud of rust and oil to envelop your neighborhood.


And by “might need your help,” I really mean “definitely will need your help,” because this is a one way trip (I have no doubt about that) that will in all likelihood end catastrophically somewhere between my house and Moab.

Where exactly that will be is still up in the air, but if you ask most of my friends, they’ll tell you the answer is somewhere within a couple blocks of my house. But they’re just a bunch of jerks; I myself have higher hopes for the old farm Jeep. I think it’ll at least make it out of Michigan before something goes awry.

Illustration for article titled Please Help Me Get My Rusty 1948 Jeep 1,800 Miles To Moabem/em

I know, that sounds a little pessimistic, but if I told you all would work wonderfully, you’d laugh at me. Heck, I’d laugh at me. The idea that a two-man team wrenching in an ice-cold garage with a hilariously low budget can get a horribly maintained, structurally non-existent barn Jeep ready for a problem-free 2,000 mile road trip is borderline delusional. But I’m gunning for it anyway, and I don’t plan to give up until this thing is in Moab.

Sadly, the top speed of a healthy Willys is about 45 MPH (comfortably), and mine is very ill, so even if I do pull this off, it will be a very long journey (hence why that route above avoids highways) with no doors, no roof, no heater and no radio. Luckily, I will have a support car trailing me, so there’s that.

I made this same plea last year when I took a $600 Jeep Cherokee to Moab, and that journey went off without a hitch. I didn’t have to beg a single person for garage space or spare XJ parts, which was great!


I’m praying that the Jeep gods will blesse me with such fortune this year, but if that doesn’t happen—and you live somewhere along that route shown above— please help me wrench?

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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“Support Car” = your brother’s Dodge Caliber? That’s not helping your odds any.

If you decide to go a bit further north and take I-80 I’ve got some hookups along the way pretty much know someone with a trailer and garage every 200 miles between Chicago and Lincoln.