Last week David Tracy and I drove 3,500 miles from Michigan to Moab and back, including two passes over the Rocky Mountains and a little off-roading. It’d have been a fun road trip in a normal truck. But we didn’t do it in a normal truck. We did it in an $800 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that we resuscitated after 12…
After driving my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 1,700 miles from Michigan to Utah, I finally got a chance to take the big Woodie off-road. And my god was it glorious. Much more so than I expected.
Project Redwood—my $800 Craigslist Jeep Grand Wagoneer that hadn’t run in 12 years when I purchased it—just drove 1,700 miles from Michigan to the off-road trails of Utah almost flawlessly. I say “almost” because in the middle of nowhere, Colorado, the big Woodie left me and my copilot stranded.
After sitting abandoned for 12 years, my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer began its 1,700 mile journey to Moab with a few new parts, some thorough safety checking, a prayer, but almost no pre-trip testing. And yet, yesterday, Project Redwood somehow drove 700 miles from Michigan to Missouri with zero problems. Zero.
An ’86 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is still a prime bad-weather, rough terrain road trip machine. I know that because I just spent a day driving David Tracy’s $800 Jankmobile through the worst weather I’ve seen since Winter Storm Nemo and it doesn’t even have a working four-wheel drive system.
I built two two extra days into my 1,700 mile Michigan-to-Moab expedition to give us some leeway in case of breakdowns. I’ve now used those two days before ever leaving my driveway, thanks to my 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s copious brake problems. Now the Jeep is ready, but there’s no margin for error. If the Woodie…
If you’re wondering how overboard you can go modifying the new Jeep Wrangler, the answer is: extremely. To demonstrate this, Jeep has revealed its new Sandstorm concept, which has been turned into an absolute off-road monster thanks to crazy suspension mods.
I have to admit, I thought the Jeep 4SPEED concept would invoke the creaky, primitive four-on-the-floor experience I have in my ’75 International Scout but it’s really designed to be just the opposite. Jeep meant “For Speed” and we’re not mad I guess, because it has another cool party trick.
The Easter Jeep Safari concepts just debuted at the brand’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, and the star of the show—by far—is this 1965 Jeep Wagoneer with a Hemi V8 and the most beautiful and tasteful modifications ever done to an old SJ-platform Jeep.
The Jeepster concept we’ll meet at the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah next week takes a new Wrangler Rubicon and loads it up with OEM off-road upgrade parts. But the coolest part is the raked windshield and roof, which look straight off the ’66 Jeepster.
The Moab Easter Jeep Safari is in five weeks, and there’s still a crap-ton of work to do on Project Redwood, my rusty 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Here’s all the wrenching I have cut out for me.
The 2018 Easter Jeep Safari—a big off-road fest in Moab, Utah—isn’t far away, and I’ve still got tons to do to get my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer ready to tow another Jeep 1,700 miles, and then go rock-crawling on some of America’s most arduous trails. The good news: after 12 years, the Jeep finally lives!
Two years ago, I used junkyard parts to turn a $600 Jeep Cherokee into an off-road beast. Then I rebuilt a dilapidated 1948 Willys CJ-2A farm Jeep, took it on a 1,300 mile road trip, and wheeled the crap out of it at Moab. Now it’s time to introduce this year’s project: an $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer for which I have…
Oh god. This is going to be bad. After my “budget build” 1948 Willys Jeep, dubbed Project Slow Devil, turned from a project into an all-consuming obsession, I basically handed over my credit card and wept in the corner. Here’s the damage.
Upon my arrival in Michigan yesterday, I poured myself out of the driver’s seat of the 2017 Ford Raptor tow vehicle after 48 straight hours of travel. I was dead tired, but at the same time, thrilled with what was a genuinely epic journey. We did it. My insane Jeep project actually did it.
My 1948 Willys—nicknamed Project Slow Devil—has been dead since its engine lost all compression on a rural Kansas road. Time of death: Saturday morning, 1 a.m. Ever since, I’ve struggled to get even a wink of sleep as I tried diagnosing the problem. But on Monday, after having a second look at the innards of the…
As darkness fell on the Walmart parking lot in Goodland, Kansas, my coworker Freddy and I couldn’t stop scratching our heads. “What’s wrong with this little Jeep?” we asked ourselves. Eventually, we packed up and drove to our motel, where I struggled to get a single moment of sleep. My mind was—and remains—focused…
I never expected my 1948 Willys CJ-2A to make it 1,300 miles; the thing started out as a pile of rusty garbage, and if I’m honest, remains in that state on the back of a trailer after losing its engine last night near Sharon Springs, Kansas at 1 a.m.