A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon wrenching in an O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot in Stanwood, Washington. One of the store clerks came out to see my rusted-out 1958 Willys Jeep, which I’d spent two weeks trying to fix while living out of a Land Cruiser. This was the clerk’s reaction.
First some background: In early April, I embarked on a four week journey from Michigan to Seattle. The trip involved me relying on two vehicles that I’d bought sight unseen: a 2002 Lexus LX470 to get me to Washington, and a 1958 Willys FC-170 to take me on off-road trails out west.
The Lexus was good to me, but the FC-170 — which had sat for, if I had to guess, at least 20 years — was borderline beyond repair. That didn’t stop me from trying, though. Expect to read the full story on how that all went sometime in the next few weeks. It’s going to be epic. Until then, here’s a little nugget from that trip, which — if you follow me on Instagram — you may have already seen.
I’d dragged the FC to an O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot to do some wrenching, since I’d spent nearly two weeks in reader Tom Mansfield’s garage, and didn’t want to wear out my welcome. While wrenching, Luigi, a store clerk at the auto parts store, came out to take a look at my rusted-out machine. His reaction is priceless.
That a guy can get that excited about an automobile is just a testament to the power of car culture.