Curbside Outtake: Four Horsepower Is Enough

just another day on Daytona Beach with the Kid and thejeepjunkie

Just to let my fellow Curb Dwellers know, Jeeps have been fairly predominate in the life of this longrooffan. And that includes almost all of them; station wagons, MB’s, CJ’s YJ’s and my current ride, a 1986 MJ. More on that one in a future post. I thought I might share one of my many Jeep adventures with you this Holiday weekend.

My younger brother, who I affectionately refer to as the jeepjunkie, has owned a few CJ’s in the last couple years. By that I mean he has bought, fixed up, and sold over a dozen CJ’s in the past 27 months.  All without his wife’s knowledge!  Yeah, it’s good to have friends with empty garages and huge back yards. Hell, even did a blurb on him. His CJ’s are no trailer queens as the next series of images will confirm.

Now trust me, thejeepjunkie is no stranger to getting an old CJ stuck. This is his yellow CJ2A, prior to its fancy new paint job, on the day we Stuck One, Broke The Other.  And no, getting his 2A stuck in that creek is not the subject of this story.

thejeepjunkie’s son, the Kid, sported this cool CJ5 for a couple years prior to getting his college bound Ranger four wheel drive last fall. And yes, he Jones’s over my Comanche every time he sees it.

But know this my fellow Hoons, that then 17 year old Kid gained valuable insight from his old man about how to get a Jeep stuck in a creek.

thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan have often opined about our interest in old cars and, in his specific case, old CJ’s. We have come to the conclusion it is based on this old Willys M38 my older brother owned back when we were mere lads. My Big Brother Bob, yes BBB, purchased this old Army jeep for around fifteen hundred bucks in the late 1960’s. We loved cruising around in it with him. And he loved, and still does, showing off for his youngest brothers.

We would go out for rides with BBB regardless of the weather conditions. Hell, we were kids what difference would a few inches of snow make in having a blast with he and his wife? X boxes and Playstations were not even in the vocabulary back then. And yes, that is my Dad’s garage with his 1929 Model A, a bicycle built for two and my baby sister Joan’s little bike with training wheels contained in it.

This olelongrooffan suspects the experiences driving BBB’s newer CJ5 around out farm was also a major contributor towards his fascination with old Jeeps.

One day when the three of us were out Hooning around, my folks were watching us and BBB talked them into climbing into the cockpit of his CJ for this, obviously staged, photo opportunity. Check out that fur hat my Mom has on. And the cigarette in her right hand. Gotta love the 70’s.

Later that same day, my Dad captured this photo of BBB, thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan racing through Turnback Creek. Yeah it was fun being a Hoon kid out on the farm.

Another day BBB was out at the farm and he decided to try and drive his CJ5 through this smallish pond we had in the front field. It was a seasonal pond, only appearing after the winter thaw and spring rains. It was about 18 inches deep and maybe 25 feet in diameter. BBB would get about 30 feet away, floor that Jeep, pop the clutch and race toward that pond in an attempt to get across it. He inevitably failed and I would back Dad’s tricycle front International Harvester “C” tractor up to that pond, thejeepjunkie would wade out, hook up the tow chain and I would yank BBB out. Only to have him try it again. And again. And again.

My whole family had gathered around by this point and Dad was getting pictures and 16mm film of it and laughing his ass off. Mom set up a picnic on the tailgate of our old farm truck and we made a party of it. By the way, BBB never got all the way across that pond that afternoon. But Damn! Hooning on that farm was a blast!

Prior to his acquiring that CJ5, BBB still owned his M38. He was off defending our country and left his M38 out on the farm. thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan decided to see if we could get it across Turnback Creek down in the hollow on our farm. Well as you can observe in the above image, we failed miserably. I hoofed it back to the barn to get Dad’s “C” and a bunch of chains to get us out before Dad got home and tanned our hides. Well, we didn’t have enough chain to reach that M38 while keeping that “C” on terra firma, cuz I sure as hell wasn’t getting the tires on that old tractor stuck.

Meanwhile, our neighbor across the hollow came down to see “What the hell are you boys up to this time?” Yeah, we city kids were pretty well known throughout that rural community. He observed the situation and told us to just “sit over under that tree until I get back.”

About twenty anxious minutes later he returned trailing along behind his team of four huge Belgian draft horses and they all waded out into that creek. “Son, hook this rope up to that bumper and let’s get you kids out of there.”

thejeepjunkie hooked that rope from that team up to the ass end of that Jeep, jumped into the pilot’s seat, and Mr. Devine, with his four horsepower, pulled that old buggy to a dry rest, creekside. We thanked him profusely and he winked at us and said around his ubiquitous pipe, “Let’s just keep this between us, okay?”

I developed these pictures in my high school darkroom and screwed up the negative of the one I got of that team hooked up to that Jeep. And that pisses me off to this day.

I don’t know if Dad ever found out about this expedition but the fact thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan never got our asses tanned leads me to believe Farmer Devine carried this experience with him to the great beyond. But now that both he and Dad are together, I’m kind of afraid what’s gonna happen when I get there.