Jeep obsession was started by my brother Mike. His 1st Jeep was a '69 Kaiser DJ that he
did a few mods on, but was limited by finances, (he was like, 17 at the
time) and the fact that the aftermarket that we enjoy today was totally
non-existent then. But, as with most of my family, we have a way around
things like that, called imagination and resourcefulness. We usually
find a way to get it done. Anyway, here's a tribute to Mike & his Jeeps,
and this infatuation of mine he helped create.
BTW, the photos are
all courtesy of Michael Hindle
Kaiser DJ. It
was painted Ford Grabber Blue, had 30"
tires on the obligatory (for the times) white spoke steel wheels. Mike
had fabricated new doors to clear the tires, and installed a AM/FM
cassette deck for the tunes. It was powered by an Iron Duke Chevy 2.5L
four cylinder, and had a Powerglide trans. I think the day we first rode
around with the doors rolled back, I realized how cool this little piece
was. The shot at left was taken before Mike had done the wheels, tires
and the doors. It wasn't a 4WD, but the DJ never knew the difference. If I'm not
mistaken, Mike ended up selling it after he rolled it over. I was sorry
to see it go.
Sometime later, (I don't remember the exact time frame) Mike purchased
the coolest Jeep he ever owned, (IMHO) a 1971 Jeepster Commando. His had
the optional hardtop w/sliding windows, and was powered by the old
odd-fire Buick V6, and was also equipped with A/C. And yes, this was as
clean as it looks! Not a thread out of the interior, no rust, just like
it was '71 all over again. This vehicle had an interesting story
attached to it. My bro was having the vehicle worked on at a local shop.
I was hanging out with him, just waiting for the call to come get it.
That call came, but with the admonition, "we have a problem"
(Never good). When we got to
the shop, we found the Jeepster wedged between a hydraulic lift (you
remember the old single-post ones?) and the shop wall. I've never seen a
man's head explode, but Mike's came close that day!
not least, after he sold the Jeepster, Mike bought a 1980 CJ7. This one
had a 4 cylinder engine, but it was a CJ, so as far as I was (and am)
concerned, that was enough. One of the somewhat interesting little
details on this piece was the roll bar padding that was basically nylon
rope wrapped neatly around the tubes. I always thought that this looked
cool, but on further consideration, I wonder how much it would
protect your brain bucket if they met with any amount of force. Not much, I figure, but that's
was kinda funny, when I first showed Mike Monster Tweety back in 2003, one of the things he
said to me was," I'd really like to get another Jeep"
better time than the present!