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The West Coast Jeepster Jam

Posted in Events on October 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Jeepster Jams have been happening for years. They are, of course, a regional or national gathering focused on the Jeepster Commando. Put on by Jeepster enthusiasts for Jeepster enthusiasts, the events are a great source of information and feature lots of camaraderie. Of course, the VJ Jeepster isn’t shunned, but most of the activities involve 4WD and low range, which kind of leaves out the VJ. If you live in the Eastern or Central US and own a Jeepster, chances are you’ve been to one of those regions’ Jeepster Jams. But, if you live on the West Coast and own one, you have either been relegated to loading your Jeep up on the trailer and driving a partway across the country or hoping that the national Jam will make it out your way next year.

This big blue ’67 is rolling on 37-inch BFG MTs but it isn’t the 5.3L Vortec V-8 that sets it apart. Heck, it isn’t even the fact that Andrew McCleskey wheels it so hard he frequently is swapping body panels that sets it apart. You see, this Jeepster was an original convertible. Most Jeepsters came with hardtops and the convertibles are somewhat rare and collectible. Now, before you go firing up the hate mail generators, know that this thing was in pretty bad shape even before Andrew beat it up. An SM420 and Dana 300 back that new-age V-8 while a Dana 60 front and Dana 61 rear put power to the corners. The 61 seemed an odd choice, so we asked about it. It’s real easy to mis-identify a 61 as a 60 and it wasn’t until it was under the Jeep that the truth came out. Still, it took the 4.56 gears and ARB Air Locker to match the front, so there is no real reason to yank it out.

Well, hope no more. We got the opportunity to go to the first ever West Coast Jeepster Jam. It was a week after TDS in the same location as TDS, but you’d have been hard pressed to keep Trasborg away. It was jam-packed with wheeling, grilling, and even a raffle. There was a lot of talk about doing a West Coast Jeepster Jam for 2013 as well. However, there was some discussion as to whether or not there would be enough interest and both the location and date were up in the air. For more information about next year’s events, check out jeepstercommandoclub.com. But for the straight skinny on the 2012 event, read on.

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