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Gittin' After It

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Verne Simons
| Senior Editor, Jp
Posted November 1, 2001

Memorial Day 'Wheeling in Tennessee

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  • Hammering in the hills of Tennessee.

  • Adam Woodlee showed up in his ’52 Willys for some full-throttle assaults on the various washes and waterfalls that fill the woods just outside of Cowan. This old truck is amazing and never seems to quit.

  • What do you call a CJ-7 that runs a Chevy 1-ton drivetrain and frame? Well, Gary Hurt calls his Jeep a tub-truck, and that’s OK with us because this Jeep means business. The strength and added wheelbase help keep the tires turning through the muck and up the trail.

  • All Jeep all the...what the hell is that thing? This, uh, thing, fondly known as the mechanical butt-head, showed up for a maiden voyage. OK, so it’s not a Jeep, but it’s got a lot in common with Jeeps. Well, no, it doesn’t but it was fun coming up with names for it like “jungle gym on wheels” and “rolling scrap iron.”

  • Snap-crackle-pop no more. John Green resurrected his 350-powered CJ-7 by strapping on some new axles and a set of 44s. You may remember his spectacular semi-floating 14-bolt breakage from “Tires and Fire” (May ’01).

  • The theme here was leave your little lugs at home, run big axles, and have plenty of power for Cowan’s first ’Wheeling Anti-Tour.

  • Wilson Boyd put on a bit of a show on the waterfall below the bald spot. The 33-inch tires, an F-head, and some skillful driving helped Wilson get his CJ-2A up but not over, proving that 44-inch tires are cool, but smaller ones provide more of a challenge.

Just imagine that every year there is a huge off-road event held in your local ’wheeling spot. By huge we mean too big, and by that we mean that there will be way too many vehicles to shove down the trail. Now these trails that you know like the back of your hand are gonna be so congested that what once was a fun ’wheeling spot, will now be backed up worse than the toilets in the Civic Center after a week-long expo on high-fiber foods. What do you do? Well, some would say you should start an anti-establishment type of event like a Woodstock for Jeeps, minus the hallucinogens and flower people named Rainbow, of course. But you could start an event where only a few of your best ’wheeling buddies are invited to camp out on your grandmother’s back field to do some ’wheeling during the day and have a cook-out over a camp fire at night. It would be fun, and hopefully you may get the point across that big events are good, but sometimes limits have to be set. This is just about exactly what happened in Cowan, Tennessee, this past Memorial Day weekend, and after having such a good time out there last winter we decided that we could not resist a chance to go and see some more heavy throttle-footed ’wheeling action.