Chief Smoking Prius
“We didn’t buy it for the fuel economy,” is what Josh and Traci Galan of College Place, Washington, tell nosy folks who constantly ask how many miles per gallon their ’79 Cherokee Chief gets. What they did buy it for is off-roading, camping, road trips, and drive-in movies. Helping them get a clear view of the big screen is a 4-inch suspension lift above Dana 44 axles front and rear, and stock 15x8-inch wheels fitted with 33x10.50-inch BFG A-T tires. The Cherokee Chief is propelled by a T-18 four-speed manual tranny and Dana 20 T-case, which are spun by a two-barrel AMC 360 V-8 engine. One cold winter morning that engine was pumping out some white smoke as Traci sat at a stoplight when she noticed a Toyota Prius through the fog in the rearview mirror. It made her wonder, “If the Jeep represented everything the Prius owner stands against … well, that’s life.”
Meet the Jillys!
Canadians can be very unique, and we doubt Art Erickson of Wabamun, Alberta, would consider that anything other than a compliment. That’s because he’s the man who decided to transform an ’09 Jeep JK into a modern Willys wagon that he calls “the world’s first Jillys.” To get the look of a classic ’60s Jeep, the hood modification was sourced from a Lincoln, and the grille made of 90-degree aluminum stock came from a hardware store. Western Paint and Auto Body in Calgary, Alberta, put it all together, and then off-white paint and decals were used to complete the retro look (although a classic hood ornament may be in the future). While skidplates, diff covers, front fenders, and a winch mount were added, Art says he has no plans to install a lift or big tires so he can preserve the old-fashioned look. He’s already happy with the performance, which has taken him through bumper-deep mud, even deeper snow, and narrow trails where trees have left their marks, proving the Jillys is “not a mall queen.”
Joe Belfiore sent us pictures of this super clean and well set up ’85 CJ-7. Joe, from Kearny, New Jersey, built the Jeep over the past 4 years. The suspension features 41⁄2-inch Rubicon Express springs to keep a fully customized Dana 44 front axle and Dana 60 rear away from the CJ’s frame. The Dana 44 is outfitted with Dutchman axleshafts, CTM U-joints, a Detroit Locker, and Reid knuckles. The rear spins 35-spline Dutchman shafts, a Detroit Locker, and stops with disc brakes. An AMC 401 V-8 with 9.5:1 Keith Black pistons, an Engle cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, and a 670 cfm Holley Truck Avenger is bolted to an enormous Clark 285 VHD five-speed transmission from an F-600.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
We generally like our military Jeeps fogged in whatever drab color matches their vintage, but we have to admit that this ’53 M38A1 looks pretty darn good in gloss black. It must be the mud Mike Galey from Ridge Farm, Illinois, ran the old beast through just before the picture. The Willys is powered by the F-head, which is bolted to a T-90 and Spicer 18. Axles are the Dana 25 and Dana 44 housing 5.38 gears with a pair of Lock-Right lockers. A home-brewed Saginaw power steering conversion aims 33x12.50-15 Mickey Thompson Baja Claws mounted on M/T classic locks. Mike picked up the old Jeep in 2005 for $700 and has done quite a bit of work since. Great find Mike, the old Willys looks good in some new clothes.
One XJ just wasn’t enough, so we felt lucky to get this triple-shot from Ryan Trela of Windsor, Massachusetts. On the left is his friend Adam Larson’s ’97 Cherokee, which has a 6.5-inch Clayton long-arm suspension kit, Iron Rock Off-Road axle truss, 4.56 gears, Weld beadlock wheels with 35-inch BFGoodrich M-T tires, 1-ton steering, an ORS Fab bumper with a Rusty’s stinger, and an 8,000-lb Smittybilt winch. In the middle is Ryan’s own newly built ’97 XJ with a Rough Country 6.5-inch long-arm, a homemade truss for the rear axle, Rusty’s steering, 8.25-inch axle with a Lock-Right locker, 33-inch Super Swamper TSL tires, Olympic rock bumpers front and rear, a MileMarker 8,000-lb winch, and a Rusty’s rollbar. On the right is Ryan’s brother Brenden’s ’92 Cherokee fitted with a homemade 8-inch long-arm, a front Dana 44 axle from a ’73 Bronco with a locker and 4.11 gears, an 8.8-inch rear axle with a spool and an Iron Rock truss, a homemade front bumper with a MileMarker 8,000lb winch, a Rusty’s rollbar, and 33-inch TSL Bogger tires. That’s a whole lot of XJ mods in just one picture.
This little guy is Owen Moss, shown directing traffic on his first birthday. The young Jeeper is directing traffic for his grandpa’s JK and his dad’s TJ. His proud papa, Joe Moss, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has his Jeep already parked in the photo. It’s a ’00 TJ that’s designed to be a daily driver that can go off-roading on the weekends while being a side project for years to come. So far, the Jeep already has 31-inch Hercules tires, a custom front bumper, and a Smittybilt SRC roof rack system. If he’s lucky, Owen will be adding a third-generation Jeep to his family’s collection in about 15 years.
Want to get your Jeep in these pages? Just grab the tech form off jpmagazine.com, fill it out, and email it to email@example.com. Be sure to include a high resolution image (at least 1,600x1,200 pixels) with your submission. Or, snail mail it to:
Jp Magazine, Jeep Shots
831 S. Douglas St.
El Segundo, CA 90245