Downsizing. Consolidation. Scaling back. Doing more with less. These phrases keep ratting around the empty void between my ears as I scan my healthy collection of old Jeeps and project parts. For the past twelve years since I bought my house, my neighbors have secretly referred to me as that weird guy with the driveway full of rusty old Jeeps. I can imagine them talking to each other about me at the neighborhood social, commiserating about the frequent scream of the chop saw or the warm Aurora Borealis-like glow of evening MIG welding. Truth be told, I receive their trepid stares with something approaching pride. I mean, do I really want to be like the 50-year-old guy up the street who drives a BMW 3-Series and wears black socks with flip-flops? Hell no. On the other hand, should I be keeping a dozen or so projects hanging around—some of which I haven’t even driven in over a year? Perhaps I’d be ahead of the game cutting some loose so I could finally get around to some new projects I haven’t had time or room for yet. You know, the really weird ones.
I need another two-seater pickup like California needs more liberals, but how can you argue against a WC-series with a non-intercooled 12-valve Cummins and NV4500 sitting in front of a 3:1 Atlas T-case? I’d go weirdo and keep the patina and factory axles, but I’d rig up a disc-brake setup that would hide behind covers so they’d still look like drum brakes. Oh hell, as long as I’m dreaming, make the pickup into a WC-53 carryall with seating for five and a hidden A/C system to keep the interior frosty.
Old Man Innie
Somebody needs to save the IH line from the rabid onslaught of hipster douches in thick-rim glasses and ’80s-era Molly Ringwald hats before they latch on to these cool old trucks in a vain attempt to be ironic. There’s a reason Walter Matthau drove an International Travelall in the movie Grumpy Old Men. Something about IH trucks just channels the grumpy old man in all of us. Damn kids, get off my lawn! I’d drive mine wearing a good ‘ol pair of Levis (the kind men wear, not the sissy skinny ones), a baseball hat (with the bill forward and unflattened), and a Smith & Wesson T-shirt. ‘Murica!
Unlike the other hypothetical builds, I actually own this one. Check the story, “Mothball Warriors,” on page 36 in this issue, but this is the current state of my ’71 CJ-6. I’m debating whether to put the factory axles back under it or forge ahead with my original plans of running dualie NDT tires front and rear with paddles vulcanized to ‘em. I’d rig a junkyard turbo for its Buick 225 V-6, dust off the old SM420 I have sitting in the shed, and cap it with an Off Road Design Magnum Box T-case setup. But even that may be too tame. Perhaps a set of eight 53-inch Mickey Thompson TTC Claws running opposite directions on each hub would be better. Can you say snapped Rockwell shafts?