My first 4x4 was a Jeep CJ-5, but it is long gone. At some point last year I realized that I wanted another CJ-5. I’m not sure why since the CJ-5 isn’t everyone’s favorite Jeep. Flatfender guys hate it for its round fenders, CJ-7 guys hate it for its annoying door hump you have to climb over, YJ and TJ guys dislike the short wheelbase and less-than-plush ride, and JK guys just think it’s old. But I wanted one again, so I found the perfect CJ-5 for me.
I had told a good buddy, Dave, that I was looking for one, and he mentioned a character that might have some Jeeps for sale. This guy owned a piece of property that Editor Péwé would likely refer to as a gold mine, but his neighbors and the local township call it an eyesore and started bugging him to clean it up. Luckily a couple of suckers (Dave and I) showed up and gave him some cash to drag away two old CJ-5s. Dave got a ’50s 5, and I came home with this beauty, built the same month and year I was born, January 1973.
I had the Jeep for a few weeks and was rounding up parts to make it a runner. I called the guys from Quadratec, the giant Jeep parts house in Pennsylvania—my home state. They told me about a bunch of cool events going on in Pennsylvania that summer, and before long a plan was hatched, like a crazy harebrained chicken. I would drive the CJ-5 to PA and go Jeeping with the Quadratec crew at an event just a month after our nutty plan was hatched. There was plenty to do to bring the CJ5 from junkyard find to roadtrip ready.