The 1st day
This is truly a family project, and the pictures here show the entire crew at work on the first day. Tradition has it that Jeeps coming to Lawson Hill Farm are stripped of their tops and windshield, to make driving through the woods easier. So once Evan drove the Jeep off the trailer (great fun with no brakes!), we proceeded to remove the top and windshield.
From the top:
Evan and Barry ready to start.
Frank Jamerson and number 1 Jeep dog Bruin work on the interior.
With the top off, Evan takes a break while Paula and Frank clean the interior of 55 years of dirt and rust.
Frank removes the non-functioning, non-standard radio.
The two chief mechanics, Forrest Thomas and Paul "PD" Lawson, prepare for the first general inspection.
With the top gone, “Old Yeller” looks like a real Jeep.
The windshield gets folded, probably for the first time in several decades (Bondo had been used to seal the top to the windshield frame).
Barry takes a turn at the wheel.
Chief mechanic PD inspects the motor (it passed the initial inspection!)
Evan was able to provide test rides to everyone, proving once again that real Jeeps don’t need brakes!
The biggest surprise was how good the engine sounded and how well the Jeep drove (with the exception of no brakes). The transmission and transfer case worked well and won’t require much work. Off to a good start!
I had the privilege of being the test driver on the 1st day. As dad (Barry) said in his notes on Part1, I spent my early youth being hauled about in a ’46 CJ-2A. We sold the old ’46 before I was 10, and even though I spent many hours behind the wheel of that old ’46, it was always parked (my legs were too short to reach the pedals), so today was my first chance to drive a CJ-2A. It drove wonderfully! Although I must admit the experience might have been better if “Old Yeller” had any brakes whatsoever, but being a good farm-boy I used the transmission to slow the Jeep when necessary and all who dared to ride with me survived the day. Both grandfathers, PD and Forrest, seemed to enjoy their turns in the passenger seat and when I commented to Forrest about the steering response at low speed (or lack there of), he said “they’re like that,” which I’ll take as accurate wisdom from someone who has driven his share. As dad said, it was a good start.