Sopchoppy Florida is not a big place. In the Panhandle of Florida, it is the worm-grunting capital of the South. It is also the place where I found this 1966 CJ-5 for sale. It had been in the barn and used occasionally around the property of the previous owner. I am not your typical restoration guy. Not knowing much, I had mentioned to my buddy that I wanted to ride over and pick it up. My friend realized that I was probably in over my head, when I mentioned that I wanted to drive it home (Sopchoppy is about 200 miles away from me). It took some convincing but I agreed to bring a trailer “just in case”. Arriving, I immediately liked this jeep, it fired right up, it needed some work but looked pretty solid. I bought it and trailered it home. I was pretty glad for the trailer especially when I found out that 50 mph was about all you could hope to get out of it. That would have been a long trip. Anyway, getting it home, my wife asked, “This isn’t going to be one of those hood up every weekend kind of vehicles is it? Oh no.. It needs just a couple of things and it will be good to go. It took about a year to get it good on the road.
One of the first fixes was the brake linkage. It broke as I was pulling into a parking spot. No brakes, going 15 miles per hour into a spot isn’t good. The shrubbery in the Olive Garden parking lot might never recover. It slowed me down before hitting a fence. At about a year, we had worked through from bumper to bumper. Then I decided to paint it. It took eight weeks of working nights and weekends to get the body ready to paint and believe it or not, we painted it under the old hay barn. It turned out pretty good, considering. It is my daily driver. From the beginning, I said that I got it to drive it and that’s just what I’ve done. Yep! I believe I’ve become a pretty good student of the American Icon, The Jeep. I have come to the understanding that it’s probably going to be a life-long class of learning.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Matt Glover
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