My wife Gisele was 3 years old when the car she was in got stuck in a muddy road. She and her schoolmate awaited in the car while his father went seeking for help from a neighbor. He shortly returned along with a young man in a jeep (today we know it was a MB jeep from WWII). The kids were taken to the jeep rear seat – they were amazed and excited, telling each other “wow, it’s a car for soldiers!”. The young man in the jeep easily towed the other car off the mud, but Gisele has never forgotten that day.
Some 30 years later, Gisele and I came to a national meeting for antique military vehicles. Her grandfather, her father and herself were enthusiastic about WWII movies and also loved the jeeps. So we thought it would be great to see some jeeps and trucks still “alive” with all the history they had made.
At the fair, we took nice pictures, met some preservers and had a really wonderful day. At the end, we were even managing to get a jeep ride back home. Then we met Ricardo, a kind man with grayish hair, who offered us a ride because he lived nearby us. When he told us the name of the street he lived since some three decades ago, Gisele immediately remembered the young man in the jeep towing a car off the mud when she was only a kid. Then Ricardo confirmed he was the only neighbor who owned a jeep right nearby that street, and the owner of the stuck car was indeed his friend… and in fact he towed a car in that street long ago. Then we had tears in our eyes, but joy in our hearts.
We became friends and Rick (that was the name of that 1942 MB jeep) took us back home that night. And after that unexpected encounter, we took several rides.
Gisele wished having a jeep for her own, it was her childhood dream. Although jeeps were already rare those days, my wife dreamed of a military one.
Some say if one truly wishes from the inner, all universe becomes favorable. And so it was.
Two years ago, a jeep came into our lives. An old friend of Gisele’s was selling a 1962 CJ-3B, factory militarized, which has been auctioned after a long service to Brazilian Army. Our great friend Ricardo inspected the jeep and told us its general condition was worthy. So we took at once that lifetime find and bought the high hood jeep. Besides, it was my wife’s birthday by the time we made the deal, and I can guess it was the best gift ever.
That’s how we got our jeep Eugene. We named it after Popeye’s pet, in honor of all jeeps and the good feelings they mean. Since then, we’ve been overhauling it, having always the invaluable help from our friend Ricardo. And now there are two happy jeeps, Rick and Eugene, and a great jeep friendship – bringing us closer together each day.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – David Bizarro
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