post #1 of Old 12-24-2012, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1991 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rochester
Posts: 9

Well, you see, I had been driving an M151A2 from the time I was 17 years old and I really liked the thing. The only problem was that it belonged to the NY Army National Guard and they, for some reason that escapes me at the moment, wouldn't let me take it home with me from drill.

I used to own a rental property and my tenant was moving out. I looked in the garage and there sat a dismembered CJ7. It had no transmission, no seats, no top or doors. I asked the tenant what she was doing with it. She asked me if I knew anyone who would haul it away. I told her to sign the title.

In the corner was the front clip. In the other was the tub. In the middle sat a rusted out frame with a 258CI engine dangling from the mounts. Did I mention that the thing was painted in zebra stripes?

I mentioned to the lady who cut my hair that I had come in possession of a pile of Jeep parts circa 1981. She told me her son had just bought a Jeep from his father in law and had decided that the engine was beyond saving. In fact, he had dumped the engine in the dumpster but still had the rest, including a Meyer plow set up... $800 later I had the missing parts to put it together, but no frame on which to build it. The 1980 Jeep I bought had a thoroughly swiss cheesed frame.

I found a 1986 frame in Pennsylvania and arranged to pick it up on my way home from visiting family in Virginia. I had the motor from the 1980 rebuilt and a year later I was driving my first Jeep.

Assembly was a walk down memory lane. I noticed that the parts looked awfully familiar as I dug through them and I seemed to know instinctively what odd bits went with what. Then it dawned on me: I was assembling my first car, a 1974 AMC Gremlin.

The body was more bondo and plywood than anything else and it lasted me about 5 years when I finally found a 1992 body in Connecticut. Body swap and paint job later you have the majestic jeep that graces my profile.

So, I added a homemade dual battery tray to help support my 1960's era Meyer plow, as well as a high output alternator. And, of course, I swapped in a Motorcraft 2100 carb and some real sexy air filtration... Borla headers and exhaust were added (I keep vehicles a loooonnnnggg time so it just makes sense to go for that million mile warranty.) And, what 258 would be complete without a high output coil and Ford distributor cap and wires?

Alas, when I went to have it inspected 10 years after I first brought it to life, the frame had rotted away and my friendly inspector was not willing to let it pass. I traded Clem to my cousin for a motorcycle and bought a slightly used 1991 YJ with only 242,000 miles on the clock from a nice young guy in Philly.

Your first is always special and Clem was Very Special.

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