I met John at the Riverstone cruise-in. It wasn't very hard to find him because he was the only vehicle in the sea of classics sporting a genuine 50 cal machine gun perched about 6 feet off the ground. 

Jack, as I was asked to to call him, was sitting in his 1968 Army Jeep. I asked Jack to tell me about the Jeep. This is what he told me.

"I was drawn to this Jeep because of my time in the Army as a motor Sargent. Even though everyone knows it's a Jeep, Ford had the contract to build these for the Army at the time." He commented about the contract being a leftover from WWII. This Jeep was delivered to the Tobyanna Army base before serving it's time in Vietnam. The manufacturing tag reflected a date of June 1968 and as a model 151.  

Per his story, as the war began to spiral out of control, every US vehicle was either dismantled or destroyed. This particular vehicle was for some reason spared. It couldn't be shipped back to the States whole because of import laws, but it could be shipped to the US as parts or salvage. 

The Driver side weld is still notiicable, but the rest of the welds are invisible. 

Jack continued that it had originally been purchased by someone in California who had expected to have the talent to reassemble it, but couldn't. So he put it up for sale. "Virtually every part was there, but it was in a million pieces, a total basket case." "The engine, transmission, and seats had been removed, then it was cut in half, right in the middle of the door area." "There is still one spot you can still see where I welded it back together." "I should have finished that before it was painted, but I ran out of steam." "Something for the next guy to do."

Jack, who had honed his mechanical skills on his own and in the Army, opened his own auto repair shop on Long Island in 1971. "I needed every bit of that knowledge to put this back together." It's been a 3 year project, but Jack thinks it will all be done in the next month or two. "I think I'm gonna sell it after I finish it." he said.

I asked Jack if the radio worked. "Sure does, but I can only turn it on for a second or two." "It's a Military band, pretty sure it's still in use." My mind quickly conjured up Jack's attempts to get the radio working, never expecting it to have any kind of impact, only to get a "visit" when he had to explain his broadcasts.  

The sad part of this story is that Jack doesn't have a computer, doesn't do email, or use the web. Each of us knows a "Jack". They are what made the hobby what it is today. We created Garagistry in the hope people like you will take the time to make sure Jack's stories and yours have a place in automotive history. 

Remember, Preserving Automotive History...One Car At a Time® is not just a slogan. It's what we do.