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Dad’s First Jeep – CJ-2A (And Jim Carter’s first roll)

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Every once in a while my dad will start talking and he'll talk about some event in his past I knew nothing about.  You'd think, for example, that I would have known my dad's first vehicle was a jeep — a CJ-2A — he got it when he was 16 as his first car.  But, no, today was the first day I've heard of it.  There are several reasons for this, mostly, I suppose, having to do with our father/son dynamic.  Though I wish I had heard about some of these stories earlier in my life, there is something nice about continuing to hear new stories.

As dad tells it, the year was 1949 and he was 16, living with his parents and two brothers in Holladay, Utah, now just a suburb of Salt Lake City.  The city of Holladay is south of Salt Lake City, laid out underneath Olympus mountain.  When dad lived there, off of Walker Lane, there was only wasatch blvd and 5000 vertical feet between his house and the top of Olympus mountain.  Now, I-215 with its six lanes of traffic has added a much bigger divide between the two.  Of course, there are many more houses and fences in the way as well.

One day, Dad decides to take his jeep and 5 passengers jeeping up the hill towards the base of Olympus Mountain.  Today this area is known as Olympus Cove, but at the time, I'm sure it was the great unknown.

As best I can interpret from Dad, he was driving his CJ-2A with his brother B.B in the passenger seat, and four other kids in the back (one was his other brother Tony and one was Jim Carter).  Dad was driving very slowly, crawling along when his left front wheel started over a bump or rise.  As they slowly moved forward the rise grew, shifting the jeep slowly toward the passenger side until the jeep tipped over onto the passenger side, dumping the four kids in the back onto the ground.  Miraculously, the jeep didn't tip all the way over and hurt anyone severely.  The worst damage was to Jim Carter, who suffered a cut on his knee or leg. Apparently, Jim fell the furthest, I guess he must have been on the driver's side back wheel well (dad couldn't quite explain this to me — sometimes dad's stroke makes these explanations more difficult).  

After getting off the ground and checking out the jeep, they decided to tip it back onto its wheels and head back home.   

Whatever physical damage the semi-roll caused Jim Carter, I guess he must have enjoyed himself, because he became a life long jeeper, a jeep club co-founder with dad, jeep racer, and President of the PNW4WDA for a year.  Perhaps we should all fall out of a jeep 🙂

 

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