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Molds, Jeeps, Jeepers, and More Jeeps!

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing • TAGS: , , .

Sunday was a fun, but long day!

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Al and Rob checking out the Stafford family race jeep.

For me it started with a four hour drive from Pasco to Spanaway, where I met up with Rob Stafford and Al Schaper. Al and I planned to look over some fiberglass body molds that Rob had been storing for years. The molds were used to create fiberglass flat fender and CJ-5 body and front clip parts.

Of particular interest to me were the body molds. One of the body molds was used to create a Parkette racing body shell. The second body mold was used to create a Bobcat racing shell or in conjunction with a floor mold to create a complete body. While I have owned an Acme (I think) light racing fiberglass body and a Bobcat body (Biscuit’s body), I’ve always wanted a Parkette body. So, I was checking out that mold particularly closely.

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CJ-3B floor mold on the left, Parkette racing shell body in the middle, CJ-3B body mold on the right.

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Grille and fender molds. There are also some CJ-5 fender molds. Missing is a Bobcat and/or Parkette tailgate mold.

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From front to back, CJ-3B mold, low hood Bobcat mold, low hood standard mold, CJ-5 mold.

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Inside of Bobcat mold.

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Outside of Bobcat mold.

After much discussion, Al and I decided to get the molds. Al’s goal is to create a CJ-3B Bobcat hood. He’s already located a couple shops wiling to lay the glass for a reasonable amount. If that process goes well, we’ll create a few Bobcat low and high hoods and see if there’s a market or not. Meanwhile, we’ll also get a feel for the quality of the products and evaluate whether a body is worth producing. I’ll keep you up to date on the progress.

While Al and his team loaded up the molds onto their trailer, Rob and I discovered that we’d both grown up within the PNW jeep community. Unlike me, he’s remained in jeeps his entire life and he and his wife Diane volunteer a significant amount of time within the jeep community, including holding positions within the PNW4WDA. The Stafford family also belongs to the Cascade 4x4s (trail club) and Overboard Racing (race club).

After Rob and I talked a bit, he offered to show me his jeeps. No surprise, I gladly accepted. The first one he showed me was one he’d owned since he was 15. It was his first jeep and he’s taken good care of it, updating it as necessary to make a good dependable trail jeep that will safely carry his entire family. You’ll note he has a Bobcat hood installed, so he really did understand the historical value of the molds he was entrusting to us.

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After that jeep, and having already shared his son’s red jeep (I can’t remember if that was originally a 2A or a 3A — and this underscores the problem of me asking questions, looking over the jeep, and taking photos. I’m just not that multitaskable; oh dear wife, where are you when I need you???), Rob showed me the race jeep.

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The jeep has a Bobcat fiberglass body, chevy small block, Ford top loader 4speed with a Dana 20, reversed front springs, scout II axle in the back and a Gary Marshall special axle in the front. That engine just sings!

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The cage bolts to stations that extend up from the front through the body.

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Don’t know the how to shift a Ford Top Loader? Just consult the floor.

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Finished looking at the jeeps, Rob offered to take me to lunch at the Jeepers Bar and Grille, which wasn’t far from his house. I’d been meaning to drop by there since it opened last June, so we bid Al goodbye and headed over for some lunch.

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The yellow M-38A1 out front used to be white, until Rob and his son ‘kidnapped’ the jeep one evening, painted it, added a lift kit, and welded the sign to the roll cage. They returned it the next day.

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Inside you’ll find all kinds of vintage jeep racing and jeeping photos.

For years, prior to Jeepers Bar and Grille, the building housed a bar. Then, of all things, it became a day care. Much of the infrastructure remained in tact, so that when Jer and Kathy Simonson decided to open up a bar, they were able to reuse some of the existing structure.  The did a great makeover, because the inside of the place felt neither like an old bar nor a day care. Instead, it is spacious, clean and welcoming. I wished I’d had a chance to take some better interior shots, but I will have to save that for another time.

Perhaps the best surprise was the food. You know that I’m all about the food (my wife can confirm this). Because I was wearing my contact lenses (and because of my advancing age), I couldn’t see the menu too well. So, I glanced quickly at it and chose the Bon Fire burger expecting an average burger. Instead, when it arrived I was surprised to find a burger that was a perfect size, not too big, not too messy, with a great bun, a tasty patty, and good fixings. It was delicious! Below is an example of one of their burgers.

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For those that have read my book, you’ll know I enjoy fixing a burger dip. It’s rare-to-never that you find a restaurant that has them, but to my surprise Jeepers sells a burger dip (they call it the Mud Bogger). Had I not had my contacts in and been able read the menu more closely, that’s what I would have ordered. I will be going back soon to have one!

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Of course they sell t-shirts, too. Yep, that’s mine :-)

After a pleasant lunch with Rob, I left for my sister’s place, before running over to Puyallup to meet up with David Durrah. You might remember a post from earlier this year about some of the jeeps he has bought and sold over the past few years (all of which he found on eWillys).

David grew up a few blocks away from me, so we spent a great deal of time talking about the Renton and Kent area. David is a little older than me and full of stories about the area (a surprising number of things I didn’t know). We also spent time poking over his 1952 CJ-3A and his 1962 CJ-3B. Somehow, we killed a couple of hours in what seemed like a few minutes 🙂

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David posing in front of his baby, a 1952 CJ-3A that was rebuilt by George Steele.

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David’s parents were charter members of the Seattle Rumpbumpers, which eventually became the Seattle jeep Club. These were some very early jacket patches.

All in all, a great day, but I was exhausted when I finally made it to my parents house Sunday night! Thanks to Rob, Al, the folks at Jeepers, and David for making it a fun day.

 

13 Comments on “Molds, Jeeps, Jeepers, and More Jeeps!

  1. Joe in Mesa

    Always great to read about your adventures, Dave. And I think you did OK with the pics, too …even without Ann’s expert assistance present 🙂

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Thanks Joe … I didn’t publish all the ones that didn’t turn out well. Thank goodness for point and click 🙂

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Steve,

    It would be premature to say. Al has identified a couple different glass companies. We just have to see how good a job they do and how we like the quality.

    – Dave

  4. Idaho Todd

    Dave, great article! Your adventures give the rest of us hope. I like the pic of the food. I’m Italian so life centers around food. You could expand the site, maybe eburgers or no, wait etastees, oh ya eyummies! Whatever works, I’m in.

  5. Idaho Todd

    Hey brother, doesn’t that burger look like the ones we had in Chicago when we road tripped to the auto show? What was the name of that place, epic burger? Maaaann, they were good! Looks just like it!

  6. mmdeilers Post author

    I love great burgers and fresh fries. I worked at a gourmet burger place after high school. I lived on fresh fries and burgers. They also did a hot link sandwich that I still like to make.

    Now I’m hungry!

  7. David Eilers

    Jennifer,

    Do you mean a 3B hood aka a high hood? We’ve been experimenting with a bobcat version of the 3B hood.

    – Dave

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