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Saturday @ The Races

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, Racing • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jeff Miller’s newly built race jeep.

Saturday morning in Ethel started with a driver’s meeting at 8:30am. This has been standard practice for decades, the intent being to let driver’s know of any changes to the schedule, heats, classes, and courses. Some folks always have a skip in their step, others, like me, not born as morning folks, view it as the crack of dawn. Eventually my caffeine kicked in and things began to make sense.

After the driver’s meeting is a parade of jeeps, something that I never remember doing. Most of the racers line up and slowly drive the obstacle course. Not only do you get to see the course first hand, but it seems like a great group activity.


The line was pretty long. If you look near the top of the photo you can see the beginning of the parade of jeeps.


The jeeps returning from their loop on the track.

Here’s a short video:

Once the parade was finished it was time to race. About that time, the drizzle began to fall, adding some extra water to the already muddy track. The kids lined up to race first. During that time Jeff Miller introduced himself to me. We’d exchanged emails not long after I started eWillys. At that time he shared his Jewel’s Stainless Jeep with readers. Jeff has been a regular reader of eWillys since.

For much of the 1990s Jeff raced a jeep, but then he put racing on hold. It wasn’t until this year that he finally assembled another racing so he could reenter the sport. Like me, he’s fond of the Bobcat and Parkette bodies, so it’s no surprise that his race uses a Parkette shell. The jeep is a little more old school, powered by a 331 Stroker connected to a Ford Toploader and Dana 20. Not much is jeep other than that Dana 20. The hood is a piece of aluminum that a shop rolled for him so the angles from the grille to the body would look correct. It’s a nifty, clean piece. Holding the hood to the fenders are some original, stamped, Jewels stainless latches. As you can imagine, my shirt was wet from my drool. It’s a beautiful rig and it’s obvious he’s proud of it.


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After Jeff and I finished talking, the drizzle turned to a light rain, so I headed back to the motorhome to work for a bit. Once the rain passed, the weather warmed up and the sun played hide-n-seek the rest of the day.

About this time Rob Stafford found me and offered me a chance to ride in his son Craig’s race rig. I jumped at the chance. Craig and I chatted as we wait our turn. It turns out Craig has a 1949 CJ-3A with a few updates, but still powered by an L-head. The rig we were in, his race rig, was a rolling chassis that needed an engine and a few other items. He wanted it to be an inexpensive toy, so he plopped in a basic Chev 350. He calls it the Black Pearl.



And here’s me following our run:


Todd, sorry I got the brand new shirt you gave me dirty! I’m sure it will wash out??

During my stay, I had a chance to dine on banana cream pie with Marty and his wife and talk jeeps with a variety of folks, but mostly I spent my time taking photos of the different rigs. Each one has it’s own look. They are fun to check out.

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That’s it for Saturday!



4 Comments on “Saturday @ The Races

  1. Idaho Todd

    Wow Dave! What a weekend for you. Looks like so much fun! Don’t worry about that shirt, get it dirty! I’ll get you another one but on one condition, you will have to come and get it in person!

  2. Mark

    Great pictures Dave! I love the before pictures where you can see all the jeeps in living color and then the after picture where every jeep looks the same; the color of mud!! I’m glad you had fun and allowed us to see the pictures and the grin on your face says it all!!

  3. Rob

    Thanks for spending part of your weekend with us Dave. As soon as the 2017 PNW4WDA race schedule is published, I’ll get it to you. Pencil the invite in for Labor Day weekend 2017

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Thank you, Rob. Will do. I know my wife wants to attend, too. We also dropped by Jeepers last night for dinner. We enjoyed the food and I’m sure we’ll be back there again!

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