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The Jolli Lodge’s CJ-2A in Michigan

• CATEGORIES: Features

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Maury kindly documented this story while on Vacation in Michigan:

My family and I are staying at a beautiful classic lodge on Lake Michigan near Leland, MI. It’s called Jolli Lodge ( https://www.jollilodger.com/ ), and has been run by the same family since 1956. Greg Jolliffe and his wife Lisa currently own and manage the century old lodge.

When Greg’s father bought the Lodge in 1956, a 1947 CJ-2a came with it. A retired mechanic who lives nearby remembers this Jeep coming off the trailer when it was brand new. It was apparently the first four wheel drive vehicle in Leelanau county.

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When Greg (pictured below in the drivers seat) was 12, his dad taught him to drive the Jeep so he could push vehicles up the sloping driveway after they’d get stuck in the snow. He said he got a lot of funny looks, but just told them this was the only way they were going to get un-stuck.

At some point the floor starter button was replaced with a button in the dash. One time, Greg couldn’t get it to turn over, and he hit the steering wheel in disgust – which had the unexpected effect of starting the engine. For quite awhile afterwards, the only method of starting it was to turn the key, press the start button, then hit the steering wheel.

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The engine was rebuilt at some point by a guy who lived nearby and loved to work on it. This Jeep is extremely original in the sense of having had remarkably few, ah, intentional modifications made to it over the years other than the addition of a hydraulic plow. Greg continued to use it for plowing the driveway until about 10 years ago.

As the photos show, this CJ-2a has had a long, hard life of service. However, at 74 years old, it’s still a much-loved and dependable vehicle that starts right up and is driven often.

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