It all began in March of 2007 when an ad was posted on our website for a 1948 Jeep Willys that was for sale by the original owner. As soon as we read the ad we knew that we had to have it. Although the Jeep itself is rare and unique, it was more about the history of the Jeep and its owner that intrigued us. Colonel Nick Fallier, the 85 year old original owner of the Willys was a decorated Fighter Pilot in World War II and he bought the Jeep new in 1948 when he returned from his overseas tour of duty. He had cherished the Jeep for over 59 years and it was even a regular on the old television series "Gentle Ben". Since nobody was driving the Jeep anymore the decision was made to sell it.
We immediately bought the Jeep and booked our flights to Florida to pick it up. At that point our plan was simply to spend some time with Nick and then drive the old Jeep back to Arizona and call it a day. We thought that the 2,200 mile trip in an old Jeep would be a cool way to spend a few weeks and see some great sights along the way. Once we got going it didn't take long to realize that we had made a huge mistake by limiting ourselves to only a 2,200 mile trip...we were having way too much fun to end the trip in Arizona. It was soon decided that we should drive our 48' Jeep through all 48 States and do it in honor of the war veterans that spent countless hours and miles in similar Jeeps, but in brutal conditions. We anticipate the entire journey to be in excess of 18,000 miles and we will be doing it over a 4-5 year period starting in May 2007. We will end the trip back where we started in Tallahassee Florida so we can spend a few more days with Colonel Nick. There will be no short-cuts on this trip. The shortest route to go through all 48 states is approximately 9,000 miles. Considering the fact that our Jeeps average speed is only 30 mph we are forced to stay off of the Interstates and stick to the back roads the whole way. Because of this we are estimating our total mileage to be between 18,000 and 20,000 miles which should equate to 628 hours of driving. Go here to check out our forecasted statistics.
...look ma' we made the cover!
We would like to thank the following sponsors that supported us on our 2007 road trip. without their support and help this trip could not have happened and gone as well as it did. We can not thank these businesses and their efforts enough to show our appreciation for their involvement.
Adventure Trailers of Upland California, without the suspension system they did on our M416 trailer we would have certainly fought the road and the original suspension the whole way. We were continuously amazed along the way with how well the trailer pulled and absorbed everything we through at it for terrain from old rough back roads, sharp unexpected diversions, crossing the highway medians to having to pull off of the road as we drove to let traffic by. This suspension system work phenomenally well and we are excited to get this thing back to the team at Adventure Trailers for more of their equipment upgrades starting with the “lock and roll hitch”. We hope to be equipped with our own Chaser model trailers for the next road trip since we plan to be in a outdoor setting and will be using them to live out of along the trip. Check out the M416 military trailer that they customized for us to take on our road trip. www.adventuretrailers.com
NAPA Auto Parts of Snowflake; along the way we had various times that we needed tools, fluids and parts. NAPA sent us out for this trip fully equipped for this long journey and without their support and supplies we would have had trouble early on in the trip. They provided us with cross country support at any NAPA along the way which we stopped at many times in order to replenish our fluid supply. Our large cooler that we had filled with drinks for ourselves provided us with the much needed refreshments to keep us hydrated on the hot back roads. Without a doubt, there is no question that we would not have been able to get our roadside repairs done that allowed us to get back up and running and back on our way without the support of Snowflakes NAPA store. They were great in providing contact info along the way when we needed to track down a dealer or help.
Surplus City Jeep Parts of Oroville California, had we not had the great tarp kit for our M416 we would have fought a loosing battle trying to keep our gear and electrical equipment dry and out of the elements. The tarp kit (cover) fit so well and locked down all of our gear that we were never once worried about our equipment and gear getting ruined by the elements. We did have a good three days worth of rain that we drove through and we needed to assure that our stuff would stay safe and operable along the way. They also supplied us with our spare tire, tube and wheel for the trailer (thankfully we didn’t need to use them) but we did wear out our tires after the trailer ran 4,000 miles there and back. We’ll be buying our new tires from them for our trailer. Had we had any major breakage that was not readily available they would have provided us with those replacement parts specific to our Willys Jeep…. Thankfully we didn’t have any major breakage. www.cj-jeep.com
JPFreek.com Magazine, these guys were in communication with us the whole trip to see how our progress was going and to keep up with any new adventures we had. They will be covering the story in their upcoming issue. JPFreek.com Magazine is an online PDF publication that will be going into print in March 2008 and is generated to those type of people that live the “outdoor or adventure” lifestyle. They have great product reviews on various types of camping, travel, and adventure gear as well as stories from many different expeditions taken around the globe. They are a rapidly growing a fan following and this is one magazine that you will soon be seeing and hearing much more about. These guys are here to stay and we look forward to seeing our story and seeing the adventures that other people like ourselves will be experiencing. www.jpfreek.com
Expeditions West of Prescott Arizona, Scott Brady is not new to the expedition lifestyle and was a huge supporter of our trip and gave good advice on things that we should do and look out for along the way. The Expeditions West team just finished an Artic Ocean expedition as we were headed out on ours and in addition to that they just put out and great new magazine as well called “Overland Journal Magazine” I have had a chance to quickly review the first publication and am amazed at the quality of print. This is also a publication that you will most definitely want to check out, it is a cross between National Geographic and an off road style of print. www.expeditionswest.com
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