It was sunny and warm on Thursday, March 28, and the displays included everything from the latest models to a 1962 Jeep station wagon from Michigan, complete with a Detroit Tigers license plate frame.
The Andersons hadn’t planned to attend Easter Jeep Safari week, but Glen stumbled onto a news article about the event while surfing the Web in Overton, Nev.
They were soon headed to Moab. After all, they’re Jeep people.
“My dad had one when I was a kid,” said Glen, who sports a neatly trimmed white beard. “We’d go out and get stuck in the mud. That was our entertainment.”
He and Elaine are partial to the older models – the CJs. They own a Jeep CJ8, also known as the Scrambler.
Glen says he doesn’t know why they prefer CJs.
“They are slow, rough riding, noisy and unsafe,” he said. “I guess it’s just some kind of disease. My oldest brother, who was 67 last year, died of a heart attack while sitting in a Jeep.
“His funeral procession was preceded by a World War II fire department Jeep. I guess jeeping sticks with you forever.”
It certainly runs in the family blood. All of the Anderson brothers own at least one Jeep. Glen and Elaine’s daughter, a 34-year-old teacher in Reno, Nev., has one, too, and can do just about every type of maintenance project.
“She’s even learned to take the differential apart,” Glen said.
The Andersons were asked what they thought of the busy streets during Jeep Safari week. The question made them both laugh.
“This is easy,” Glen said. “Come to Sturgis if you want to see traffic.”
Elsewhere in the parking lot, people took photos of their favorite models and toured a small pavilion featuring Jeep engine displays. There were pictures of vehicles ranging from the 1941 Willys MA to the 1976 CJ7 Renegade to the 2011 Compass.
Like the Andersons, Chip Palmer of Grand Junction, Colo., was in his element. He’s been collecting Jeeps for 20 years and is particularly interested in their military history. His business card reads, “Vintage Willys Jeep and Military Collector – Preserving Old Iron One Vehicle at a Time.”
He buys, sells and trades Jeeps, and currently drives a 1942 Ford military model. Palmer spends Jeep Safari week mingling with like-minded people rather than joining trail tours.
“We just came over for the vendor show,” he said. “It’s fun seeing the latest and greatest in four-wheel drive.”
Craig Horton, also of Grand Junction, hoped to do some business during the week. He towed a 1963 Jeep station wagon on a flatbed trailer, posting a for-sale sign asking $2,500 or best offer for the vehicle, which has no motor.
“I saw it in Craig (Colo.) and bought it. I thought I could make some money on it,” said Horton, who was born 10 years after the wagon was manufactured.