Training Tomorrow’s Heroes

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in their life is a hero to me.” ― Fred Rogers

When it comes to turning wrenches on a Jeep, too many people would write it off as dirty, knuckle-busting work. While this conclusion is more than substantiated, it fully dismisses the larger truth that hard work, and in this case mechanical work, can be nothing short of good medicine.

In the foothills of southern Tennessee, there is an organization that really “gets it”. The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer has made it their mission to not only erase the effects of childhood cancer but to optimize the quality of life for these kids as they experience the impact of diagnosis and as they brave the trials of their ongoing treatment. The Foundation has found a way to give these kids and their families a valuable tool with which to fight those daily battles- best of all, it’s a tool that already lies within them. They only need to learn how to access it and perfect it’s usage. In my opinion, what better subject with which to develop their craft than on a Jeep.

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While the Jeep seemed a perfect blank canvas for Hatch’s Kids to practice their magic on, it’s not every day that a brand new Wrangler JKU lands in your lap either, at least not in the real world. Fortunately, the fine folks at the Mtn. View Auto Group see things a little bit differently. They jumped in and fired-up a brand-spanking new Wrangler, hopped on the freeway and dropped it on their doorstep…literally. It still had the paper floor mats in it. But not for long.

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The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s goal was to transform this bone-stock JK into a modern interpretation of the classic Jeepster Commando, an early-70’s rarity that added popular muscle car styling to the time-honored CJ persona. Rugged Ridge donated pile upon pile of parts to accomplish this massive undertaking while Truck ‘N Trailers USA provided enough shop space, lift and tools to build a space shuttle. And to top it off, they’ll accomplish this task with manpower sourced from the families that they serve on a daily basis. Yes…they’re gonna build this beast with kids.

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It was a brilliant plan whose full perfection would not be realized simply or quickly, but through a series of scheduled “Build Days”. Days that were carefully planned to insure success with a project checklist for all to see. A list detailing what needed to be accomplished that day and providing a visual reminder of the team’s successes as items are checked off. While these were likely some tough build days, they are not nearly as tough as the kids who’ve fearlessly tackled them and found ways to laugh and smile through the entire process.

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And now, with all those pesky words out of the way…bask in the glory of Hatch’s Kids building a super-sweet 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Hurst Edition. It doesn’t get any cooler than this.

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So let’s hear it for the Austin Hatcher Foundation family and the outstanding influence this project has had in the lives of these young people. Be sure to keep any eye out for this beauty making appearances at automotive events over the upcoming year. It is possibly half-as-cool as the kids that built it but still way cooler than most anyhting else on the street.  You can find out more about the Austin Hatcher Foundation and the amazing work they perform in the lives of kids affected by cancer by visiting https://www.hatcherfoundation.org/  OlllllllO

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Amazon Jeep Giveaway: Orange Crusher

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Amazon is kicking off September by giving away a custom built 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to one lucky automotive customer. Along with the sweepstakes, Amazon will also be providing discounts of up to 40-percent off select Jeep parts and accessories for the entire month of September. This event marks the first time in its 18 year history that Amazon has given away a vehicle, a radically modified Jeep no less!

The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, dubbed the Orange Crusher, has been built to conquer any terrain and features a 4-inch Rugged Ridge ORV lift kit to clear the 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ tires mounted on hyper silver Rugged Ridge alloy wheels with color matched simulated beadlock rings. A set of heavy duty Rugged Ridge skid plates protect the underside of the Jeep from sharp rocks while crawling around trails. An XHD modular bumper with high-clearance ends offers plenty of protection without getting the Jeep hung up on obstacles. A Rugged Ridge 8500-pound performance winch ensures the big Jeep can pull itself out of any sticky situation. Since most Jeep enthusiast love playing in the great outdoors, a Rugged Ridge roof rack offers plenty of space to mount a kayak or mountain bike as well as HID lights to illuminate the darkest nights. To give the Jeep a little more power under the hood, the Orange Crusher Jeep was outfitted with a Rugged Ridge cat-back dual exhaust system.

Just in case the Orange Crusher Jeep needs to ford any deep rivers or mud pits, a modular XHD snorkel system will ensure it can make the trek across. As in any off-road truck, getting a flat is inevitable and part of the cost of playing in the dirt which is why the Orange Crusher features a heavy duty rear mounted jack.

The cost of a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with these types of modifications is valued at $45,531, but luckily, you can enter for a chance to win this orange beast.

The deadline for sweepstakes entries is 11:59 PM PT on September 30, 2013. Amazon Automotive Jeep Giveaway rules, entry form, and promotion details are available at http://www.amazon.com/jeepgiveaway

From: Fourwheeler

MT Sees if the New Jeep Wrangler Can Compete with the Classic Willy CJ-3A on the Farm

Once the Second World War was over, the American vehicle manufacturing industry was still tooled up for production of military equipment, and while there were some factories that were able to quickly adapt to peace-time production, others were bigger and therefore their moves were cumbersome.

However, there was another category which is worth mentioning here – those companies whose products did find civilian uses with minimal modifications, like the iconic Willys Jeep, which got stripped out and sold to farmers who would plough the fields with it, or spread seeds.

Motor Trend wants to see if that purposefully-utilitarian philosophy to building off-roaders has been preserved until the modern day, or in other words, if a modern Jeep Wrangler can cut it on the farm. The chosen vehicle is a Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, coupled to a manual gearbox. It proves that it has more than enough power and traction to do some really hard work, and while it doesn’t have PTO (power take-off) at the back to provide drive to the more advanced farming equipment, it really isn’t bad.

But all of this text would be irrelevant without the video, which is a nice history lesson and generally quite informative, as well as also being posted below.

From Carscoops By Andrei Nedelea

Rick Pewe Cross Country GPW Update

It’s been a while since our last update on Rick Péwé and his venture across America in his 1943 GPW, so we’ll just pick back up where we left off! Our last post left off with Rick en route to Butler, PA to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, he arrived just in time and we were there to greet him on his arrival and caught up on some of his travel stories.

After leaving Butler, Rick headed north to Nova Scotia, Canada. Rick stopped by Broken Road 4WD in New Hampshire for a hefty overhaul of Omix-ADA parts to make sure the GPW could continue the trip. Rick got a new front spring, adjusted his valves, changes the oil pan, and much more. Andy from Broken Road decided to join Rick on a leg of his trip, it’s always good to have a co-pilot.

Rick’s trip hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing, but being the resourceful and knowledgeable guy that he is, and with the parts and services provided by us and shops along the way, he has been able to continue his travels successfully. Make sure to like the Rugged Ridge facebook page for more updates!

Here’s some more photos from his trip.

Across America in a jeep GPW

Rick Péwé, Editor-In-Chief at Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road, has embarked on a journey across America in his 1943 Ford GPW. He started on the west coast, and is driving all the way to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, PA. Rick is a member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and has been a Jeeper since the first flat fender GPW he purchased when he was 15 years old (which he still owns).

Rick’s first stop along the way was the 60th Annual Jeepers Jamboree at the Rubicon Springs Trail. Rick participated in the trail rides in his GPW, and despite a couple of small issues here and there, this trusty old jeep lasted the entire event. To support Rick on his cross-country journey, we sent him tons of OMIX hard parts and replacement parts to keep the GPW going.

After the Jeepers Jamboree event, Rick hit the road toward Butler, PA to attend the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. He’s taking US highway 50 most of the time, and has been updating periodically with some great photos and stories. We will also be out at the festival, so if you’re there swing by to say hello, check out our new products, and see this GPW for yourself! For more photos and updates from Rick’s adventure, make sure to like Peterson’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Facebook page!

Photos courtesy of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine.