By Jon Maib

Every 4th of July, our city does a big car show followed up by fireworks later on in the evening. Since they started this event, I have gone and enjoyed all the classic cars. Each year I have gone, there were never any Jeeps present. So, roughly 2 and a half weeks before the show, I got the wild hair to get my rust bucket of a Jeep shined up and entered into the show. Lots of pounding, sanding and cleaning began as I stripped layers of paint and grime off the Jeep and straightened the body up a bit (leaving it far from perfect)

I went and purchased some Rustoleum rust binder spray paint and threw down a couple of coats to encapsulate the rusty parts that I didnt grind down. Now, I really should have pulled the body off, had it media blasted and then properly primed and painted, but this was a rush job to just try and get it ready for the show that was quickly approaching.

I purchased a gallon of Gillespie OD paint from (the original AJP WWII Semi-Gloss). As I dont have a paint booth, I cleared all the important things out of my garage and just painted in there. I started with smaller sections such as grille, hood, windshield frame and fenders, before tackling the body. This was my first time painting a vehicle using my Grandfathers paint gun that was handed down to me after he had passed away. So I worked slow and smoothly to lay down the OD.

Once those were painted and allowed time to dry, I pulled the rest of the Jeep in and began covering up anything I didnt want painted using whatever I had laying around - Blankets, trash bags, etc... I then layed down the OD on the body. I did have an issue with the gun where it began spitting instead of spraying. I had to then wait for the paint to dry, wet sand the bad spots and spray another layer. All in all, I was happy with the way it turned out, this being my first time painting a car.

I completed the painting with about a week to go before the car show. However, I needed to give the paint a few days to cure and harden before I could re-assemble. I struggle waiting to see the finished product, so the next few days were torture for me. With only a few days left, I began putting the Jeep back together to try and make it somewhat presentable. I finally got the Jeep all back together and ready to head to the show. The Jeep ran rough, liked to over heat, had no brakes, wasnt registered or insured. I couldnt just drive it to the show and had to rent a trailer to haul it there and then had to pull it off the trailer and drive it over to its parking spot at the show. That was nerve wracking, but thank goodness for 4wd low range! I started this to just ensure there was Jeep at the show that year and did not expect to win. To my suprise, I hear my name and vehicle announced as the1st place class winner! Completely shocked, I accepted my award as "Rex" was welcomed into the car show world!

I often think back to this and wonder if I should have taken more time, straightend more metal and done a cleaner "restoration" job but, the more people that see Rex tell me to not do anything, its perfect as it is. They enjoy seeing the "history" of this Jeep with all its dents and holes. I continue to work to bring this back to its stock glory, and somethings may change. But, Rex has managed to hold his own at car shows with 4 trophies under his belt. I must be doing something right!

Stay tuned as I bring you more adventures of restoring this vintage Jeep.