I sold my old Willy’s jeep the other day.
She was rough, in a gentle kind of way. Perfect in her imperfection. And as dependable as a boat in Lake Huron without a drain plug. But she was badass.
I called her Leepin’ Lina.
She was the first Willy’s jeep I had purchased. The front bumper was a pair of two-inch thick oak planks. Her body was a mismatch of parts scavenged from other Jeeps that have long since rusted away. She was loud and proud, even though she sat crooked and the old vacuum wipers didn’t work.
Lina had foam cushions in steel frames you sat on that barely passed as comfortable. And what we called a “princess seat,” an old Ford Bronco bench seat mounted on the rear fenders. It was perfect for kids because it had … Seat belts.
I took her for a spin this morning before she left in the capable hands of her new owner. Someone familiar with the weirdness and comfort of the old jeeps and was proud to show me pictures of the 1947 Willy’s he had brought back to life.
As I drove down the dirt road behind the house, a misty rain stung my face. I looked down at the old mechanical gauges as the needles bounced inside the glass. Felt the rumble of the road through the steering wheel. And pushed her up to her max of 35 miles an hour, because anything faster was NOT recommended.
Then I let her go.
As they drove her up on the car hauler, and headed down the driveway, it was like I was losing an old friend.
People who own cars can never understand how you develop a relationship with an old truck or Jeep. Even though they’re just steel, rubber, and glass, they each have their own personality.
I will miss her taking up space in the garage, leaving telltale oil spots everywhere she parked.
But we made a few memories along the way.