Hooniverse Weekend Edition: "The Charles Barrett Special" Commando Edition

Purchasing a new vehicle is often an extremely stress filled experience. Overpowering sales people, the usual “gotta talk to my manager” BS, questioning whether this is the correct vehicle for your needs, warranty and service issues, just plain old new car stress. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. As this olelongrooffan has previously related, I purchased “The Charles Barrett Special”, a 1973 Jeepster Commando at a local junkyard a couple months ago. I got my nephew, the Kid to help me retrieve it this past week. He is 19, in college down in MickeyMouseLand and bored with hanging around mom’s house this holiday season so he was game for the trip. Surprisingly, thejeepjunkie decided to let the Kid and this olelongrooffan handle this transaction without him. As such, I gave the Kid the seven Benjamins required for this multi tiered transaction to take place and let him do the deal. Gotta start sometime. So, while we were waiting around for that big assed forklift to show up, I gathered an image or two of “The Charles Barrett Special” Commando, noting the “SOLD” marking just in front of the driver’s door. Yes! John Deere finally showed up and that driver knew his stuff. Now, this junkyard is adjacent to US 1 just north of the Birthplace of Speed and there is not a whole lot of room to manuver around between the fence out front and the southbound lanes of the highway. As my new ride was being loaded, some idiot pulled up and stopped right in the way of that big assed forklift. I don’t know about you but if I wasn’t a Hoon and I saw a big assed forklift with a car on its forks, I would most likely stay the hell away. As we had stupidly left the ramps back at thejeepjunkie’s shop, it took some work for that driver to load up my Commando and all the while, cars were pulling up and parking in the way. Finally, the frustrated forklift driver told us to head down US 1 to the side entrance of this old junkyard and pull into that big open area outside the dismantling shed. And we did. After we got my new ride loaded and secured, the Kid and this olelongrooffan headed out to see what could be seen in John’s Famous Used Auto Parts old car section. Once the Kid and I got on the road, we heard an unusual noise emanating from the underside of his cool black pickemuptruck. We pulled over to the side of US 1, evaluated the situation and realized that because of the stance of his truck with “The Charles Barrett Special” Commando loaded on the trailer behind it, the muffler was rubbing on the driveshaft. Luckily, this olelongrooffan had an empty diet coke can and the Kid had a bungee cord and our LeMons-ish repairs were good enough to get us home without another sound. The first roadside modifications the Kid had experienced. I couldn’t begin to count the ones this olelongrooffan has had. So, we got my Commando back to thejeepjunkie’s new shop and it rested there, unmolested, for the remainder of the week. Well, that is not entirely true. thejeepjunkie got that mobile pressure washer and cleaned almost all of the junkyard identification numbers off it while this olelongrooffan perused the original owner’s manual I found in the glove box. Early on Saturday morning, I got a call from thejeepjunkie asking me what I was doing? Heading to pick up some construction materials for me and Manuel Labor for Monday, what are you doing? Waiting for your sorry ass to bring me some gas to get your Commando running. Well, I can tell you my fellow Hoons, Manuel just has to wait, a Jeep got in the way. While thejeepjunkie was tinkering around under the hood, I checked out the interior of my new ride and retrieved a lawn blower to do a little winter cleaning. And those rare, full size, stock wheel covers fit those highly undesirable wagon wheels with out a problem. The determination was made that the fuel pump was bad in this old beauty and NAPA was dispatched to bring us a new one. I heard thejeepjunkie’s end of the conversation. “No 73 Commando listed? Well just pick any CJ 5 with a 258 and bring us the fuel pump for that one. And just to go in a full manufacturing circle, this Toledo, Ohio built Jeepster originally possessed a fuel pump manufactured in Canada but now possesses one manufactured in Mexico. While we were waiting for that pump to show up, we tried to straighten the tie rod but to no avail. Upon removal, its straightening by Daytona Driveline will be required for it as well as the front drive shaft. thejeepjunkie got the new fuel pump installed, we double checked all the bodily fluids in it and turned the motor over. Hoons, IT STARTED RIGHT UP! Yes, this last licensed in 2007 Jeepster Commando was able to back off that elcheapo flatbed trailer under its own power. thejeepjunkie took it for a short spin around the yard with a grin from ear to ear. And he gathered up this image of me standing beside my new Jeepster Commando, “The Charles Barrett Special”. While we have a lot of work to do on this baby, the fact that is runs and drives within the first hour of working on it really lets me and thejeepjunkie Celebrate Life!

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