Tinker Bell at the Crystal Mill, 2007

The Pedigree of a Jeep
by Glenn A. Smith
April 2009

I have owned this Jeep since about 1982. It is a 1959 Willys CJ5 purchased from a farmer in East Texas. The pictures below are circa 1983 in Greenville, Texas. The primered areas are where I had begun stripping the old paint from the body. During this time is was simply known as The Green Jeep.

Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983 Tinker Bell circa 1983

I used it as transportation on and off until 1990 (and restored it as much as I could afford), then retired it to the Colorado mountains where it was stored until June 2005. It sat in a field in a little mountain town (Marble) and the family used it in the summer for weekend fishing/camping trips in the area. During that time you could not rev the Jeep over 1500 RPM due to the rod knock (yes, there was a rod going out, the results of a previous wound). But it would still creep up the hills and over the obstacles, barely over idle, until the rod finally gave out. When I began the restoration process over 20 years ago I was afraid if I took the body off, I could not afford to get it back together.

Tinker Bell circa 1985 Tinker Bell circa 1985
Circa 1985, I had returned from an overseas assignment, in the middle of a separation headed for divorce. And yes, that is a borrowed Ford Pinto towing the Jeep. I rented a cabin in Marble, registered for courses at Colorado Mountain College and lived on the GI Bill and part time work at the CMC Audio/Visual center for about a year. My transportation during this time was Tinker Bell and my brothers Honda 250 Dream motorcycle. The woman standing in the background in the picnic scene is Patsy, my current wife. We had just met.

We have a particular attachment to this Jeep. I had stopped on the trail and picked wild flowers, without saying a word. My mother commented how nice it was I would pick her some wild flowers. I came back to the Jeep and handed them to Patsy. That was my downfall. And Patsy can tell you about my innovative use of the removable passengers seat, at a private spot on a lake. This Jeep will be in our family until it falls apart.

Tinker Bell circa 1985
Circa 1985, driving the road from Marble to Crystal.

Tinker Bell circa 1986
Circa 1986, cousins in Tinker Bell, Marble, Colorado at my brothers house. My daughter (second from the left) and my niece learned how to drive in this Jeep. FWD low gear in a 1 acre field, and they crashed it into the barn.

Tinker Bell circa 1987 TinkerBell circa 1987
Circa 1987. Packed for another trip to Colorado. This is a yearly trek that gets me back to my roots. The Honda 250 is in the back of the truck to be returned to my brother. Notice the front clip of the Jeep has been sanded and primed.

Tinker Bell circa 1989 TinkerBell circa 1989 TinkerBell circa 1989
Circa 1989, this is the final trip to Colorado before being reemployed with the USG and a career assignment overseas. The tow vehicle is a 1988 Jeep Commanche, a great little truck they should have continued to make. Tinker Bell was stored in the mountains until I was able to recover it in 2005 and begin the next restoration phase. The title picture is what Tinker Bell looks like today.