description is the best I can get from piecing together parts of
the event from people who were either strapped into the TJ or trying
to get out of its way as it rolled down the hill during Shake, Rattle
and Roll at Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area, which is a Texas
Motorized Trails Commission (TMTC) Property in Gilmer,
I was able to
get most of the way to the top of the hill. The front ARB, wasn't
functioning properly, so traction on the front axle was minimal,
at best. A couple of attempts at a small ledge got the front wheels
up and over.
When the back
wheels got to the ledge, they grabbed, held, and instead of propelling
me over the ledge, picked up the front of the Jeep in tractor-fashion,
or if a farm isn't in your background, like a motorcycle doing a
The TJ stood
on its tail for a few brief seconds, then tumbled over backward,
end-over-end. I think it did a second roll from upside-down back
to right-side-up, end-over-end, and then back up on the tailgate
again where it caught something that caused it to turn sideways
and do a complete roll from side-to-side. When it finally stopped,
it was sitting on its wheels at the bottom of the hill. I lost count
of the crashes at about 3, or 4, or 5 ... or 3 dozen or so. It was
a wild ride!
A number of
Jeepers turned into doctors before becoming wrecker drivers and
recovery artists. Some changed from wheelers to psychologists and
all took on the mantel of caring friends. Some turned treasure hunters
as they recovered bits and pieces of personal property that were
thrown from the TJ as it rolled down the hill. An old military compass
that I have carried for years and never used was found along with
two single spare keys that had been in the center console.
the rollover, I have been contacted via email and phone from club
members as well as many wheelers in different parts of the United
States. All have offered help of some kind, as well as best wishes.
If I could collect on all the help offered
wind up with a Jeep or two for sale as well as a repaired TJ. So
far, I have been offered a custom radiator, a '47 Willys body and
a '97 TJ body with no engine, tranny or transfer case. I have also
been offered a place to strip the scrap metal off and work on the
In the next
few weeks I will start removing the scrap and I will decide then
whether to install a CJ body, the Willys body or stay with the TJ.
I would really like to go "retro" and have a "real"
Jeep body on a "real" off-road frame with the coil suspension.
I guess I do
need to make a comment about the CBrack. It came through like a
champ. The windshield was pushed backwards putting enough pressure
on the CBrack to cause it to bow downward. Having put over 100 pounds
on that very same CBrack without any bowing, I feel certain there
is a great deal of pressure against it. All the screws held, no
metal was torn and no threads were stripped. It worked!!
Doug Chartier is the owner of CBrack.
CBrack designs and manufactures overhead CB and control consoles