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Doug Chartier's Roll

By Doug Chartier

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Doug Chartier's RollThis 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, Texas.

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 wheelie.

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!

Doug Chartier's Roll Doug Chartier's Roll

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.

Doug Chartier's RollSince 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 …hmmmm… I might 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 remainder.

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 for Jeeps.