2016 was the first year for the Southeast Willys Jeep Get Together. Will Springer, contacted me a bit ago and asked if we had any ideas for promoting it, spreading the word etc.., and if we could attend. I think he did the promotion quite well on his own as attendance was solid and sponsorship was quite good. Will also did a good job of convincing my wife and I to make the trek south for the show. Of course as soon as Brittany heard “North Carolina” she was ready to go. So we loaded up the JKU with camping gear and shovels and rakes and implements of destruction….. oh wait that would be a VW microbus (ten points if you get the reference! If not you are a sad and uncultured heathen.) attached the trailer with the new running engine on the stand and we headed south.
We took our time driving South, and realized that the vast majority of our trip was going through Virginia, we celebrated when we reached Tennessee. Of course non stop rain drove us stir crazy as well. We did a good enough job taking our time that we ended up having to take a hotel room for the night rather than camping as planned.
Little did we know there were two Ramada’s in Asheville. I just grabbed one on an online booking site. The first one we went to became flustered when they could not find our reservation. I jokingly said, “maybe there is another Ramada,” and found out that indeed there was! So off we went to find it. Happily at our new Ramada I learned that we had escaped the “murder Ramada” where there had been a few deaths and a desk clerk had been stabbed. Fun. At least we had a clean bed to sleep in and I was only missing a license plate off of my trailer when we woke up in the morning.
Saturday morning we fortified ourselves at Waffle House (I truly and deeply love Waffle House. We need more in Maryland.) and we set off to the show.
The show was hosted at the Grace Arts Center South of Asheville and was a beautiful location with a big parking lot, nice facilities, a pavilion and plenty of surrounding trees and shade. As all varieties of Willys wandered in Will opened the show with a welcome, a prayer from their pastor, and a beautiful rendition of the national Anthem on violin by Will’s daughter Olivia. It really was a family affair with Will’s wife and daughters helping as well as folks from the Church and community.
As more vehicles drove in we got the prototype L-head engine running on its stand. I did a tech session on the new blocks a little after 11am.
There were other presentations as well. Dustin Wylie of C and D Auto Repair and Restoration in Saluda NC did a session on t84 and t90 transmissions. Dustin covered, development, basic parts, differences to watch out for and more.
The owner of the wagon to the right above gave a great lunchtime presentation as well about driving the wagon park to park around the United States. He covered issues like maintenance, repair, where to go etc.. The wagon on the left belongs to Will and has been in his family since new.
Lunch was fantastic and the afternoon was spent doling out door prizes and trophies (we seem to have taken home a handful of prizes which was a nice surprise.) Overall this was a wonderful show that gave us a chance to meet many new folks form another part of jeep land. After the show we visited Dustin’s shop then headed to Lake Powhatan to set up camp and rest a bit. Thanks Will for running a wonderful show and starting a new annual tradition!