16 August 2015

Rainy Day Memories

The sound of rain gently pattering on the leaves outside the window really takes me back. We sometimes miss the torrential downpours of the Midwest, although I can cheerfully live without the resultant flooding.

Our '83 CJ-7, back in the day
Other than visibility problems, driving in those rains never gave me much reason to worry, until we bought a Jeep CJ7 new, back in '83.

No one had told me of the built-in leaking windshields in CJs - it was pre-internet, after all - and we discovered the issue in a real gully-washer of a downpour. My wife had to hold a couple of large rags on the dashboard above the radio and glove box, while I desperately looked for an overpass we might share with a motorcycle or two.

We weren't the only four-wheeled vehicle seeking shelter there, either.

Water ran down the dash in great streams, thoroughly soaking our pant legs and socks, filling our shoes ... and the floorboard. I wasn't worried about the floors, since we were already aware of the drain plugs. The electronics and stereo speakers, and the papers in the glove box were our primary concern.

Later, I applied silicone bathtub caulk around both edges of the windshield gasket, which addressed the problem, although it didn't do much for the appearance of the vehicle.

Life with a CJ7 was fun, though, and I frequently miss its low maintenance, great mileage, go-anywhere on a whim attitude and the convertible top. I have noticed that most of the modern variants here have hardtops, which makes sense given heavy snowfalls and the mid-winter temps which can reach the minus-25 range.

My rag-top ride wasn't able to keep passengers warm in 20-degrees above, so temps 40 to 50 degrees colder than that would be an issue.

On the other hand, it kinda made sense that I was wearing a winter coat when entering the Jeep in winter, and could leave it buttoned up while driving. In fact, you had to leave it buttoned up; all the heater could do was to melt the snow off of the toes of my boots.

But driving "topless" was fun, back in the day. I lost a couple of ball caps that way, and getting caught in a sudden shower was always exciting.

I still miss that old thing, sometimes ... mostly in the summer, though. :)


Cathy said...

Showed hubby your CJ7. Oh yeah, He's a Jeep guy.
He's had people try to buy his 97 Sport Wrangler.
Ain't gonna happen.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Never owned a canvas covered vehicle but spend a lot of time with a M-151. Does that count?

Rev. Paul said...

I hear you, Cathy. We sold the CJ only when our first daughter came along, and I needed a pickup by then, anyway.

WSF - military heritage is okay by me. :)