Like a Stone
I usually drive a restored '43 GPW, but when visiting my mother-in-law's at Lake Almanor, California, I used her '76 CJ-5. I had just returned from gassing up for an excursion when, while talking to my wife and her mother, we saw her Jeep roll past the side of the house, down the back lawn, through a split-rail fence, and jump over several huge rocks, only to land in the lake and sink. With help from a tow truck, we recovered the Jeep in a few hours. There was little damage. After draining all fluids, including eight gallons of water from the engine, and replacing a front leaf spring and shock, we were back on the road. I guess my mother-in-law will think twice before having me gas the Jeep again.
Just K. Willis, Fremont, CA, Feb.'94
Fired Right Up
The whole thing started when we went camping by the junction of two rivers. I went driving along the beach, but ended up getting stuck in the mud and sand up to my nerf bars. We tried unsuccessfully to get out, and decided to have breakfast and try again later. When we returned, we found around 3/4 of the windshield still visible. We pulled her out and she started! She's running great again to everyone's surprise, and I'd just like to send a big thank you to Toyota!
Brian Preston, British Columbia, Canada, May '03
I was helping a friend winch a vehicle out of his creek when the exhaust on my '72 Jimmy set the dry grass on fire. The truck was a total loss and is still on my friend's property. I did save the winch and one off-road light.
Robert A. Pemberton, Oklahoma City, OK, Nov. '97
This is my totally submerged Jeep CJ-5 in a farm stock tank. This is what happens when you let a girlfriend drive! [Oh sure, blame it on your girlfriend.-Ed.]
Dustin Acklen, San Antonio, TX, Apr. '03
Never let your new father-in-law drive your vehicle.
Frank Cortese, Pueblo, CO, Sept. '04
Save the Children
I promised my wife I wouldn't come home muddy or wet. This was the second time I took my '90 Wrangler 'wheeling after I installed a 6-inch lift and 33x12.50-15 BFGs. My 5-year-old son and I were heading down the lake to a section called Rattle Snake Bar. I was taking my time and driving slowly when this happened.
Michael Golder, Sacramento, CA, Dec. '96
Chuck Pisik's F-350 was last seen foraging for food in the pastures near his home in Syracuse, New York. Three days later it turned up in a field miles away, dazed and in a supine position. We're not sure just how it got there.
Tom Lauber, Syracuse, NY, Sept. '94
Earth Swallows Jeep, Film at 11
My buddies and I were trail riding in Camp Pendleton after a big rain when, all of a sudden, the ground swallowed our Jeep. The road just gave way. It took a dragon wagon with a boom unit to get us out.
Mike Harris, Rose City, MI, Sept. '00
My friend and I were running Billings Canyon Trail in Grand Junction, Colorado, when we broke an axleshaft. As we were limping home, we tripped and fell end over end. As my friend Jeramie screamed like a little girl, the Krispy Kremes and the Hi-Lift went airborne. After ratchet-strapping the radiator back away from the fan blades, we drove the rest of the way down, blowing a tire bead only three more times.
Brian Cook, Grand Junction, CO, Sept. '05
I was trying to balance my Scout on two tires but found that the front was much heavier than the rear. Luckily only minor damage was suffered. I quickly realized I really need to design brackets to bolt down everything inside the truck.
Sean Lipscomb, Tulsa, OK, Mar. '98
A friend and I were running the bowls at Oceano Dunes but didn't know we'd both gone into the same one. We hit the brakes, but as you can see, there wasn't enough time to keep from hitting each other head on. We were only going a few mph, so the impact was slight. However, the angle of the dune was very steep, causing us both to roll. With a little mechanical work, we were able to drive both Jeeps back to camp.
Paul Martin, Santa Rosa, CA, Oct. '98
Slip Sliding Away
My friend kept bragging about how his new Jimmy had much better traction than my old Jeep CJ-7. Two weeks after he purchased it, the towing package was installed and we trailered our Wave Runners to the ocean. The launch ramp is always covered with a layer of slippery algae, so four-wheel drive is a must. As the photos depict, my friend's theory about my old Jeep just didn't hold water.
Cary Reichbach, Boca Raton, FL, Dec. '94