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Thread: Doing some research on a 1963 wagoneer for a book

  1. #1
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    Doing some research on a 1963 wagoneer for a book

    Hi! I've been writing a story about a family in the 1970's. 1977 to be specific. They own a 1963 Jeep Wagoneer. While it would seem stupid to most, I believe vehicles can have personality. Some of you might agree, maybe not.

    Either way, I've been doing a lot of research in order to accurately depict my parent's "hay day". I wish i could ask them, but they've both passed away. My dad was an auto mechanic too.

    I'm here to try to breathe life into an imaginary classic jeep. Since I've (sadly) never driven a classic car or a manual for that matter, can anyone give me insight on how they're different from modern cars? My mother talked of her old cars from time to time. Things like flooding the engine and skipping gears. That kind of stuff would be valuable to know about.

    I have 4 scenes where this jeep gets to shine.

    1. The father teaches his 15 year old son to maintain it. "You have to know how to keep her running if I'm going to teach you to drive her."

    2. Learning to drive in it. I know driving tests were on the road back then, but I would love any details you could give me.

    3. They need to rush to the hospital and the son drives her like he stole her. Again, any information or stories would be great. How do they handle speed? Turns?

    4. Years later, after the son inherits the jeep from his father, it breaks down in a terrible rainstorm. Just a plot gimmick at the moment, but I need to figure out why it would've broken down. It needs to be something the son thinks he can fix, because he gets out of the car.

    To be honest, I'll be shocked if I get a response at all, but I thought I'd try. Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    Member scoutingranch's Avatar
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    pyrolocks, there is nothing mysterious about a Wagoneer. The ride was softer than a Jeep Jeep. Nothing mysterious about fixing them
    but they were more rugged than a car. I always liked them but I'm a wagon fan.
    Last edited by scoutingranch; 08-30-2019 at 05:36 PM.
    "Options are for girls"

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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Welcome Pyrolocks!

    LarrBeard is our resident descriptive story teller. He will be your greatest resource for information. We all would be more than happy to add our little bits of experience to help out.

    A manual transmission is a talent that has to be learned. Three pedals and two feet makes for a bit of a juggle on a hill, or with a poorly running engine. The clutch has to be let out slowly in order to start out from a dead stop, or you'll kill, (stall) the engine. At the same time as doing that, you have to let off the brake and ease down on the gas. On a hill you have resume holding the brake pedal with your right heel, then give a bit if gas with the right toes, (heel to toe).

    Just a little food for thought. Go on YouTube and look through some videos on classic vehicle drives, and manual transmission operation.

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Telling a Jeep Tale!

    You said:

    "To be honest, I'll be shocked if I get a response at all, but I thought I'd try. "

    You'll probably have more problems shutting us down. We get to have some of our tales retold!

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    This is what I'm talking about!

    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    Welcome Pyrolocks!

    LarrBeard is our resident descriptive story teller. He will be your greatest resource for information. We all would be more than happy to add our little bits of experience to help out.

    A manual transmission is a talent that has to be learned. Three pedals and two feet makes for a bit of a juggle on a hill, or with a poorly running engine. The clutch has to be let out slowly in order to start out from a dead stop, or you'll kill, (stall) the engine. At the same time as doing that, you have to let off the brake and ease down on the gas. On a hill you have resume holding the brake pedal with your right heel, then give a bit if gas with the right toes, (heel to toe).

    Just a little food for thought. Go on YouTube and look through some videos on classic vehicle drives, and manual transmission operation.
    😁 That's what I'm talking about! I've been watching videos for old cars and have always had an interest in learning to drive a stick. My first car was a "semi-matic" transmission, so I could help shift up, but with no clutch that was it.

    I would love love LOVE to hear stories. It's very obvious when you write something you've never experienced. I know how my poor baby handles being driven in a hurry. I know what she can and can't handle. I know why I've broken down each time I have and what it felt like, but an automatic 2005 is a far cry from a '63.

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    I would love that

    You'll probably have more problems shutting us down. We get to have some of our tales retold![/QUOTE]

    I love listening to stories. My grandmother took her driving test in the 1940's. She told me she stalled out and drifted down the hill towards traffic 3 times before the instructor passed her for fear of his life.

    I've watched a video of someone changing the oil on a 63 wagoneer. I can say that while it was informative, it was not the same as experiencing it.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    As a thought, reach out to the folks over at East Coast Willy's association. They have a similar forum of local Jeep nuts. I would almost bet that there would be a member close to your location, and would possibly show you the ins and outs of a Jeep first hand.
    I've had a '63 Willys Wagon for a long time. The wagon was the predecessor of the wagoneer that your are writing about. The wagoneer was a more user-friendly, family truckster. It was just as capable as the previous generation, but had a lot of creature comforts added to make it a pleasant ride. The wagoneer changed very little from it's introduction through the early '90s.

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    That's a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    As a thought, reach out to the folks over at East Coast Willy's association. They have a similar forum of local Jeep nuts. I would almost bet that there would be a member close to your location, and would possibly show you the ins and outs of a Jeep first hand.
    I've had a '63 Willys Wagon for a long time. The wagon was the predecessor of the wagoneer that your are writing about. The wagoneer was a more user-friendly, family truckster. It was just as capable as the previous generation, but had a lot of creature comforts added to make it a pleasant ride. The wagoneer changed very little from it's introduction through the early '90s.
    I'm trying to look into that, but it's being fussy about letting me register. I might have to try from my laptop rather than my phone.

    You had one for a long time? Did it have any personality? Like my current car doesn't always catch in reverse when you shift. You gotta wiggle it a little. Otherwise, you let up off the brake and just drift in neutral. You know, little quirks you just get used to as the vehicle ages. Features you miss?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    We have a '46 and a '63. Personality is an understatement. They let you know quick what they like and don't like. The '46 likes working around the house, and the occasional ride to town. Much more than that at it will protest by leaving an oil puddle on the driveway. The '63 is cold blooded, and has to have a specific sequence of turning over and pedaling the gas until it fires. If it doesn't fire, time to file the points to clean the contacts.

    Features we miss?, No, these old Heeps are more fun to drive then a modern car. A newer car lacks the soul that these vintage rides possess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    We have a '46 and a '63. Personality is an understatement.

    Features we miss?, No, these old Heeps are more fun to drive then a modern car. A newer car lacks the soul that these vintage rides possess.
    That sounds about right. Everyone I know has fancy indicators telling them all their tire pressures, etc. I'm fine without. She'll tell me if I get a flat. XD

    Does your 63 have a radio? AC? I think those are the only luxuries I couldn't live without.

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