We got our first snow in Iola today. I was not ready for it. I wanted to run to Oshkosh with my trailer and buy a gantry crane so we can lift the body of a 1948 Chrysler Saratoga coupe we are restoring onto the chassis. I also want to trailer my ’49 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe to West Bend, so a man from the Studebaker club can work on the mechanicals this winter. But I do mot want to use my trailers on roads that are icy or salted.
After Willys-Overland designed the original World War II Jeep, the company did not have enough factories to build all the units the government needed. As a result, many Jeeps were manufactured in Ford and Checker plants.
Ken Spencer, of Waukesha, Wis., could have a similar problem with the miniature Jeep he’s selling. The Shop Digital asked him how many he can supply. He said his Chinese importer had 60 ready to go and that he could deliver one in a week to a week and a half. But based on the appeal of the so-called “Meep” and its initial satisfaction rating, Ken may need more than that.
Spencer says the Meep sells for $2,750 delivered to your nearest Fastenal store. “What most people don’t realize is that Fastenal runs a delivery service everywhere except California.
The “Meep” comes from Spencer’s family’s “me too” attitude about using the tiny Jeep. “It was ‘I want to use it-me, too,’ said Spencer. Even his 10- and 12-year-old children can drive the vehicle in first gear. There is no clutch. A handle moves straight through all three gears as in an ATV. There is also a reverse mode.
During a car show Spencer uses the tiny Jeep to run errands. “We have put more than 200 miles on our unit since Father’s Day. My wife won’t even let me sell it, she likes it so much.”
The mini Jeep has a full box frame, coil over shocks, rack-and-pinion steering and chain drive to the rear wheels. It comes with a full package of lighting and safety equipment. Disc brakes handle stopping chores. Power comes from a125cc Honda clone engine and can move three large 250-lb.-plus adults at up to 35 mph.
Spencer will be selling MEEPS through his MV Parts Store website (www.MVPartsStore.com. Everything on the vehicle comes with a warranty except the carburetor. That’s because ethanol gas is a no-no, but the manufacturer can’t guarantee everyone will use correct fuel.
It has been a busy summer and I have been off the pace in keeping up with my blog. I am going to try to pick things up. On this coming Saturday, Aug. 20, the annual Cheaterama show will take place at the Terminal in Milwaukee. That’s a funky eatery and bar across the street from the entrance to Mitchell Airport.
Cheaterama is put on by the Cheaters Car Club. The focus is on “traditional” hot rods and customs. The one-day show absolutely draws THE BEST cars in these categories that you’ll find anywhere in Wisconsin.