Vintage Jeeps leave from Eau Claire to ride from Canada to Mexico


Eau Claire (WQOW) – More than a dozen vintage Jeeps shipped out for a cross-country adventure.

The 14 Jeeps headed to Montana on Thursday, and on Saturday they’ll start the trek from the Canadian boarder to Mexico.

“Two years ago we did a similar trip, and it started in Eau Claire and went to Moab, Utah, and our favorite part of that trip was the mountains,” said Phil Norvold, owner of Max-Bilt in Eau Claire. Norvold is also the co-founder of ‘Epic Willys Adventure‘.

This will be the second trip for ‘Epic Willys Adventure’, which is designed to celebrate classic Jeeps. The goal is to arrive at the Mexican boarder by August 11.

“We thought it would be really fun to kind of run along the continental divide from Canada to Mexico, and with the old jeeps, [it’s] really picturesque scenery and just kind of lends itself to a pretty fun cool trip, or so we think,” said Norvold.

However, the trip has three main rules; no phones, no GPS and no interstate travel. Also, the group only has four hotels booked because they plan to mostly camp along their route

“The interstate thing is kind of for safety as none of the vehicles are allowed to be modified other than what would have been done back in that time period,” said Norvold.  “If you’re on the road, we put the cellphones in a box and spend time on the trip just enjoying the scenery on the road.”

Norvold also told News 18 the oldest Jeep of the group is from 1946, and the newest is from 1957.

“They’re all forgotten about, they’re all left in a field somewhere,” said Norvold. “The bodies, some of the rust, we fix some if it was structurally and it needed to be repaired, but we kind of kept them looking just like they were when they were found to kind of give them a new lease on life.”

This unique adventure is all about making memories out on the open road.

“The Epic Willys Adventure is just an epic trip with some kind of out of left field rules that aren’t typical in today’s day-to-day living, it’s an adventure,” said Norvold. “If we can get some people to band together to do something similar, that’s kind of my hope, is that other people can enjoy some of the same adventures that we get to go on.”

A documentary team from the Discovery Channel will be tagging along with ‘Epic Willys Adventure’, but there’s no official air date set. You can keep up with the drivers by liking their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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