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One local group sets out to take some historic Jeeps on a historic route, for one epic adventure

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - From Eau Claire to Utah to passing along the Continental Divide, the countdown is on for one local group's next epic adventure, taking some historic Jeeps on an historic route.

No GPS, no cell phones, no interstate roads. Those are the rules making for one epic adventure for one special Eau Claire group and their jeep-loving friends across the U.S.

The idea came to Phil Norvold and Adam Schultz, who both work for Max-Bilt Auto Shop years ago.

"We were sitting around working on this thing, and we kind of decided that we would want to drive it across the country for some horrible reason, it barely runs as you can see," said Schultz, Epic Willy's Adventure co-founder.

Epic Willy's Adventure sets off in Independence, Missouri next week where they'll start their engines and ride along the Oregon Trail.

"Willy's named for the vintage-style, iconic jeep so no modifications outside that time period but we try to keep it as conventional as possible," said Phil Norvold, Epic Willy's Adventure co-founder.

Plus some not so normal additions.

"There's definitely a lot of parts not even from automobiles to start with. The center console is just a wooden vegetable crate that we put a pad on it, and some burlap, so it looks the part," continued Norvold. "We got an old ammo can to hold the radio stuff, a lot of shut-off knobs that you'd find on a water heater so that's in here, that's pretty nice."

And epic in this case, refers to the fact that one of the eight cars might not make it to the finish line.

"The first trip, I blew up. The second one was for redemption and this one we're going to make the third one, it's no problem," said Schultz.

The Willy cars cap at around 40 to 45 mph.

"Not 70 mph, if that happened, I'd see God, and it would be the last time you'd see me," said Norvold.

Beginning to work on the cars from a month, to weeks, to days beforehand to journey to the Oregon Trail on Aug. 13, the gang still has a lot left to do.

"I've got to hear the engine run, because it hasn't done that, work on the wiring, fit some fenders, redo the breaks on it then it should be good, so just a lot," said Cody Lee Schlough, Epic Willy's Adventure crew member.

Regardless, whether they make it to the end or not, it's going to be one epic adventure with Rusty, Amos, and Old Greg.

"Totally 110% going to make it," said Lee Schlough.

The Willy's Epic Adventure crew aims to hit 200 miles a day on their 2.5 week journey planning to return to Eau Claire at the end of the month.

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Alyssa Lyons

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