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Norbert Stöckl is from a small village
near Friedberg (Elvis-town)* in
Norbert writes, "as a little boy, I
sometimes saw the american Gls
driving with their US cars and Jeeps.
It was then that I started dreaming
to drive an american Jeep myself."
At the age of 18 he got his drivers
license but didn’t have enough money
to buy a Jeep. So he had to spend his
first years driving cheap Japanese
“wanna- be-Jeeps” as Norbert puts it.
But then in 1995 he finally saved enough money and bought his first Jeep. It was a Wrangler YJ
with a 2.5 4cyl. engine and 33" tires. With this car he got a book ”The Jeep Legend” in which every
Jeep till 1994 was described.
There he saw a Willy's 4WD Truck for the first
time, it was “Love at first sight”. He thought:
Someday I must have such a beautiful Truck.
Norbert claims, "I liked my Wrangler, but it was too slow and weak for long highway journeys.
So I decided in 1998 to change it for a Comanche 4.0 HO 6cyl. That was a good exchange,
because the Comanche is a real member of my family and I drive it still today."
"Every year we visit many Jeep-meetings
and festivals, where I had won a lot of
cups in many categories. Most of the time
I am the only Comanche-driver all around,
because it is a very rare car in Europe."
Because of this Norbert says "I want to
spare it in the garage. So I always drive
some second cars, there was a Wrangler
4.0L HO, Wrangler 4,2L, CJ7 4.2L
Renegade and finally an AMC CJ7
Laredo 4.2L which still belongs to me. This CJ7 was primarily bought for the woods. I use it to
pull the wood for my stove to my house. It’s a brave car, he always does a perfect job."
Wrangler 4.0 HO
"In summer of 2009 I read in a car magazine there was a 60s 4WD Willy’s Pickup Truck
California import for sale. I called the guy and bought the Willy's immediately. I didn’t think
about anything, because it is nearly a miracle to find such a car in Europe. I rented a trailer
and drove my Comanche about 150 miles to take the Willy's home."
"As I first saw him [the truck], I was shocked about the bad condition. There was nothing
alright, but the 6cyl. Hurricane engine started and I loved the sound of it. In the next half
year my wife and I spent every free minute in the garage.
We repaired the tank, the clutch, the air
control, the handbreak..... we had to build
a new glovebox, repair drivers seat, back
lights, shock absorders, wind screen,
wood bottom for loading plain,
interior...... we welded many metal panels
and painted the whole car...... and so on."
"Now that everything is done, much money
and hard work has been spent, I love to
drive with my Willy’s to
old-timer-festivals and show him [the
truck]. It’s a real highlight
everywhere I go, because nobody else drives such a car. I am very happy that I realized my
dream and I always will stay a Jeeper. For many long years I tried to persuade my wife to be
one, too. But she loves to drive her old 75 Opel Manta and I think she will never change."
Hats off to Norbert and his wife on such a terrific restore of this beautiful Willys Truck
especially with Jeep parts and resources being so hard to come by in Germany. Thanks Norbert
for making us all realize with a little perseverence and a dream we can all acheive our own Jeep
dreams wherever we may be.
* Editors note: Friedberg in Hessen, Germany is also known as Elvis-Town. Elvis Presley was stationed here in
1958 and served in the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor, 3rd Armored Division it was this same motor pool
and tanks that were used in the filming of Presley's "GI Blues" (1960)