At any time wonder why a classic motor vehicle simply just sits in a neighbor’s driveway working day just after working day, thirty day period just after thirty day period and yr after calendar year without having a “For Sale!” sign?

Naperville teens Tristan Hanford and Will Fiedler did.

Hanford, age 18, is a senior at Naperville Central Significant College. Fiedler, age 17, is a senior at Naperville North. The duo grew up together in the exact same neighborhood in which they attended East Highlands Elementary, then Kennedy Junior High Faculty right before boundary lines despatched them to distinct superior universities in School District 203.

As Hanford explained, “Over the system of the last two years, a buddy of mine, named Will Fiedler, and myself, have each restored and rebuilt this truck from the floor up. We’ve encountered just about every difficulty you could probably conjure up, and then some, many of which are simply entertaining stories on the lookout back.”

Through a subsequent chat and e-mail, the teens told their tale, indicating they under no circumstances expected to arrive at the heights of accomplishment that they have. Their combined enthusiasm and sturdy enthusiasm designed an fantastic practical experience that is showcased right here with a gallery of pictures from beginning to end.

The experience that drove them to enter their refurbished 1974 CJ5 Jeep in the 59th yearly Chicago World of Wheels at the Donald E Stephens Conference Middle, March 11-13, 2022, is sure to delight and surprise visitors. The teenagers were being awarded “Second in Class” in a category that includes “Mini 4×4 Utility Wagons” and such as any truck or auto that has 4-wheel push, and two doors.

An awards ceremony was held to announce finest in exhibit on the other hand, an prospect with time to give an acceptance speech was not provided, they discussed.

“But I bear in mind Will excitedly slapping me on the arm as we shuffled out of our seats to get on phase and accept the award!” Hanford extra.

Hanford furnished a stash of photos representing phases of the project.

Two Decades of Surprises

The devoted duo had been passionate about each decision they manufactured together the way. They talked about finding what appeared to be a deserted aged Jeep on neighbor’s driveway and how they’d researched its ownership, ultimately figuring out how to buy it. 

At first glance in 2020, they thought restoring it would be “a new undertaking for the summer time.” 

They talked about after-faculty work that aided elevate $12,000 to go over costs, including $3,200 for a new motor and $2,800 for the tub. 

They described “alfa rosso,” the coloration they selected to paint their Jeep which is “a regular crimson, a minor dark.”

The teens retained referring to their Jeep as a “truck.” Hanford described that any vehicle that can haul cargo is viewed as a truck.

They bought pieces at community components merchants and specialty automotive stores. Elements not readily available locally have been requested on line and waiting for the components to arrive often held up their progress.

Other times when a offer arrived, they performed a guessing match about the contents.

“Our biggest acquire was the tub or system that we imagined experienced to be built to get,” Hanford reported. “We have been explained to it may possibly take a thirty day period or much more, coming all the way from California.”

They explained their surprise when a enormous package deal arrived in just three delivery times right after they’d placed the get. Inside of they were being happy to uncover the tub, by now painted with black primer.

Outdoors Enable?

“We experienced no exterior help,” stated Fiedler, noting Hanford and he had been both mechanically inclined. “Putting all the time into it comes with a whole lot of satisfaction. And that we designed the previous Jeep to be ‘show-ready’ and were being inspired by Mr. Ditch to enter it in the clearly show makes me extremely proud that we received it accomplished.”

(Greg Ditch is an automobile tech and engineering trainer at Naperville North High College.)

Fiedler went on, “I also want to say how generous it was for Mr. Hanford to let us use their garage and driveway all that time.”

“The just one image at the stop is a person that I just feel encapsulates the over-all vibe of the undertaking when we carry it out in the course of the summertime!” included Hanford.

For summer 2022, the desirable purple Jeep comes with an award-successful tale to tell. (Photograph courtesy Triston Hanford)

Geared up with programs for following year…

“I will be attending Florida State College to examine Mechanical Engineering,” reported Hanford. “And later enter the automotive engineering field”

“I will be learning Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University up coming slide with a focus in Automotive Powertrain Layout,” stated Fiedler. “After school, I strategy on moving into the automotive industry, particularly developing large efficiency race automobiles. Large University is where by my mechanical passion grew to what it is these days and I really do not strategy on halting any time shortly.” 

Since 2015, the Chicago World of Wheels has been the host of the Championship Finals.  The ISCA Championship Finals is the end result of a yearlong level of competition in between the world’s best show vehicles in a host of classes.  

A single additional issue: PN enjoyed generating connections with Tristan Hanford and Will Fiedler who allow us notify their story with pictures and enlightening discussion that emphasize several features of this two-12 months challenge. Thanks also to PN on-line readers who searched for “Hanford and Fiedler” at