Homecoming 2013 was an enthusiast-funded operation, driven solely by the desire to celebrate the 70th birthday of a surviving Willys MB. As team, we covered our own costs for air travel, lodging, food and fuel.
Great support came from ASI, the Italian Vintage Vehicle Club. It offered a grant to cover the cost of shipping the car and helped publicize the expedition through its press office, website and magazine “La Manovella”.
A number of organizations and individuals provided various forms of support in kind.
The Italian Embassy in Washington included the expedition in the range of activities planned for the “Year of Italian Culture in USA”. We were proud to carry its logo on the windshield.
The Fiat/Chrysler Group, which own the Jeep brand, made available the Wrangler Sahara Unlimited support vehicle for three weeks and organized the unforgettable June 3 celebrations at the new and old factory sites.
It also asked Chrysler/Jeep dealerships along the route to provide support if necessary. We availed ourselves of the help at BZ Motors in Lewisburg, PA and Yark’s Auto in Toledo, OH. Both responded with enthusiasm.
The Mayor of Toledo and the Toledo Port Authority treated us to a great welcome at the former Willys-Overland.
MVPA Vice President Dave Welch was almost too generous in his unlimited support, which extended to checking the Willys before we set out and loaning a comprehensive spares package – “just in case”.
We are indebted to the people who assisted us on Sunday, May 26, when the Willys stopped on the way to Cleveland. THANK YOU to Pat (who never told us his surname), Ray Currey and his brother in law Bill (who even gave us a spare 6V battery).
At Yark’s, Dan and Mike assisted us all the time spent in Toledo. In particular, Dan Tomanski showed great mechanic skill in tracking down our electrical problem.
Last, but not least, we are grateful to our families and to Livia’s teachers for allowing us to take time off for this adventure.
Updated on June 11, 2013