The Original Patton is getting a heart transplant
I have not shared this story until now.... On the journey after the PNW Overland Expo in Bend OR, I went to go see my dear friend Jax Austin. He is truly the inspiration to the Patton, as he was the one who gave me the idea back in Feb 2021 after my trip to AZ for Skooliepalooza. Anyway, got to catch up with him and spend some time reminiscing and helping him with a mistake I made 3 years prior ( bathroom floor, I've since perfected the process.)
... In case you all don't know, I have a scattered way of writing, it's kinda like you're talking to me, or I'm talking to myself... OK, I digress.... After leaving Jax, I took a ferry with the Patton, I will start calling him "George" as that is his name and will always be a member in the coral at Wolf Rigs. We have a name for all our vehicles. I'll share that another time... Anyway, was able to go up to a 4x4 park and tool around a bit, drove through Astoria OR and on down the coast on the 101. Great trip !!! I had a blast & everywhere I stopped was swarmed by interested people who wanted to know about what I was driving... If you saw me, let me know.
So I was on my way home when I spoke with Kyle Gott, which if you know more of the Skoolie story, he is a big part of that too. Anyway, I was going to go through Reno on down through ( or near ) death valley to go see Kyle and Makenna in Vegas. Along the way, I was not paying attention to the heat outside and I had the AC blasting both in the cab and the living area of George. All of a sudden, I see a mist cloud from the passenger side and the engine cuts out... I overheated George. See, George has his original 6.5 he came with from the military. We were planning on changing that out later to the standard drivetrain we will be putting in all future Patton's. So I frantically call Tiktok ( Jason ) and ask him for solutions. he walked me through a few options and it seemed to work, then I got back on the freeway ( 50 miles outside of Vegas ) and it dies again, right on the side of the road.
Anyone who sees this picture ^^ says ,"OMG !!! That is an amazing photo!" Yet, at the time I took it, was extremely stressful.... As I am having a small meltdown, I'm on the phone with my loving and very understanding wife... She calmly says to me,"How hot is it outside?" I say, 115 degrees. She says," what's the temp in the Patton?" I say 70 degrees. She asks what I am doing... I respond with drinking a vodka limonatta and waiting for the tow truck. She points out a couple things... First, this is an experience that anyone with a vehicle may encounter at some point regardless of the measures taken to produce a perfect running vehicle. This experience will help others through that process, so be in it. Secondly, you are in 70 degree climate controlled environment with a drink in your hand waiting for help, you have 1st world problems. She is right. Perspective is sometimes hard to see when you focus on the bad in a situation.
So the next couple of days, we work out getting George back to Denver for the "reveal" of the Patton. No one knew it had a blown engine.
Then we took George to the Mountain West Overland Expo and George still was without his engine to move around. Today, George is in UT at Plan B Supply ( our Humvee supplier ) getting a new heart.
We should get him back around the end of the month. We will be heading to Moab to get him on the trails he was built for. We will have tons of photos, videos and such too. This has been an amazing adventure. I hope to have and help others on their journeys. -Reed