Hurricane’s ‘Gimpy Jeep Guy’ publishes memoir, reflects on life as a Jeeper

HURRICANE — Local Jeep enthusiast David Adams has chronicled his life story in a newly published book titled “It’s a Jeep Thing: The Life and Adventures of a Disabled Jeeper.”

David Adams, author of “It’s a Jeep Thing: The Life and Adventures of a Disabled Jeeper,” poses in front of his Jeep grille collection, Hurricane, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of David Adams, St. George News

Adams, who is known for both his Jeep expertise and his off-road driving skills, goes by TheGimpyJeepGuy on Facebook, where he has more than 6,400 followers. He has a hereditary neurological disorder known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth that limits his mobility.

Adams recently spoke to St. George News at his home in the Dixie Springs area, just north of Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Adams jokingly refers to his place as “a big huge garage with a house attached.” He lives there with his adult niece, Josey Adams.

Some local Jeep fans may remember Adams from his television appearance on an episode of The History Channel program “Truck Night in America” a few years ago. That experience, which is mentioned in Adams’ new book, was also reported by St. George News in March 2019.

Adams said writing his autobiographical book took about a year.

After kicking around ideas for years, Adams said a friend suggested that he look to a professional book coach for help.

Josey Adams helps prepare copies of her uncle David Adams’ book for shipping to customers, Hurricane, Utah, May 2024 | Image courtesy of David Adams, St. George News

“I hired a book coach out of Salt Lake,” Adams said. “She helped me with the outlining and kind of consolidating my ideas. And then once I got my first draft submitted, then we had to go through a couple of editing processes, and then help with the cover art, and then doing the book launch and all that type of stuff. It was kind of a package deal that I bought, where she helped me get all that stuff done. But all the actual writing and everything I did myself.”

“It was funny because when my book coach first started talking to me, she was like, ‘For your first draft, we usually shoot for about 30,000 words,’” Adams said. “OK, no problem. So I’m writing the book, and originally, what I was gonna do is basically have a chapter about each of my vehicles. By the time I did my outline and started writing, I was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way.’ So I started cutting back and cutting back. Finally, when I submitted my first draft, it was 105,000 words. It ended up being about 93,000.”

Right after its official launch in early April, the book achieved No. 1 Amazon bestseller status in three categories, namely automotive customization, automotive history and memoirs of disabled individuals.

“In order to become an Amazon bestseller, you don’t have to sell a certain number of books,” Adams explained. “You just have to sell the most in your specific category in a 24-hour period. We were able to sell enough copies in that period that I became the bestseller of each of those three categories.”

The 328-page book’s description on Amazon reads, in part:

Join the author, a disabled Jeeper, as he chronicles his inspiring journey of overcoming challenges, embracing life, and conquering off-road obstacles. Discover his triumphs, struggles, and the creative solutions that fuel his passion for Jeeping.

“Beyond the vehicle, Jeeping is a way of life,” the blurb adds. “This book delves into the strong sense of community, camaraderie, and shared experiences that bind Jeep owners together.”

Author David Adams and his niece Josey Adams after placing third at the Delta Classic Rock Crawl, Delta, Utah, May 25, 2024 | Image courtesy of David Adams, St. George News

Adams described writing the book as “a fun process.”

“Once I actually sat down and did it, it was really interesting, and just kind of, it flowed,” he said. “It just brought me back to that time and that place.”

“It was a very cathartic experience to go back and remember, and to think about why I made the decisions I did, and the choices that I did, and how it influenced who I am today,” he said.

“Like we were saying before, without my Jeeps and what I’ve done in my life with the Jeeping community, I don’t even know who I would be because it’s defined so much of my personality,” he added. 

During the interview, Adams sat in his garage in front of a wall adorned with what he believes is the world’s largest collection of Jeep grilles, a total of 65 different grilles covering a span of eight decades.

“I’ve actually submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records to see if I qualify,” he said. “As far as I know, this is by far the most complete Jeep grille collection in the world. You know, there may be people that have a larger number of grilles, but they’ll have repeats, you know, they may have 10 CJ-7s and, you know, 10 CJ-3As or whatever. But I have one of every single model of grille between 1941 and 2021.”

Adams said that his collection includes a couple of grilles from rare military vehicles, one of which was a prototype used during the Korean War.

Author David Adams talks about his recently published book “It’s a Jeep Thing: The Life and Adventures of a Disabled Jeeper,” Hurricane, Utah, May 10, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

“There were only 1,000 of them made, and hardly any of them survived,” Adams said. “It took me two years to finally talk that guy out of that grille. The only reason he sold it to me is that he knew it was going in this collection.”

As Adams gestured again at the array of grilles arranged chronologically on the wall, he recounted that he recently had someone ask him, “Well, aren’t you going to restore them and make them all pretty?”

To which he replied, “No. It’s the dings, the dents, the rust and everything that tells their stories and what they’ve been through.”

“I would love to sit down with every one of these grilles and have them tell me their story,” he added. “You know, ‘Oh, a farmer owned me and I was a plow truck for 10 years, and then he gave me to his son and I was a mail delivery truck.’ I would love to be able to know the stories and what they’ve all been through.”

Adams concluded the interview while seated in front of his trusty green 1984 CJ-7, the same vehicle he drove on television five years ago.

Although Adams hasn’t given it a name, he said he considers her to be his longtime female companion. 

“I always say, you know, this is the longest relationship I’ve had with a woman,” he said with a chuckle. “She and I have been together for 25 years, through two marriages and three girlfriends.”

The book is available via Amazon in hardback, paperback or in e-book format. Buyers can also access the e-book with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Customers may also purchase either hardcover or paperback books directly from Adams, who has been mailing out autographed copies over the past several weeks. If interested, message him through the book’s official homepage on Facebook.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.

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