Jarvo is the wild bushman from Whitegum Valley.
He built his own house using Youtube tutorials as a guide, has a gorgeous blue-brindle Amstaff called Stella and only drives Landrovers. (He is not in the picture at the top of the blog because he has “surgery hair” – a surgery on his ear to restore his wayward hearing resulted in his ear being literally superglued back onto his head and a ban on hairwashing for a week.)
Jarvo is also my 4WD mentor, and is possibly more excited by my impending depature to the great straight roads of the west than I am.
Jarvo’s mission was to help me set up the back of the Jeep to maximise space and utility. We started out looking at small boxes and lockable drawers…
…When Jarvo called a bloke who knew a bloke who suggested a bloke and next thing we knew, we were in the back blocks of Malaga at a wrecking yard specialising in Jeeps perusing a rare hard-top for my model of Wrangler.
Create one secure big box, rather than multiple smaller ones, he said.
The TJ tops, I learned, are pretty hard to come by and Tony (centre in the picture) was happy to help out with a top that had copped a bit of damage but was otherwise in good working order – and take the canvas soft-top off my hands to make the whole expedition a bit more affordable.
Tony was a bit of a legend: Of Croatian heritage, he has lived in Karrinyup since the early 80s and has driven the Nullarbor six times – the first was in the early 60s in a VW Beetle. He got into Jeep-wrecking when he put an ad in the paper for Jeep parts and had 90 responses and thought to himself, “there’s a business in this.”
His right-hand men were both of Lebanese heritage and ended up in Australia after fleeing Iraq in the 90s. Normy told me he wanted to take a road trip through the Arab states and when the roof didn’t come off the wreck easily, delaying our departure several hours, shared his lunch with us.
Once attached, we realised the roof was letting in a bit of air at the front so was a little noisy. On the advice of Tony, Jarvo and I took off to Bunnings for the ubiquitous fix for all things: Gaffer tape.
Jarvo is some sort of Gaffer-tape savant: After staring at the collection for a few minutes, he picked up a tape that turned out to be an exact match for the roof. And fixed the noise issue to-boot.
Subsequently my job today is to repair the damage with some sort of special car glue (another one of Jarvo’s finds in Bunnings) and give the whole thing a bit of a wash.
I also need to start packing the back of the car. Jarvo was not entirely sure that I’d need two boxes for clothes and another for shoes.