One of the perks of the job is networking with other industry professionals. Occasionally this means opportunities come my way that are too good to pass up. Luckily I’m not a selfish person and I would like to share some of those opportunities with you. In this case, while in Ohio, I had the opportunity to tour not one but two really cool factories.
The first factory tour took place on the Monday after the Toledo Jeep Festival. If you know anything about Toledo you know it’s home to the Jeep Assembly Complex that currently makes the iconic Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator. Sorry to all you non-Jeep fans, but be prepared for a lot of cool Jeep production line photos. The second factory tour happened a week later after the Muddy Buddys Jeep Jam show. The event occurred not far from the Bilstein Shocks factory. We were lucky enough to get an invite. So, read on for a look inside these two very cool factories…
A pilgrimage to the holy land
From one event to the next!
After our tour of the Toledo North Assembly Building Dan and I headed south for another Jeep show in Ohio. After a few days at a State Park (longer than planned due to me rolling my ankle) we made our way to the fairgrounds for the Muddy Buddy’s Jeep Club annual Jeep Jam event.
The event was typical of Jeep shows, which plenty of vendors, display vehicles, food, and what-not. I’ll spare you those details. However what I do want to share is an interaction that led to another factory tour.
Shortly after we started setting up our booth a large Bilstein box truck rolled in which I instantly recognized as one of their mobile tuning rigs. I went over and lamented the fact that I didn’t have the LJ and I knew the new 5160 remote reservoir shocks I installed would most likely benefit greatly from a custom tune. I also mentioned that Dan’s Jeep that had been around Africa was rocking a set of well-worn AEV tuned 5100’s. A few small conversations later we had an invite to tour their nearby factory.
It’s not everyday you get to tour an iconic factory, nor is any likelier to get to tour two of them in just as many weeks. I will say getting to see both the Toledo North Assembly Complex and the Bilstein Shock factory made my inner schoolboy giddy. I grew up fascinated by shows like “How It’s Made,” and I watched entirely too much MacGyver. Needless to say, being a gear head and a Jeep fanatic means I still have not stopped smiling. I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtain and my take on two very cool production facilities located right here on US soil.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, others like it on the ECOA blog, as well as things like the Echoes of Adventure Podcast. Please consider showing your support by joining the East Coast Overland Adventures Patron Support Team. Money collected through Patreon not only helps support articles like this but also helps fulfill the ECOA mission to Educate, Encourage, and Inspire. This means we can attend more events where we provide training opportunities we do not get reimbursed for. It also means we can better feature the things we experience along the way like these tours.