Grandpa’s Garage Becomes Part of Easter Jeep Safari LandscapeMarch 15th, 2016 by David Beran
The upcoming Easter Jeep Safari is celebrating its 50th anniversary and since its inception in 1967 the event has evolved by leaps and bounds. Originally started by the Moab, Utah Chamber of Commerce, the Safari adopted more of its current aspects when the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club began coordinating it in the early 1980s. The nine day event with multiple trails and scores of sponsors like Mickey Thompson, 4WD and ARB is a far cry from the early days of airplanes dropping packages of ice cream onto the trails for hungry, overheated wheelers.
One place that has become part of the Easter Jeep Safari landscape every bit as much as the picturesque scenery is Grandpa’s Garage.
That’s the nickname given to Danny Grimes’ garage on his property. He retired to Moab 17 years ago. At Easter Jeep Safari, Grandpa’s Garage is ground zero for people in the aftermarket parts industry holding company get togethers, looking for tools to fix Jeeps and swapping stories. According to Grimes, the company gatherings got started about a decade ago with Jim McGean at Dynatrac. “You know how people in other lines of work say deals are made on the golf course? The place where deals are made in the off-road industry is Grandpa’s Garage.”
Putting names to faces, finding out which companies are for sale and learning about new off-road innovations happens at the hospitable spot. Not to mention, legendary after hours parties. “Most people in the industry find their way to Grandpa’s Garage at some point during the week of Easter Jeep Safari,” says Adel Adams, Events Manager at Warn Industries, Inc. Everyone from media to manufacturers and even end consumers make the trek out to Grimes’ house. “When I first started going to EJS, I met many of the editors that I deal with on a regular basis now at Danny’s and that’s where many collaborative ideas started,” says Adams.
“Grandpa’s Garage is the nightly hangout at EJS where vendors aren’t competing against each other and they’re just friends,” says 4 Wheel Parts Advertising Director Brent Goegebuer. “It’s a welcoming place with a bonfire where you go if you break your vehicle or if you want to hang out with fellow off-roaders.”
Grimes made his first trip to Moab 40 years ago. In 1977, he was involved with seminal California Jeep club the Sagecoaches and the president got him out to Utah. “Before that, I was into motorcycles and dune buggies, but they weren’t too organized or family-oriented, so then I got into Jeeps,” says Grimes. “There wasn’t the market there is today, so I had to build my own motor mounts and re-weld my own radiator.” He started building his own custom Jeep parts and soon people who liked them had him building ones for them. “I had to work after work,” he laughs.
Since shutting down his shop and retiring, Grimes has more time for wheeling. He steers clear of Jeep clubs, preferring not to deal with their politics. When he heads out to the nearby terrain, it could be in his 2012 JK Rubicon or one of his other Jeeps. Grimes admits that the vendors take good care of him when it comes to products and some of the parts he runs on his rigs include ARB bumpers, BFGoodrich tires and MagnaFlow exhaust systems.
The annual Easter Jeep Safari runs from Saturday to Saturday, March 19 – 27. Jeep clubs and enthusiasts of all stripes will wheel the trails and revel in the red rocks of Moab. The vendor show will be at Spanish Trail Arena on Thursday and Friday March 24-25. If you find yourself out at this year’s event, make Grandpa’s Garage a destination.
About the Author: David Beran
As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.