The 4 Eras of Jeeps, where does Jeff Mello fit?


Jeff Mello is not just a rockcrawler, hear him tell his story, with some laughs along the way. If you can get through it with out laughing, you deserve a prize. Jeff shares some great stories and his philosophies on the four eras of Jeeps and which one we’re in now.

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4:20 – I don’t think Jeff really “remembers” this trip…

7:12  – The perfect second date, guys, don’t hand your girl the keys unless you mean it.

11:07 – “We would play, who can go furthest in two-wheel drive?”

14:32 – Spend $2200, make $40K – I’ll take that deal all day long

20:50 – how to keep up with all the different rule books, CalRocs, ProRock and UROC

25:07 – How creative do you gotta be to pass tech some times?

28.52 – You lied to me…

45:28 – the best co-dawg ever!  Keep listening, you’ll be laughing outloud (sorry Jason!)

56:34 – The Budget Rental

1:07:51 – The evolution of Jeeps – the four eras


It’s always so good to catch up with old friends, you’ve heard of Jeff Mello, get to know him better here.  Truly an original, and an OG as well.  Great Stories!


Well everybody, thank you for joining us today on Conversations with Big Rich, we are interviewing Jeff Mello, one of the OG rock crawling competitors, did a lot of racing before that I believe. Tough truck and some other things and been a long-time off-road enthusiast. So welcome Jeff to Conversations with Big Rich. We want to find out about Jeff Mello and who you really are and how’d you get started So let’s start there. Where did you grow up?

Jeff Mello: Well, thanks for having me on. I grew up within five miles of where I’m sitting right now. I was born in Alamo, California. My parents lived in Danville, California and I kind of live in Danville between those two properties right now. So I’ve, I really never moved more than about five miles away.

Big Rich Klein: Excellent. Was your family into wheeling when you were growing up

Jeff Mello: So that basically started out my dad’s side of the family was big into race cars, midgets, Indianapolis, and always had a like a hot rod side to everything. they were very close. My dad, my uncles sprayed cars for the open Roadster show and stuff like that in the barn. And my grandfather’s ranch and they, you know, they had stripers that incidentally, Jason Scherer  later moved into that striper shop on Front Street in Danville, you know, just by coincidence, but they were big into hot rods and my dad’s sort I guess in sprint cars and sort of I guess, black sheep, he never was real competitive. So when my dad was nine years old, one of my grandfather’s good friends that kind of had a neighboring ranch bought a 1946 CJ2, which is in my garage right now, the only vehicle kept inside the garage. Right

Jeff Mello: The oldest one. Yeah. And so it was a very good friend of my grandfather’s and both their sons are the same. So all the Hills and Dales and races and bitches and Mount dab, the state park, that little flat fender has been all over all those places. So that was his first taste of Jeeps. So my first Jeep trip was somewhere around what’s spring, late summer, late summer to fall of 1966 and that was in a Willie’s wagon that my dad had built up from the different ones and then come 1967 of May or February, 1967 he bought a brand new real Jeep. Right. His first real Jeep was a CJ5 president red that he bought from Butler Connie, still in my mom’s side yard now. That was February of 67 and then a couple months later I was born and then my first trip was a couple weeks after that and they wheeled, geez, like twice a month for all of my growing up life.  READ MORE

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