A "lost" Jeep Factory Original Patriotic 9-11 Memorial.

Picture of rare flag Jeep

I bought this 2002 Jeep Liberty in June 2014. It is one of four painted by artist Paul Clawson, commissioned by United Auto Workers and Chrysler in remembrance of Sept. 11. Mr. Clawson worked as a paint artist at the Toledo, Ohio, Jeep plant.

The KJ sports a custom paint scheme, a full-on Red White & Blue American flag motiv. The original four that were painted are: Mr. Clawson's own CJ-5, a 2002 Liberty, a 2002 Wrangler, and this Liberty. The first Liberty and the Wrangler sat in front of the big stone Jeep sign at the entrance of the Toledo Ohio plant. Sadly the Toledo Display vehicles were scrapped.

Mr. Clawson was responsible for the design and creation of those two iconic Toledo Display Jeeps unveiled to honor 9-11.  Ed Schmidt Jeep in Perrysburg Ohio commissioned Mr. Clawson to paint this Liberty to replicate the American Flag Jeep Liberty on display.  Originally this particular Jeep was intended to be purchased by Kroger foods and used as a promotional vehicle. The deal with Kroger never happened and Ed Schmidt Jeep kept it as a demo/show vehicle for the duration of 2002.  It was eventually sold as a demo unit with 955 miles on it later in 2003.  It was shipped to its new owners in New York State where it was titled and driven. Nick Priola first found the CJ-5 for sale, by artist Mr. Clawson in a Craigslist ad. Mr. Priola began searching for the sister KJ and found it on eBay. He purchased both and showed them together in the Memorial Day Parade in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and several other events. Unable to find a museum willing to purchase both Jeeps, Mr. Priola was forced to sell these on eBay separately.

So you might be wondering how and why I managed to purchase this very special KJ. I've always loved Jeeps. From my mom's '71 Jeep Commando to my original '92 Wrangler and then my original '02 Liberty. In May of 2014, my son wrecked my '02 Patriot Blue Liberty. We had been looking for a replacement Jeep, preferably a '02-'04 blue Liberty, but I really wanted a Patriot Blue with the Leather interior package like I had. My husband found the eBay ad for this one and sent it to me on a lark. I fell in love with this KJ as soon as I saw the first picture. The history was the clincher.

The family has named her "Flag". She is my daily driver and show Jeep. I've been saluted, complimented, given thumbs up, and answered so many questions in the few months that I've owned her.

And while I would have loved to get the CJ-5 as well, I couldn't afford to. I have heard it went to a loving home, one that appreciated both the Jeep and the history.

Update: At the 75th Anniversay of Jeep celebration in Toledo, OH, I met one of the workers in the Wrangler division. According to him, the original two Jeeps were painted to raise morale after 9/11. It was a competition between the Wrangler division and the Liberty division. When those two were removed from display, they were parted down, repainted, and sold on. So only this one remains with it's heritage intact.

Surprisingly, I could not find an article on the Internet regarding the unveiling of the original Toledo Display Jeeps. What I did find on these "lost" 9-11 Jeeps is below:

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Step 1 - Original Condition

  • Page 1 - Just as She Arrived
  • Page 2 - The eBay auction and other pictures
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Step 2 - Drive, Show, and Enjoy

Note on Jeep from Vet
A note left on my windshield in front of the local grocery store.