Jeep Enthusiasts Band Together To Restore Tornado-Damaged Vehicle

Saturday, November 16th 2013, 6:45 pm
By: News 9

We've heard many heroic stories in the moments after the May tornado destroyed parts of Moore. Among those stories was one about a man and his jeep. Saturday, the two were reunited.

"It's unbelievable," said Bryan Hutton, who lost his family home in the May tornado. "My whole tale in this the whole time has been the community."

On May 20, Hutton quickly went underground when a tornado barreled through Moore leaving his neighborhood off 19th Street unrecognizable.

"The whole time all I could think about was the people that weren't below ground," he said.

Once he came out of the shelter, the magnitude of it all had barely sunk in, when Hutton decided to dig in.

"I had a jeep that started after all of that in spite of it all," he said. 

11/4/2013 Related Story: Jeep Damaged In Moore Tornado Gets Makeover

And surrounded by devastation, his orange jeep named "Stomper," all battered and broken emerged from the rubble to become a saving grace for his neighbors, using it to pull them to safety.

Jeep enthusiast Lance Kenyon, who also helped Oklahomans following the deadly storm, heard about "Stomper" and decided to return the favor.

"It's Jeepers," Kenyon said. "When you're on the trail and you break something, everybody comes together and they're not going to leave you until you're fixed."

And that's exactly what happened, with dozens of sponsors, the Jeepers banded together. Using all donated materials and labor, "Stomper" was restored in Arizona, and delivered first class to Hutton in Moore, along with a police escort and convoy of more than 100 other jeeps.

"This whole thing has been kind of emotional," said Kenyon. "It was just kind of an idea that I had in my head it's gone together more beautifully than I could have imagined."

A restoration that inspired a community destined to be rebuilt, much like "Stomper."

"Some people say I did something great," said Hutton. "But every time we pulled someone out, they just joined right in, so I didn't do anything any different, I just had a better tool that day."

Before making the trek back to Moore, Stomper was unveiled last week at the SEMA car show in Las Vegas.

Visit the Stomper Facebook page.