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While vacationing in Tuscany, Italy, Markus Cizek of Lustenau, Austria decided to buy a Cherokee Chief from Kansas which he had painstakingly shipped to his home. The summer of 2011 Markus traveled to Tuscany where he, his wife and their Great Dane, Gino, stayed outside of Cortona. In their Mercedes wagon they rendezvoused with the owner of their summer retreat and, with Gino riding along, were led roughly 2 km (1.2 Miles) towards the mountains and their destination. Deep potholes and rocks on both sides is how Markus characterized the end of the road.

"Each pothole was a stick into my heart, because on my Mercedes are aluminum rims with nice low section tires," said Markus, "I saw in my darkest dreams the shocks [coming] through the hood."
Once at their destination Markus still had to traverse this ugly road every day, with a headache each time. Then "while chilling at the pool, I got an idea: we need for our dog and winter time and travel to such destinations, a Jeep!"
"I surfed and searched for Wranglers, CJ 5's and 7's, Grand Cherokees, Cherokees and come to the solution that a Wrangler could be the best [to] transport our dog, and driving in winter time." Markus promptly found a Wrangler in Europe and, after his vacation, arranged a test drive with his wife, but found it to be in poor condition for the asking price. They also test drove an Opel Frontera and felt more comfortable, though for Markus it lacked the 'cool' factor.
After also trying two cherokees, Markus' friend Jay, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, suggested an FSJ, or a Range Rover. Markus remembered the appeal of an american V8, with its distinct sound, and came to the conclusion he needed a toy to play with. One of his specifications being that the truck would be low enough for Gino to jump in. "Night by night I surfed through the internet to check the market for Grand Wagoneers and Cherokee Chiefs." He found a few across his continent, but wasn't pleased with their condition or pricetag, while also looking into shipment to Austria, not to mention government registration. From the austrian branch of the Eurotaxglass organization Markus recieved word that he would be able to register a jeep built in 1982 or earlier. Now he knew exactly what he was looking for.
"Google and Craigslist [were] my best friends including the IFSJA (International Full Size Jeep Association) for endless nights." Markus says he soon got a feel for searching listings, which were promising or not. Many sellers became less than enthusiastic when they learned where he resides, but the IFSJA, he says, was pivotal in continuing his search. "By the way, I had often [a] headache from reading in the Forums in english, because all the members working with the 'technical' words, and I had to learn what they mean."
Finally in Hoyt, Kansas he found exactly what he was looking for. A 1983 Black, 360 AMC, Cherokee Chief with less than 100,000 miles.
Luckily the seller was willing to negotiate with Markus, who was very grateful. He arranged to have the Chief picked up in Kansas, shipped by truck to Houston, Texas, sailed across the ocean to Germany and, finally, delivered to his door.
Markus used a few methods to solve his global problem. He used to find a guy called Greg Denk, who, Markus says, did a perfect job on his Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI). helped determine shipping, along with to rack the Chief while at sea. The shipping company couldn't give Markus an exact delivery date, so he monitored his Jeep's progress day by day.
"The complete shipping including door to door lasted six weeks." Once grounded in Germany Markus received an estimated delivery date of July 3rd, 2012 and that morning at 6:45 the driver called to let him know he was around the corner.
The Chief arrives.
With a lot of luck, he says, and the last drops of gas Markus started the Chief in front of his house. "The truck driver was very friendly, but he was not informed that this old black thing is not remains, no, it is a pearl!"
Upon arrival Markus said, "the feeling was mixed, I was very nervous, but I [knew], yes, it is what I wanted.
In the next 6-8 months Markus hopes to make his Chief road worthy. In order to do that he still needs to replace the steering ball joints, brake lines, find a grill and front bumper and touch up some paint among other things. But he seems to remain confident in his Cherokee Chief's restoration after shipping it roughly halfway around the world. It's safe to say, the Chief isn't in Kansas anymore.
Markus' Chief.
By: Tom Smith
Tom Smith studies Film, Photography and the Visual Arts at Ithaca College's Roy H. Park School of Communications.
Halfway around the world Markus Cizek's Cherokee Chief reaches its proud owner.
"I got an idea: we need ... a jeep!"
(from top): Gino and the Jeep; A top view of the Chief; Under the hood.
"The complete shipping ... lasted six weeks."