The town asked the Musnuff family to move the Jeep as the shifting dune at Ballston Beach covers beach parking spaces and is causing environmental concerns.
The Jeep had been entombed throughout the years in a wind-blown and sand-filled garage that was collapsing under the weight of building sand.
It was clear as it was dragged out that punishing weather conditions had reduced the once iconic beach vehicle into a heap of rusted metal. One person grabbed a hubcap from the Jeep as a souvenir
Basil Musnuff, who lives in Ohio, said that his mother inherited the property from her companion who died in 2014.
“The family had it long ago before my time, to be able to drive it on the beach, when people used to do that, but since people aren’t doing that like they used to, the Jeep has basically sat there all this time,” said Musnuff.
Earlier this month, the Truro Conservation Commission issued an order of conditions for the move, which the family has wanted but said that the town wouldn’t allow them to move the sand.
According to Truro Town Manager Rae Ann Palmer, the family applied to the conservation commission 10 years ago to remove the Jeep, but the commission requested that they get an engineering study to make sure that the dune wouldn’t collapse, but they didn’t get it.
Palmer said that each year the town has a huge over wash in the town’s parking lot, and there was a man-made dune to protect the parking lot which also shielded and protected the garage and Jeep.
That dune was wiped out in January 2015 after Winter Storm Juno.
Town officials then called the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown to evaluate what they need to do, and they said that Ballston Beach wasn’t keeping up with the sea-level rise, because the town was artificially managing it by building the dune.
The town chose not to build the dune anymore and so with sea-level rise occurring, every time there is an over-wash it would dump more sand.
In response, the town has to take up part of the parking lot, which is adjacent to where the Jeep and garage are.
“It’s kind of a win-win for all of us,” said Palmer. “They get it out, we go in and do our work and Mother Nature takes over.”
Palmer adds that the ocean is expected to take over that section and ultimately the town will lose a good portion of it, so they want to prevent seeing the Jeep floating in the ocean.
Musnuff said that he didn’t expect to recover any 40 year old artifacts from the Jeep since the roof of the garage has been comprised for a long time.
“Unless it was locked away in a glove compartment or something like that, I think most anything else that would’ve been in the Jeep would’ve been sort of long disintegrated by the elements,” said Musnuff.
By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter