JIm Bennett's Nissan Pathfinder

Unbelievable good from around the world

This is really an amazing story of good people coming together to help one person from around the world.

My name is Jim Bennett and I started a little website called Mrjim.net many years ago to showcase my 1994 Nissan Pathfinder. I added photos and stories. Eventually, other Pathfinder owners wanted to know if they could also add their Pathfinders to my site. Of course I added them and then we started a forum on the site. It was a place were we could talk about anything really, but the primary purpose was being the authority on Nissan Pathfinders and Nissan Terranos (the European version).

Soon it was decided that we were getting to big to just be on this little site and we discussed creating a club for all Nissan Pathfinder owners. We brainstormed for a name and came up with the Nissan Pathfinder Off Road Association, or NPORA for short. We began to add how to sections and sponsored trail runs and various events. Before long, we had over 2000 members in over 66 countries. We had become the number Pathfinder site in the world.

In 1994, I underwent a surgery that changed my life. It was the gastric weight loss surgery and I was really excited to have it done, but in the process I was infected with Mersa. It is a really bad infection that is hospital born and can kill you. They had to open my abdomin up for nearly a month and leave it open to let the wound heal from the inside out. A nurse had to come by each day to clean and scrub out my wounds. During this time, I got so weak that I knew I was going to die. I was keeping a diary each day and I wrote down every thought as I was feeling like I might not wake up each time I laid down to sleep. It was a very difficult time for me and for my wife. It took several months fo rme to be well enough to start working again and even then I was throwing up several times a day and was often feeling sick.

Life became a serious challenge for me to step up and make it or lay down and die. I began working out 3-4 hours a day and began averaging about 1 pound of weight loss every day. Within no time, I had lost 150 pounds and was at my goal weight of 200 lbs. This time had taken its toll on myself, my marriage, and my drive to stay connected to anything from my past. I can't explain it, but I could just not go back to NPORA and be there like I was before this all happened. I used to spend 4-5 hours a day on the site, guiding members and guests with my knowledge of the Pathfinders. I lost track with some good friends as well. There was alot more going on than just me losing weight though. My marriage had not been that strong before the weightloss and we had started to get a divorce several times throughout the years, but during this year that followed my weight loss surgery, I was dealing with the reality of how everyone seems to treat heavy people really badly. I guess I didn't notice it until I started losing weight and suddenly women who had ignored me daily in stores and out in public were suddenly flirting with me and laughing, etc. All that did was upset me. It upset me because I was the same person before when I was heavy, but I was treated very differently. I felt this in my own marriage and within 15 months of the surgery we had filed for divorce.

The divorce was a long and bitter one. It lasted from 2005 to May of 2009. During this time, I lost just about everything to pay for my legal council in the divorce.

During the divorce, I also lost my prized Pathfinder than I had built piece by piece and that was known literally the world over as being the start of NPORA.

Several years have gone by since 2005 and I am living a quiet life now in Anacortes living on my boat full time. Things are simpler now. I do have a good job working for IBM, but all of my money goes toward marital debts that dragged on for 4 years in our divorce. I had to sell my personal vehicle earlier this year to pay for the last of my legal defense in my divorce and do not have much left now. I am rebuilding slowly and I am happy.

Then about a month ago, I got a phone call from one of the site administrators at NPORA who wanted me to know that someone had spotted my Pathfinder in a junk yard and photos were popping up on the internet and the whole community wanted to know how this icon that started it all ended up there.

I told them my story and that I felt bad that I had let it slip away from me during the divorce, but that I suppose I was happy to know it was not going to be driven by anyone else.

I didn't hear from anyone for a week or so and then I got another phone call. This time, I was told that I need to get online and look at the forums. With over 4000 members now, everyone wanted to save my Pathfinder from destruction and return to it to MrJim the founder of NPORA. They said that it was the least they could do when I paid for the site without advertisers for many years and contributed so much to helping so many. I was floored. I thought it was so cool that they would even want to do this collectively, but really didn't think they would manage to do it. I was wrong.

The salvage yard recognized that this Pathfinder was custom built and that it had allot of expensive parts and alterations on it to make it really strong on the trails. So, they decided they wanted $3000 for this Pathfinder than sat with numbers written on every body part in their salvage yard. The NPORA group new this was really more than a 1994 Pathfinder should bring in a salvage yard of all places, but this was the Pathfinder that started it all. It was the icon that brought all of us together and forged this incredible group of people from every corner of the world who would do something so selfless and awesome like this.

As of today, they have collected over $2000 in about 2 weeks from members and look to be well on track to have the full amount by the weekend. They plan to buy it back, take it to a members home, replace the parts that have been sold off of it and make it completely road worthy again before presenting it back to me once more.

It is the coolest thing I have every experienced and I thought your readers might enjoy a positive story about people helping people. You can read the threads on our site that started it all at http://npora.ipbhost.com//index.php?act=announce&f=9&id=3

I hope to hear from you soon. I think this is an amazing story. Jim Bennett 360-420-8684

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woe always me says ... on Friday, May 21 at 8:55 AM

It is a great story of people of the community doing good things but it's a shame that those people don't know the all the truths of what was told to them....its good people that always get took by scams....people need to be aware!

Tsingson says ... on Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 PM

I am proud to be part of this community and to see that there are still great people still around....Take care guys and long live the Pathfinders!

Woe is you says ... on Thursday, May 13 at 12:45 PM

It's a great story about people from all over donating their time and money to re-unite a man with his truck. If you want to complain you should start your own website, build a member base and offer advice to countless people around the world.

Woe is you says ... on Thursday, May 13 at 12:42 PM

It's such a great story why would you try to rain on this parade? People from all over donating their time and money to re-unite a man with his truck. Things like this don't happen every day.

woe always me says ... on Thursday, May 13 at 11:12 AM

Its a shame that the majority of the things MrJim post is not the truth!!

Mr. Pickles says ... on Saturday, Oct 3 at 11:00 PM

Jim has his truck back, and we all had a great time. Please check it all out at the NPORA website www.nissanpathfinders.net and: http://npora.ipbhost.com//index.php?showtopic=24137

Mr. Pickles says ... on Tuesday, Sep 22 at 12:33 AM

Glad to see you doing good again Jim. Its been a long time. Keep the trail ahead of you and the rubber side down. I hope to see you soon and well.

Steveo says ... on Wednesday, Aug 26 at 11:27 AM

I'm happy to have found the vehicle and its now in the right hands..

Sal says ... on Tuesday, Aug 25 at 8:46 AM

Its great that every thing has worked out for you for the better.And its great to see a comunity come together and help one of there own

RJSquirrel says ... on Monday, Aug 24 at 5:12 PM

Kudos to everyone helping MrJim find the path again. Can't wait to see you out on the trails once its all put back to right.

k9sar says ... on Monday, Aug 24 at 7:36 AM

As is true with many of us, I am following the recovery efforts from across the country. It is great to see Jim standing by his truck again (if you browse the NPORA forums) and to see his daughter with him. Great work all!

DavefromOz says ... on Sunday, Aug 23 at 2:27 PM

Well done to everyone involved, a true good news story is a rare thing these days. My only regret is I wont ever get the chance to wheel with the founder of the great community I have found.

MrJim says ... on Sunday, Aug 23 at 1:55 PM

Nothing can compare to this amazing story of people at their best, bound together only by good will from every corner of the planet. Thank you to everyone at NPORA who played a part in this incredible undertaking. MrJim (Jim Bennett)

Anonymous says ... on Sunday, Aug 23 at 1:50 PM

Derek is a Nissan mechanic and he is going to be leading the charge on getting it road worthy again. No one really knows where all its been for the past 4 years and it does start and run, but they're going to check it all out thoroughly.

MrJim says ... on Sunday, Aug 23 at 1:48 PM

I met the guys and we had lunch together before they left. Scott and Derek did so much personally to make this happen, as did so many others at NPORA. Shane is a friend of Dereks who offered his tow rig and time to help get it to the shop.

MrJim says ... on Sunday, Aug 23 at 1:46 PM

Yes, the goal was reached by NPORA!!! Over $3000 was collected by members from every corner of the planet. Yesterday, a few members of NPORA picked it up at Salvage yard and are now fixing anything it needed before presending it to me officially.

Beavis0076 says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 9:33 PM

Hey, can Mr Jim pull me out of this mud hole? Woo Hoo! see you on the trails!

Scott S says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 9:32 PM

No worries to those who could not, contributing to the community is enough! This is a great thing the people of NPORA is doing. We are picking up the truck tomorrow morning! Then the restoration can happen. Soon it will be home with you again Jim!

jadm4x4 says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 6:49 PM

i wish i could have contributed. i have been keeping a track of this on npora. but having many troubles myself and trying to get parts aswell i havnt been able to contribute. but a reat site started by a great man. from Matt. Perth, Australia,

Kingman says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 6:34 PM

I'm thrilled to see this goal was actually met and how quickly it was! I feel a great sense of pride to be a part of the NPORA community and knowing that there are good people out there who are willing to come together to help another.

shangord says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 5:23 PM

There are good people in this world.What an uplifting story.

Adam says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 12:32 PM

I am so impressed that are actually some good people left in the world...

Pezzy says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 12:26 PM

I think what the club has done is awesome. How something like this can bring people together from around the world. To pass on good Karma to someone deserving. I'm proud to be a member of NPORA!

Simon says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 12:16 PM

It's a great feeling to be able to assist with this. I wish I could be there to pick the truck up, or deliver it to Jim. I can't wait to see the pictures of Jim reunited with his rig.

Derek says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 11:59 AM

I am thrilled to be part of this. This is a story you do not typically see on air. All of the bad in our country and world, this is a breath of fresh air. I will be traveling Saturday to help with recovery and to meet Jim personally. I cant wait!

Doughboy says ... on Friday, Aug 21 at 12:22 AM

I am proud to be a part of this wonderful community. Even though the money for the truck is there already, I will be kickin. in a bit more, for the repairs it will need. MrJim and his site have saved me so much money, and helped me so much on my truk

beastpath says ... on Thursday, Aug 20 at 2:47 PM

It was an honor to help reunite this truck with its owner!

k9sar says ... on Thursday, Aug 20 at 11:56 AM

Glad to help you get your truck back Jim. I wish I was on that side of the country so I could help with the final touches and be there when you fire her up for the first time in years.

MY1PATH says ... on Thursday, Aug 20 at 11:34 AM

I beilve I will be helping your Rig back to its re-hab location. I will try to film the inital startup and any other highlights allong the way. I am really exited about this Jim, I hope I am there when we present your restored pathy back to you.

Bernard M says ... on Thursday, Aug 20 at 11:24 AM

Update: We (NPORA members) are planning to pick up the truck this weekend and begin repairs. Jim failed to mention that donations came from every corner of the globe, literally! I'm proud to be a part of this outstanding group!! Cheers Jim :)

Charlie says ... on Tuesday, Aug 18 at 8:42 PM

Wow, this shows the true colors of camaraderie that a four wheeling network can bring. The friends I have made off roading are priceless. Jim, LETS GO WHEELING! Charlie S, founder of Nissanwheelers.com

Rob says ... on Tuesday, Aug 18 at 1:04 PM

I hope this warm gesture brings some hope and happiness into your life! Enjoy the second chance with your trusty steed.

PAUL says ... on Saturday, Aug 15 at 9:07 AM

Yes another example of what can be accomplished with the power of the Internet by a group of peoples, most of which have never met face to face, taking care of one of their own! TAKE CARE AND HAVE A GOOD SAFE ONE! Best wishes to you Jim,

Per-Ola says ... on Thursday, Aug 13 at 10:53 AM

Yes, great story about how "remote" friends on the internet can literally change one's life!

John says ... on Thursday, Aug 13 at 6:31 AM

Cool story! I own a Trooper, and while not a member of any off road club, have posted and participated on the Isuzoo forums in the past - great bunch of guys that are really helpful.

Baxman says ... on Wednesday, Aug 12 at 7:05 PM

It has been my experience that the off-road community, whether Nissan, Jeep, Isuzu, Toyota or other, is one of the most caring and generous you'll find anywhere. See you on the trail once you get THE Pathfinder back!

Tammy says ... on Wednesday, Aug 12 at 5:07 PM

Kudos to NPORA! The support, care and enthusium that is a part of the best off-road clubs is exampled to the extreme here. The Isuzu club I am associated with certainly appreiciates our founders and inspriations, too! Enjoy, Mr. Jim!

Stan says ... on Wednesday, Aug 12 at 11:52 AM

Great story!

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