Meet John Mantey

This interview was conducted by the SDVoyager magazine in February 2018.

Link to SDVoyager magazine:

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Mantey.

John, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a co-founder of the San Diego Jeep Club.

My fascination with Jeeps and traversing backcountry trails began in 1987 while serving in the U.S. Navy in San Francisco, CA. I was attached to a unit which had a motor pool containing Jeeps. Often, I would drive a Jeep throughout the Marin Headlands in areas closed off to the general public as my unit conducted military exercises in that area. Since my first experience with a Jeep, I have logged thousands of miles on numerous trails throughout the world.

Has it been a smooth road?
Growing the San Diego Jeep Club thus far has been a relatively smooth process. The idea of this club is to include as many new Jeep enthusiasts as possible while also keeping things interesting for Jeep enthusiasts of whom have been out on the trails for years.

To date, since the clubs inception back in September 2013, we have not charged a cent to the folks of whom like to join us on the trails though this may change in the coming months due to the immense amount of growth we have enjoyed and the legal liabilities which come with such growth. We have a very simple yet very effective club policy which is to have a Jeep in good working order and more importantly, have a great attitude while treating your fellow Jeep friends as you would have them treat you.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The San Diego Jeep Club started as an idea back in September 2013, to bring together good people for great times!  Sure there are plenty of off-roading groups around, but we wanted to bring something special to the greater San Diego area for Jeep owners and we wanted that experience to be fun and engaging for everyone involved.

Here at SDJC, we have knowledgeable trail leaders that will keep peoples adrenaline pumping while boosting their confidence on the trail while either behind the wheel of their Jeep or sitting shotgun with a map in their hands.

We specialize in Jeep excursions for both new Jeep owner’s as well as established Jeep enthusiast’s.   So, if they have a great personal attitude and respect their fellow Jeeper’s, folks are certainly welcome to hang out with us.

We are a “Just For Fun” club. What does that mean? There is no monthly dues, no mandatory meetings and no fees to pay! We simply ask that your Jeep be in excellent working order, you have a CB radio when we hit the trails and that you have an excellent attitude when hanging out with your fellow Jeep People, that’s all!


On The Trail


Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego County has some of the very best off-road trails in the USA.

With the booming popularity of social media, SDJC has grown more exponentially than we had imagined a mere 4 ½ years ago. With this rapid growth comes more responsibilities for us all. It is very important to SDJC to ensure that all our members adhere to the “tread lightly” “Pack in-Pack out” philosophies in our efforts to preserve the land for future generations to enjoy.  

John Mantey

John Mantey

Leave a comment

Sign up for our Newsletter

Operation Overland is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.