1 Of 1,000: 1979 Jeep Renegade Silver Anniversary

Sending an otherwise complete vehicle into early retirement as a parts car is a tough decision. However, this 1979 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade looks like its days are numbered due to heavy rust in the rear quarters. What makes it compelling for rescue, however, is the silver-to-black striping on the hood that indicates this is a 1 of 1,000 Silver Anniversary edition. You’ll find this rotted-out CJ-5 here on eBay in Gardner, Massachusetts, surprisingly with a reserve set. 

The seller doesn’t know much about its mechanical health (it doesn’t run), nor does the Jeep have a title. Both of those conditions will make it hard to justify rescuing this Renegade-package CJ. The lack of a radiator cap is concerning both for potential pressurization issues as well as contamination due to exposure to the elements. The Silver Anniversary models didn’t receive any sort of mechanical tweaks, but the list of special options wasn’t short: the aforementioned stripes, a special spare tire cover, dash plaque, black vinyl bucket seats and more.

This shot here is perhaps why the seller thinks this Jeep is too far gone to rescue. It’s hard not to agree, given the rust looks like it goes deep into the body, and likely indicates the frame has gaping holes in it as well. The angle of the wheel to the fender flare is also a bit suspect, looking more than a few degrees off. In states where no title is required for older vehicles, an enthusiast might figure out a way to salvage the body on a new chassis, but that’s a limited buyer’s pool. More likely, the good bits will be salvaged and the limited number of Silver Anniversary models will grow more limited.

A fully-restored Silver Anniversary edition sold on eBay in 2014 for $32,500, while another website listing calls the Silver Anniversary editions “…the most sought-out collector Jeeps of its era.” There’s one photo for our rusty Jeep here that appears to show the dash plaque still in place, but aside from a Jeep enthusiast who wants to keep one of the very few Silver Anniversary editions left on the road, the future for this rotten CJ-5 looks bleak. Would you make an exception for a rare variant like this one?

Fast Finds


  1. Pete

    Jeeps of that area seem to be going up in value it might be worth restoring

  2. LAB3

    If you ever check out a drunken redneck amatuer hill climb you know how unstoppable a straight six Jeep is. The high power V8’s tend to spin the tires and dig ruts they can’t drive out of, a rig like this will crawl right up and pull it out. With a current bid of $510 this one would be great for that purpose! With a body in that condition, an unknown powertrain status and no title, a ten foot pole is still too short to consider this for a restoration.

  3. Jeffro

    Jeeps are to rednecks what Porsches are to the collectors. Rust really doesn’t matter. It will sell for more than ya think. And yes…I am a redneck.

  4. Stang1968

    Pretty sure the rust can be fixed. I’d be more concerned with the frame. I’m not sure if there are reproduction steel tubs for the CJ5 but in pretty sure there are fiberglass ones. Not that it would retain it a value that way, but would still make for a fun weekend ride.

  5. Dave Wright

    We do a lot of rust repair in my shop……..the only practical way to repair this is with a new tub. They are not that expensive as compared to the hundreds of hours required to repair this one………then you have something good when you are finished.

  6. Mike S.

    Advertise on Craig’s list in Toledo Ohio, home of the Jeep. Jeep prices here are crazy. Renegades are a hot product regardless of condition..

  7. the one

    looks like snow chains got loose and flew up into fender wells..

  8. Rustytech Member

    These cj’s are one of the easiest body’s ever to do rust repairs on, no funny creases, and no compound curves to worry about. I’ve seen Chevy’s and Fords much worse than this repaired. There are plenty of good frames sitting in salvage yards across the southwest if needed. I believe the tubs are available reproduction. It all comes down to the money. How much is too much, and how much work can you do yourself? If I were 10 years younger I might be tempted.

  9. Darrun

    The frame and complete body can be bought. There is a very nice reproduction tub: https://www.morris4x4center.com/jeep-steel-body-tub-authentic-restoration-dmc-5461335.html, and frame: https://www.morris4x4center.com/throttle-down-kustoms-steel-frame-cj7-tdk-frame76-83cj5.html.
    It’s just a matter of how deep your pockets are!!

  10. Norton

    Did one almost as bad not a silver annivesary ed but silver 79 cj5 frame off every bolt did in 15 months in spare time sand blasted entire thing little patch on frame new frt fenders windshield frame floor pans all else is original will still bring 12k

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