Original Paint: 1980 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade Survivor

The popularity of the Jeep can be traced back to its military roots when surplus vehicles leftover from various wars were snapped up and used by whoever could claim them. People quickly realized that its lightweight, small size, high ground clearance, simple mechanics, and four-wheel drive meant that it was an excellent performer for farm equipment and as a recreational off-roader. Companies realized they could make their own, and we had spinoffs in all parts of the world from Mahindra, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, and several companies in the United States. This AMC-based Jeep CJ can be found here on eBay.

Once a Jeep owner, always a Jeep owner, and buying one gives you entry into an exclusive club of people that wave at each other on highways through the holes where their doors used to be. “It’s a Jeep thing” rings true, and this is no exception. This CJ comes with the AMC inline six-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission, giving power to either the rear or all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case.

It’s mint. Everything is mint here. The truck includes even the original factory decals and chalk markings on the frame and under the body panels. The odometer shows 23,000-ish miles and there’s not a speck of rust anywhere to be seen. Important places to look for rust on all Jeeps: everywhere. Floorboards, frame, tub, windshield frame, doors, wheels, powertrain…everywhere. They rust like nobody’s business, so an unmodified example that is also rust-free is just about as rare as a pink unicorn riding a Harley-Davidson on a park trail.

Inside, you have a typically basic Jeep interior. Two bucket seats in front, a short bench seat in the back. Importantly, the seller mentions that the radio has been upgraded to include Bluetooth, but in a vintage skin. None of that blue light tacky aftermarket radio stuff; this looks factory fresh, but you can still listen to your Spotify if you want to. Which you should want to because this is a perfect beach cruiser that needs an expertly catered playlist for driving around. The typical Jeep driving philosophy is you won’t be going anywhere fast, but you can take it everywhere. Wonderfully capable, take the doors off (either set, it comes with both!), take the roof off, and drive around on-road, or off, in a Jeep like you were meant to.


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice write up Ben and you are correct about once a Jeep owner, always a Jeep owner. But, the wave thing. I think it is CJ thing. When I needed more room than my CJ 7 could offer I bought a Cherokee. Never got a Jeep wave after that. This is a nice rig but……..

    Like 5
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    A very nice Jeep, but again, another greedy Ebayer with an astronomical asking price. IMO there is no way this Jeep is worth 33K when I just purchased a 2021 Wrangler Sahara Diesel loaded with every option except the advanced safety package for 50K. This hobby has gone nuts!

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      I’d don’t get it, but there are lots of things I don’t get. However, there are a few CJ7’s that have sold on eBay within the last 90 days for more, and several more within striking distance. There are idiosyncrasies within the enthusiast market that are particular to specific makes, models and years and are often related to condition. Those are often not evident to casual observers. This Jeep is also being marketed to a specific subset of potential buyers, not someone looking for a car to beat around in. Industrious and patient buyers are largely immune to the national market prices when they have an open mind and are willing to put in the effort, there are and always will be plenty of desirable cars out there at reasonable prices.

      Steve R

      Like 7
    • Mborst

      I bought my 1976 cj5 for little over 5g Levi package and v8. Fun back then sold it a year later and bought a 77 shortbox 4×4 Ford so I could hual things I needed to

  3. Steve

    I’d rather have a 76 with a 360 v8. Not a fan of the 6

    Like 2
    • Curt Lemay

      THE AMC 258 was one of the most solid engines ever made, comparable to a slant six. Besides, off road you do not need all that power. The first jeeps came with little 2.2 liter fours, and 3 speeds. No one complained about those, they helped win the war.

      Like 8
    • Bart

      The 360 was never offered in a CJ, no matter which year, just the 304. In my opinion, the 258 w the T-18 granny is the best combo.

      Like 4
  4. jerry z

    Surprised Dennis Collin isn’t checking the Jeep out. Always seems to be looking for low mileage CJ’s.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      It’s probably one turn removed from the price he’d be interested in paying. He pays “wholesale” this is being sold at retail.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  5. qmmq

    I was raised in a Mopar Family. Old man drove a Ram Charger, hard top came off father’s day every year, soft until labor day. He bought a new square light jeep in 88, I believe the first year they made them. He drove until 2004. I bought an 86 cj7 i6 in 92. What a piece of junk, traded it for an 87 jk, world of difference.

    Like 2
    • NHDave

      1987 was the first model year for the Wrangler/YJ (square headlights).

      Like 3
      • qmmq

        Thanks, now I know.

  6. Howard A Member

    Thank you, Ben, always makes my day. I think I’ll go for a ride in mine today, and enjoy the same feeling for 1/10th the cost. I know, we’ve been over this and over this, but still grinds my gears. The other day, I saw’r a YJ like mine for sale, same red, okay, a few more gee-gaws, but no hardtop, asking $8,900. When I looked at it, 2 guys were already checking it out, I said, “I wouldn’t give this person $9g’s for this, I just got one for $3500”. Probably blew the sale, but I feel redeemed in that I warned them in time. That was a week ago, still sitting, so you be the judge. $32,991,,,and no bids, I’m almost ashamed that I’m counted as one of the “viewers”. qmmg makes a good point, I’ve driven both CJ and YJ, and I can say, the YJ( and beyond) is much better. It drives like a regular car, unlike these, that will remind you of it’s military heritage on every bump, and the dreaded “Jeep death wobble”( more on that in a sec) highly prone on CJ’s. Hasn’t happened yet on mine, and probably won’t, I don’t ( can’t) go fast enough( 4 cyl). This is outstanding, but it’s still a Jeep CJ. All the glitz won’t erase that.

    Since we’re talkin’ 4×4’s and death wobble, think it’s just for Jeeps? Listen to this one. My neighbors son bought a brand new F350, 4 door, diesel, the works. Had to be $50g’s. The other day, he hit a bump, and the steering wheel went nuts, he had to back out of it, 2021 F350, mind you, should be the best of the best. No? Turns out, Ford is in the hot seat with those, and F250’s), with over TWELVE HUNDRED(1200) complaints last year alone, even a class action lawsuit, Ford is doing nothing. The dealer told him to come in and they will replace the steering damper, but that’s not the cause. I told him, it’s unacceptable, and that truck would be sitting in the dealers driveway blocking the entrance with all the tires flat,,,I know, I’m overreacting, but can you believe that?

    Like 3
    • Curt Lemay

      Funny what the government does, and does not, make auto makers recall and fix.

      Like 2
      • Dave

        Yep. I own two Jeep Patriots, a 2014 and a 2016. Both have the 2.4 engine. Both have had their throttle bodies replaced due to sudden failure of the plastic gears that drive the throttle plate. One minute you’re good, the next you’re on the side of the road if you’re lucky. They made these for 10 years. Mine can’t be the only two, yet NHTSA can’t be bothered to force a recall. Both failed around 40,000 miles. Now the 2014, with 49,000 miles on it, has a gear whine indicative of a rear diff issue. New rear wheel bearings didn’t solve the noise.

      • Gary

        Yes, my son had a Dodge Neon have its K Frame rust in two because of some idiotic routing of the a conditioning compressor. Totaled the car. I read that the Dodge Calliper had the exact same problem but Uncle Sam made them fix it. My buddy owns a GMC PU that suffers from a wide spread well known problem with the dash board suddenly go dead. Why aren’t these things more reliable? I have been looking for a cheap used small PU to use as a truck, but I will not go Chevy or GMC for that reason. A shame really, a nice little Colorado looks to be about the right size for me.

        Like 1
    • Eric B

      50g’s? Try again. ^^^^^

      The price of trucks now is hilarious. I wanna know how all these people can afford them.

      Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Total malarky, that’s how.

  7. Stephan k Homewood

    I own a 52 M38A1 marine corps Jeep. Same body shell as a CJ 5. I read a comment on the price and another on taking a stunning jeep to the beach…The price, well do you want a new piece of electronic junk or do you want old school. Old school works for me…I hate the touch screen junk on the market. Well worth the asking price. Why would you take such a nice ride to the beach to give it a rot job?

  8. Bob Mck Member

    I have a 92 Sahara edition with 53K miles that I would sell in a minute to buy this one.

    Like 1
  9. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Lake Forest, California

  10. Michael Abate

    I thought they changed to a smaller buckle seat belt in late 76/77. hmm. makes me wonder.

  11. t-bone BOB

    By it now price: US $32,991.00

  12. Carbob Member

    Good write up, Ben. You are spot on about legendary Jeep rust. It can attack Jeeps in every nook and cranny. I bought my 93 YJ five years ago and I looked at more than a dozen before settling on the 93. It had some rust but wasn’t a rust bucket like most of the ones I saw. Here in the mid Atlantic rust feasts on Jeep’s and you have to stay vigilant. But the upside is no doors no top and the wave.

  13. Gary

    Great for off road, but on the highway? No thank you!

    Like 1

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