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30 Years Parked: 1984 Jeep CJ7 Laredo

Any car or truck that’s been laid up for 30 years is going to be a challenge to return to road use. It’s not to say it’s impossible but just that the laundry list of deferred maintenance will be quite long. Some vehicles, however, may represent a shorter path to success depending on how reliable they were in a previous life. The Jeep CJ7 is perhaps one of the most rugged and simple vehicles to work on, so if you’re going to try and revive anything that’s been asleep for 30 years, a vintage Jeep product is a good place to start. Find this CJ7 Laredo that’s been parked for 30 years here on eBay with bids to just over $3,000 and the reserve unmet.

The Jeep is located in Ohio, and based on the fact that it has significant floor rust, it seems likely it wasn’t spared from prolonged exposure to road salt. The good news is the six-cylinder engine that made its way into numerous AMC and Jeep offerings is perhaps one of the most durable and longest-lived engines in the game, so it’s of little surprise that the engine still turns over by hand. The seller believes the mileage of just over 62,000 to be genuine, and if it is, then there’s no reason to believe that this overbuilt drivetrain won’t come roaring back to life with minimal sorting.

But that’s sort of where the good news stops. The original seats are a mess, but there’s enough here to work with that I wonder if the buckets would look presentable with just a good cleaning. The interior of a Jeep is a simple affair, and with the exception of the few electronics that are present (largely limited to the gauge cluster and lights), you can literally hose out the cabin and bolt in the seats. The seller doesn’t know much about the truck’s history but does confirm the crank windows still go up and down and that the convertible top frame is still in good shape.

From this vantage point, the Wrangler doesn’t look half bad. The original Laredo graphics and decals are still present, and the tires even still hold air (some of them). The seller confirms there’s no rot in the frame or in the body, and that does seem evident in the pictures – but I have to wonder what’s hiding behind those fender flares and side sills. There will be some unknowns for the next owner, especially whether 4WD and the rear end still work, but it will be thrilling to see this desirable Laredo-spec Jeep come back to life should it find a new home at the end of this auction.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Looks like the “shed of broken dreams”. I like what appears to be a H-D Super Glide just to the left. Let me say, it’s a good find, I have a neighbor restoring one very similar, and practically giving up. The escalating cost just doesn’t justify the means. In case you haven’t priced auto parts lately, they are keeping pace with groceries, and to just get this operating again, will cost a fortune. Don’t get me wrong, I really like mine, and could very well be the last vehicle I ever buy, but as is, this is a bit too much work for the average person today. Price is right, but many a skinned knuckle awaits the next owner,( or hours adding up at a shop at $94/hr) that and 1st name basis with the Autoplace person,,,

    Like 10
  2. John H.

    Sure there’s no rot in the frame…. Ohio winter + rock salt = rust.

    Like 2
  3. Carbob Member

    I looked at a whole bunch of Jeeps before I bought my 93 YJ 5 years ago. It was the least rusted I could find. Jeeps rust. Jeep rust is legendary. This particular Jeep is a rust bucket with many other needs. To get this one safely on the road will cost way more than it will ever be worth. Parts car at best. I can’t believe that anyone would fork over 3 grand for this sad Jeep. GLWTS.

    Like 5
    • sakingsbury20

      I feel your pain, I hunted for a 6 cyl, manual shift that wasn’t a rust bucket and in the price range I was willing to pay two summers ago…..anything with a good frame and body was 10k over what I was willing to spend. Finally found an’06 that was an automatic, 6cyl, 8k winch, new 31″ tires , hardtop and soft-top for 6k than was clean, BUT, had 212k miles on it….no smoke, runs like a top, tranny shifts good…..for 10k less than anything else I could find I can rebuild any mechanicals that come into play if it comes to it….

      Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      People think, oh, Colorado, all rust free,,not so. Colorado does indeed use calcium chloride on it’s main roads, but it is possible to have some vehicles that are less rusty. Mostly because of the dry climate, we have negative dew points here. I too looked at several, not so much rusted, but mileage. One YJ I looked at had 340,000 miles. It had 170K on the replacement 4 cylinder. Sheessh, drive much? It was clean, but not worth the $10 grand they wanted. I found this YJ, a ’91, 4 cylinder, 5 speed ( automatics weren’t available with the 4cyl, until ’95, I think), not that I’d want one anyway, horribly underpowered, but a shred of decent mileage,,downwind, downhill, that is. My nephew had a YJ, in Wisconsin. eventually, the frame cracked, deeming it almost worthless. Mine has a bit of floor rust but 95K miles, lots of new parts, I paid $3500, with a hard top and as long as the clutch holds out, I’m really happy with it. It’s a comfy Jeep, even compared to this one featured. CJ’s can be a handful.

      Like 1
  4. Rw

    What the heck is a YJ 5 Carbob , that would be a rare bird, been around Jeeps all my life never heard of?

    Like 0
    • sakingsbury20

      Its just YJ, not YJ 5…Next evolution after CJ was updated in ’86 I think it was, last of the leaf spring models….then went to TJ in ’97, then in mid 2000s changed to JK and in 2019 went to JL .

      Like 0
  5. NHDave

    How unfortunate. And sad to see. Sigh. (Yes, the YJ Wrangler launched in May 1986 as an ‘87 model to replace the CJ7.)

    Like 1
  6. Carbob Member

    No 5 just YJ

    Like 0
  7. Carbob Member

    Maybe I should have written five instead of using the number 5 in front of years. Here in the mid Atlantic rust never sleeps.

    Like 0
  8. Rw

    Just messing with with you Carbob,I have 91 and 94 YJ both 4.0 auto, great Jeeps, have done rust repairs over the years, still going.

    Like 0
  9. Carbob Member

    I hear you Rw. Mine is the 4.0 manual. It has 189000 miles and runs like a top. She isn’t pretty but everything works. I think that at least have the tin worm on a slower diet.

    Like 1

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