Jeep CJ5 Original Find With 15,643 Miles!

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With only 15,643 miles showing, this 1960 Jeep CJ5 hasn’t traveled a lot of miles. However, the plow on the front and the rust showing up in most of the seams have me wondering whether I wouldn’t rather have a high-mileage but non-salty car. It’s located in Spencer, Massachusetts and is up for sale here on eBay, with bidding under $1,000 but a buy-it-now of $5,000 as I write. Thanks to Jim S. for this cool early SUV find!

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I’m pretty sure that despite them being a period accessory (I remember them in old J. C. Whitney catalogs) the diamond plate aluminum pieces aren’t original, and have been used to cover rust. The seller should get patted on the back for including closeups of many of the body seams and edges, which unfortunately highlight that rust has taken hold in a lot of places. That being said, a completely new body is available as well as many patch panels and other parts.

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I think this is a patch (I’m sure a Jeep expert can confirm this) but I really included this picture to illustrate the seam issues. Considering the reasonable price of new sheetmetal, if I were to restore this one I’d start with a new body. However, if I were to preserve things as best as I can, I wonder what could be done with what you have here now.

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What I assume is original lettering back here almost looks like sign writing. I wish the rust weren’t in the picture as well. The seller tells us the Jeep runs great but smokes, and needs a rear spring (but two used ones are included).

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The carburetor has been rebuilt and the gas pedal has been replaced (why?) Additionally, the seller notes that the brake lines seem new or close to it. I’ll be honest, I’m torn here. There’s enough rust that I’d have a hard time just trying to arrest it, but it’s only original once and it’s hard to break one down like that to restore it. I’m interested in what you would do–let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. erikj

    That rust thing is not as bad its sounds. I have had a few of these and this one not that rusty. Its more like the paint has went away at the edges andreal rust is on its wa y. give it a good prep. paint make sure all the other major areas are addressed and Go Baby Go!!!!

  2. Jim S (Jeepers)

    That rust is not bad at all. As long as the frame is solid , I would fix up the mechanicals, pull the ugly pieces of diamond plate off and enjoy it as is. And yes, the lettering on the tail gate is original. It was stenciled on. The mileage doesn’t seem right but it doesn’t look to be a 100,000+ mile Jeep. Maybe had a broken speedo cable at some point. I love my CJ5’s. Been driving Jeeps as long as I have been driving.

  3. JW

    Having owned a few plow vehicles if I was to buy this one I would do what’s needed to make it safe and reliable then use it as it once was. Plow my 1/4 mile driveway, that is if I still lived in the country. IMHO it’s not worth a full restoration as jeeps are plentiful and I’m sure I could find a nicer nonplowing one for a reasonable price.

  4. Howard A Member

    I suppose the mileage could be accurate. With a 1/4 mile driveway, that equates to like 60 thousand times it went up and down the driveway, although, these speedometers usually broke, and who knows the mileage. This one looks worse than just being a snow plow. Years ago, (80’s) I bought a 1951 Willy’s pickup someone was selling, and it had 19K miles, and was used only as a plow, and didn’t have any rust ( although, a rod bearing went out, which is why they stopped using it) This is pretty cool, and while, at one time, every gas station and municipality had several, you don’t see many original ones now. Great find, but without a gear swap, be happy with 45 mph. ( not that I’d want to go any faster with one of these)

  5. DJS

    I think it might be over 100,00p on the clock not as clean as it should be but still might be a fun runner

  6. Another Bob

    A lot of these rarely left the farm or the ranch, and a low mileage Willys jeep isn’t real unusual.
    I’ve got several with similar mileage.

  7. seth

    As I plow my own 800 foot driveway , I can tell you that plowing is hard on the drivetrain. Smoking engine means something major is wrong

  8. Geoff S.

    Anybody else notice the puddle under the car? Brake fluid? Transfer case oil? Spilt beer?

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