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Barn Find: 1973 Jeep J-2000 4×4 Townside

The seller says that this 1973 Jeep J-2000 4×4 pickup was sitting in a barn for many years and it’s rust-free. It now runs and drives after they went through it, and although it has some issues as you can see with the grille, it looks like an outstanding survivor. They have it posted here on craigslist in Sherman Oaks, California and they’re asking $9,900. Here is the original listing, and thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

What a great-looking truck. An orange 4×4 Jeep pickup that’s supposedly rust-free? Yes on that all day long. That grille, though, was that a deer hit? We don’t know the story of that unfortunate incident, but I hope the next owner can repair that, this otherwise handsome Jeep deserves a nicer face than that. As almost always, there is heavy surface rust underneath, but a session with a dry-ice blaster would bring that back to life.

As a J-2000, this is the shorter of the two wheelbase lengths for Jeep pickups from this era, with a 120-inch wheelbase – although, the Allpar VIN decoder lists it as having a 119-inch wheelbase. The J-3000 had a 126-inch wheelbase, so it wasn’t a huge difference, at least in wheelbase length. The following year in 1974, the model names would change to J-10 and J-20, with them being based on payload rather than wheelbase length.

We usually expect to see a four-speed manual transmission inside, for some reason, but this Jeep is positively luxurious with that elegant light-colored seat – that could use a repair or two – the padded dash and the nice door panels, and a column-shifted automatic transmission. This is more luxury than I would ever need in a pickup. The seller says that they got this Jeep from the original owner and it needs a full tune-up and brakes, but it sure looks good to me.

The seller says that this is a Dodge 360, but I’m guessing that it’s an AMC-sourced 360-cu.in. OHV V8, which for a California truck would have had around 195 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The VIN shown in one of the seller’s photos matches up on VIN decoders as a 360 with a four-barrel, and it sure looks clean. This Jeep looks like a very nice project. Hagerty is at $20,400 for a #3 good-condition truck so there’s a lot of room to make this one right again. Any thoughts on this Jeep? The engine size or maker? The condition? Color? Anything? (too many questions?)…


  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    That’s a lot of truck for 9K. There is nothing I don’t like about this classic. If I were to buy it there is nothing I would do cosmetically. This one wears its patina with honor. I would use it as a truck however I would keep it away from winter road salt. What an awesome find.

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo Mark

      Yeah it’s a beautiful truck, but having owned a couple of them, I have to say that the 360 is a thirsty pig. A 6 would be better.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Edward Burke

        Thirsty pig is an accurate assessment for that 8 mpg 360c.i. 4 bbl!

        Like 2
  2. Avatar photo mike

    Calif.Jeep so it might be somewhat rust free.But in the 70’s Jeeps came with rust issues from the factory.I know.I had a new 73 and 78 Cherokee.Both had rust issue within a year.And the 78 had Ziebart coating from new and still rusted.But I really like this in orange

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo Bob Enderle

    I always get a chuckle when people incorrectly assign other makes engines to AMC cars. Although AMC did “borrow” other items, transmissions, electrical etc.. from other makes. AMC had all their own V 8s. From the 327 to the 401 they were 100% AMC.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Rick

      Don’t forget the 250 and the 287.

      From the 250 to the 401 they were 100% AMC.

      But you’re right about the know it alls who try to tell you what’s what. Having owned three Ambassadors I heard an awful lot of Bowtie BS, Ford Facts and Mopar Misinformation.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Big C

        They didn’t call AMC: All Makes of Cars, for nothing.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Mark

        @Big C

        Scavenging for parts like that seems to be the kiss of death. I had a 60’s Travelall when I was a kid that was the same way — there were several different versions of everything on that car and the parts guys would ask for a vin number to look up which of several alternators or fuel pumps or whatever you needed.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo That AMC Guy

      Largely true, but for a short time AMC did source V8 engines from Packard. It was Packard not living up to their end of the “gentlemen’s agreement” to buy parts from AMC in return that led to the creation of the 1st-generation AMC V8.

      Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Rick

    This truck has the AMC 360, not the one from Mopar.

    The Mopar 360 had the distributor back by the firewall, not up front in the timing cover.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Mark


      Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Eric B

    Agreed, what a fantastic truck and for what seems like a reasonable price. The dents on the hood and the automatic “calum” shift are a bummer, but oh well. I got a headache reading the ad, but I guess I should get used to it as it will probably be considered normal spelling and grammar in about twenty years.

    Also, much appreciation for mentioning the dry ice blasting. Based on a lot of comments I see on this site, it seems like a lot of people don’t seem to appreciate preserving a car over restoring and all of the modern techniques at our disposal to do so. Or, even be aware of them, unfortunately. Gone are the days of wire brushing the undercarriage of this and painting it black and then repainting it because it has a few dents or scratches. Preserve originality.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Bob Enderle

      I did the dry ice blasting on the underside of my Javelin. Did a fantastic (but slooooow) job removing the undercoating by leaving the original paint. Highly recommend it!

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Eric B

        That’s awesome. It looks slow. The only negative is that I hear it’s pretty pricey. It’s worth whatever it costs.

        Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Andy B

    I had a 74 j-20. Lots of fun trying to register it at dmv, with the clerk indignantly informing me that JEEP DID NOT MAKE PICKUPS! She insinuated I had a forged title, and that she would have to call the sheriffs deputy over to verify. He walked over, says Hi Andy, what’s up?” (He was my grandparents neighbor!). The two of us educated that dimwit that yes, Jeep USED to make trucks. He then went and ran the vin thru the sheriffs system, which ironically was the DMV’s system. Registered owner came back to the guys name on the title. Dimwit STILL didn’t think it was right, so she called over her supervisor! Supervisor asked her what it showed in the system, she said it showed as a pickup! He then asked if she was accusing someone of falsifying the info in THEIR system? He then informed her that yes, Jeep didn’t CURRENTLY make pickups, but years ago they did, and I obviously had one I was trying to get registered, and to finish the transaction!

    Had that truck for two years before the head gasket blew inwards and seized the engine. That was a fantastic truck for New York winters, had 16.5” rims and oversized mud and snow tires. Story I got was it had been initially purchased by the NYS forestry Dept for use off road on the snowmobile trails. Some where’s along the line, the original 360 was replaced with a 440. 4wd worked, but only in high, low gear just ground away.

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo Bovey

    Just bought a 71 J4000. 4×4. Lockouts. 350 Buick Defender. Auto on the column. 84000 miles. Parked since 82. Water pump went out. They removed the pump and radiator. (Why?) And it sat ever since. I think they got a wrong pump and just gave up. Floor mats so floor pans rusted. Has the same trim as this J but with sliding back window. (Was that a factory option anyone?). Can’t wait to get it on the road.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Gary Wetzel

    I own a 74 j10 I can contest to the rust issues I’m currently fighting that issue myself. Strong trucks being an automatic it would have the Borg and warner quadratrac. Once had a Jeep man tell me if I wanted to make it a good truck I should pull out the motor and quad and replace e them with Chevy to match the turbo 400 tranny.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Comet

    Nice Jeep P/U! Andy, I feel your pain. Here in Wisconsin it seems a visit to the the DMV is hit or miss. At times they’ve bent over backwards to assist. Other times they’ve gone to great lengths to make things miserable. Luck of the draw and mood of the clerk I guess.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Stan

      The Dept of Motor Vehicles, always seem to attract the best.. of the worst. 🥉

      Like 7
  10. Avatar photo James

    based on this previous auction for a similar but with more desirable manual gear box. This truck seems a fairly decent value. I’d replace the grill and the missing trim above it and drive it proudly. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1973-jeep-j2000-pickup-3/

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo JustPassinThru

    The grille would be hard to replace. The original “razor” grille was lifted from the Wagoneer model, when the Wagoneer got a cross-hatched (not that attractive) grille in 1970. In 1974 both the trucks and new Cherokee (really a renamed, re-introduced 2-door Wagoneer) got a modified razor grille. It would fit but purists would spot it as a replacement – slightly different stamping.

    Were it mine, and were there not a convenient correct grille available, I’d look for a “rhino” grille, used on all J-Series from 1962/3 to 1965, and trucks to 1970. Not historically correct, either, but have more visual impact.

    That’s assuming the back-plate is intact to receive it. However, that is a stamping that remained unchanged the entire 28-year run of the J/SJ models.

    1973 was sort of a nadir of the Jeep line – market demand was there, and the new dashboard was an improvement; but one of AMC’s first moves was to move to thinnner, and possibly recycled, sheet steel on the bodies. Jeeps from 1971 to 1978, rusted so fast you could almost hear it.

    The last two years of Kaiser operations, and the following transition year (1968-70) also had the advantage of the Buick 350 engine. Much more potent and reasonable with fuel.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo James

      So right, the earlier grill would look fantastic. Everyone (well, almost everyone) loves a backdate.

      Like 2
  12. Avatar photo steve

    Yes..that grille damage is the best thing! Remove it and install the earlier center grille that it SHOULD have had! What they(marketing people) did was to “wallpaper over” the exising front end who’s lines matched the rest of the body. The only worse case of this is Winnebago making the Sabaro motorhome and sticking a huge hunk of plastic and chrome over the very pleasant looking Espace van nose. Take the grille off and store it. Drive like it the way it was supposed look.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Robt

      I still have one of those grilles on my shop wall … used to have 2 of the them. The other one was swapped onto to 79 Cherokee Chief back in the late eighties/early nineties. The original metal face was still under the full width plastic grille …

      Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Gary

    A damn fine looking truck and if it were closer it would already be mine. The earlier grille would be sourced for sure, to hell with the purists! The frame/underside would be cleaned as best as possible and Fluid Filmed.

    Like 3
  14. Avatar photo Gary Davis

    I had a 3/4 ton jeep pick up from that era , a j8000 camper special. Biggest piece of garbage I’ve owned. The suspension had zero articulation,had to have someone put their foot the shift lever to keep in four low. The front wheel fell off in my cousin’s driveway,spindle and all. It was held on by 6- 3/8 bolts. My dad said it was like it was made out of stolen parts.

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo George Birth

    My little Brother owned one of these, until stupid mechanic failed to put cotter pin on front axel nut. Right front wheel and hub passed him on Scaly Mtn road. He bailed and caught it before it went over the edge. I put it back together on side of road. Kid drove it for 6 months then sold it for more than he paid for it.

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Rick zH

    When I worked at an AMC/Jeep dealer in the 70s, we had a 1972 J-2000 as a shop truck. I loved driving that thing, it felt super solid and performed well.

    Like 0

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