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Bronco Fighter: 1972 Jeep Commando

Originally the Kaiser Jeepster Commando, this early SUV was in production from 1966-73. It competed against the International Scout, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Ford Bronco. Beginning in 1970, the Commando was a product of American Motors, including this ’72 example which came out of an estate sale. It runs but needs more work along with a fair amount of cosmetic attention. Located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, this Jeep is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $1,933 but the reserve is still waiting.

Four body styles of the Commando were available, including a pickup, convertible, roadster, and wagon. After AMC took over the brand, the Commando with its 101” wheelbase maintained its popularity with buyers for a time. For 1972-73, the wheelbase was extended by three inches, and the front-end was redesigned to accommodate I6 and V8 engines, as was the case with the Bronco. These changes turned off customers who only ordered just 10,000 of the vehicles in 1972 and again in 1973, so AMC retired the line in favor of the full-size Cherokee.

The seller’s 4WD wagon was kept in a barn for several years and acquired from that owner’s estate. He/she intended to restore it, but other projects have taken precedence. The engine, either a 232 or 258 cubic inch six-banger, is said to run well, paired with an automatic transmission. However, the brakes need to be serviced so driving past the end of the block wouldn’t be advised.

Surface rust is present almost everywhere you look, although the seller describes it as “nothing major.” The rocker panels were previously patched, but the work was done poorly and will need to be reworked. The floors may be okay, but the rear glass is missing, and that area has been covered with a tarp to help protect the interior. Just like the Bronco and other ‘70s vehicles like this, they can “command” some serious coin when either restored or in excellent original condition. Would you simply revive this one as a daily driver or give it the Full Monty treatment?

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Boy for 5Gs this would be a nice little project car. Fix the brakes and sand ‘er up and put some shine juice on her, and voila! you’d be the hit of the cruise-in.

    Like 1
  2. Moparman Member

    The front grille almost resembles the one found on a 72 Chevy pickup! :-)

    Like 3
  3. mike

    In first picture behind the Jeep it looks like a 57 or 58 Ford Ranchero…

    Like 3
    • Sam Shive

      57 and I’d rather see that.

      Like 1
      • chrlsful

        a blk 1 right in frnt of it?

  4. Gil Davis Tercenio

    I had a ’73 Commando set up with the same engine/transmission combo. Good little truck.

    Like 2
  5. RMac

    Restored a 73 with 304 and a 3 speed on the floor for my nephew that thing was awesome and would go most anywhere had 3 inch lift and 33’s on it put on headers and side exit exhaust eddelbrock intack with a 4bbl Holley and MTD ignition great truck

    Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    I don’t know about a Bronco fighter, the CJ was the small Bronco fighter, or visa versa, as the full size Broncos and Blazers, and to a lesser extent, the Trailerdusters, were still a few years away. Even though Jeep beat them to the punch, this STILL used antique components in a slightly bigger package, but anyone looking for a Bronco/K5 wouldn’t look once at these. Some say the Commando/Jeepster was the very 1st SUV. It was clearly marketed to folks in suburban areas, gaining steam at the time. Far as a project goes, doesn’t get any better. Parts are obtainable, not always in stock, but I’m sure there’s literally warehouses full of Jeep parts, and off the shelf mechanical parts were used in a wide variety of vehicles, so no problem there either. It’s a great find.

    Like 4
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’ve always loved the 71-73 Commando. Given its condition, I’d pay close to $2,000. That would leave enough money to have anything done to it to get the thing running and driving.

    Like 1
  8. Greg

    These are a tough little ride. The 6 cylinder motor is easy to maintain, but the brakes on the ones I’ve owned & seen are a different story. Suggestion, to new owner, go with everything new, disc all the way around is a massive improvement.

    Like 1
  9. RMac

    Greg you are 100% correct on the brakes the resin my nephew got rid of the 73 I restored for him was he was afraid of the drum brakes on even though everything was new. I should have converted it to discs

  10. Steve Brown

    These use all the regular CJ running gear and compared to the previous generations are more easily lifted, etc. With a few inches of lift, some 33s, and a couple lockers you would not see another one on the trails very often. I would get it to a reliable state, do minimal body work and hit the trails.

  11. John L.

    Barn Finds, you need to vet your “writers” better, or make sure they have good eyesight. This Jeep is obviously a manual transmission model. Lots of foul ups in your postings lately.

    • Pug

      One of the reasons I love this site, is the eagle eyes and knowledge of the responders. Catching an error in description or non original part is what makes the comments worth reading. The writer was going with the EBay headline which reads “1972 Jeep Commando SUV Blue 4WD Automatic”. Don’t chastise him, just point out the errors, that’s the fun of looking at these old cars!

      Like 1
      • John L.

        Pug, a good journalist makes sure their facts are all in order, before committing their work to print. Some of the “writers” here have made too many obvious mistakes in the past several months. Simply doing a little research would have avoided those mistakes.

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