Early AMC-Produced Example: 1971 Jeep CJ-5

In 1970, American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased Jeep, a decision that ultimately ended up being one of the best the company made during its existence. This all-original 1971 Jeep CJ-5 that is available here on eBay is an early AMC-produced Jeep, and it looks like an inexpensive way to have fun off the beaten path.

This CJ-5 is available in Idyllwild, California with a clean title. The seller mentions that this Jeep is “the perfect desert, mountain, or beach warrior,” also adding that it is a turn-key and go example.

As the seller states, the exterior of this Jeep is “perfectly wrecked and old,” but it has never received any major bodywork. There are only a few small rust spots on the body, and the undercarriage is supposedly in decent shape as well.

The interior of the Jeep is very bare-bones, but all lights, blinkers, and dashboard functions work, with the exception being the gas gauge. Additionally, the seller includes the vehicle’s back seat with the sale.

I enjoy badges like these, showing that the truck was in attendance for events such as the Grand National Sand Drags in Oxnard, California. It’s really neat to see a classic Jeep like this with so much character under its belt. I also enjoy seeing the spare gas can and the cooler in the rear of the vehicle – both are crucial items for an off-road trek.

Under the hood, you’ll find a Buick-produced 3.7-liter V6 engine, which is somewhat of a rarity – this was the last model year to use the Buick V6 before switching over to an AMC-produced straight-six. The V6 pairs to a manual transmission and a 4-wheel-drive system, and the vehicle’s 5-digit odometer shows just over 48,000 miles on it. Last but not least, the seller claims the Jeep runs amazing, and it also benefits from a new alternator and battery.

At the time of this article being written, bidding for this Jeep is at $3,085. Would you pick up this old school Jeep that comes with plenty of history?


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  1. Steve R

    Make sure it’s mechanically sound, hang a spare tire carrier on the back and drive it. It’s the perfect fair weather beater. It’s looks cool and you would never have to worry about it.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  2. Bob C.

    Fast forward about three years. Buick would buy back the tooling for that v6 in response to the oil embargo. The rest is history.

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Those 3.8 Buick V-6 engines were nice. I had an 82 and an 86 Cutlass with that engine.

      I saw the 82 in 2001 with 167,000 miles on it then. Still purring.

      Like 2
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    As they say… use ’em or loose ’em. Pickle the floorboards and hit the trails.

    Like 1
  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    Finally, someone in California with their head on right.( besides my daughter, of course) These are great trucks, but I’ve found, here in sunny Colorado, the steam is running out for these. Everybody getting new Rubicons behind their ultimate behemoth motorhomes, or whatever, and there’s no place in this world for the crude little CJ. I thought long and hard about one of these, but they aren’t very good on streets or highway, and the back mountain roads are so beat to crap from the ATV’s spinning their darn tires, it’s no fun. This is about the right price for this, that was one of the best V6’s made, 2nd only to the old GMC V6’s, don’t see many CJ’s with that, they all had the in-line 6, also a good motor. Refreshing to see, but tells me, interest for these is waning. People want plush carpets and chilled cup holders, not rusty dash boards and steel floors, and front lock outs, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?

    Like 4
  5. 8banger Dave Member

    Well, some Colorado folks do. That engine is the 331 Dauntless odd-fire, and they run like crazy. We just finished a ‘69 Commando with one of these for a customer, and still have a ‘48 CJ, and a ‘53 MJ to finish!

    Like 3
  6. Dave Mazz

    Hmmm, a 1971 Jeep with 48,000 miles, that averages out to about 1,000 miles a year, not a heck of a lot of use! The previous owner(s) must have had other vehicles, or severe back problems, as those old CJ-5s would not be the first choice for cross-country cruiseing!!

  7. David J David J

    Super cool Jeep for a bargain, thus far!

    Idyllwild is an interesting place, with many old vehicles to see for such a small community.

    Driving this one down the mountain to Palm Desert/Palm Springs would be interesting, yet fun. May the tires hold up and the road turn-outs be plentiful.


    Like 1
  8. TimM

    These were a little under powered compared to the Bronco, Blazer, or the Scout that all had the V-8 option however they were very reliable and could go anywhere they could!! At the fraction of the cost today!! It would be a great driver!!!

    Like 1

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