Like a Good Pair of Levi’s: ’86 CJ7 Renegade

No one will disagree that old Jeeps are heaps of fun, but because of the high percentage of owners who use them for off-road exploits, very few remain in good condition. Plus, because of their all-weather friendliness, rust is often an issue on these vintage explorers. This 1986 Jeep Renegade out of sunny and dry Arizona bucks those trends and is a true survivor. Check it out here on eBay where bidding is already over $7,000. 

Despite what seems like a museum-quality CJ7, this Jeep hasn’t been tucked away unused – there’s still over 120,000 miles on the odometer, indicating plenty of past use. The seller claims he’s selling it for a neighbor that hasn’t used it much for the last 15 years, but who knows how much validity there is to that story. Regardless, he is correct that this CJ7 sports some nice options, featuring the Renegade package, a manual transmission and power steering.

But perhaps the best feature are those floors. Wow! Here in the northeast, Jeeps can keep on keeping on for quite some time, even with holes in the floors and the body. But how nice it is to see one that isn’t rotted out. Though the seller is a bit effusive with his comparison to the Jeep as a comfortably worn-in pair of Levi’s jeans, I can see the connection – but I’d like to also hear how the Renegade has been maintained all of these years, even with limited use.

The Renegade package got you the fancy body stripes and bold “Renegade” lettering on the hood; other special features included a heavy-duty spring package and uprated tires. The original owner of this example also added the awesome lightbar across the top of the windshield, a must-have feature for a Jeep that’s going to do any level of rock-crawling after dark. The bidders are hungry for this survivor CJ7 – but how do you use a Jeep this nice?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Actually, this is a bit misleading. Jeep did offer a “Levi’s” Jeep CJ7 through 1978, and had jean material and rivets( that got hot in the sun) in the seats.( and a tag on the fender above “Jeep” indicating such) I beg to differ that this is the “Holy Grail”of Jeeps. That term is thrown around a lot lately. Renegades aren’t exactly rare, except in this condition, of course. Certainly not museum quality, but a darn nice Jeep. Too bad that motor, which served well for years, was choked to death with mid-80’s emission doo-dads. The only reason I’d pass on this, is for that reason. Like the FJ Toyota, this is what happened to most CJ’s in my neighborhood.

    • Walter Joy

      Dad had one as his first car (back in 1978). Still has it, but has been sitting and rusting in pine shadows since then. Bent frame and rusted body led to the disassembly, but an illness halted progress. Still has the Levi doors and top

    • Bingo

      Kind of like the Levi’s AMC Gremlin.

  2. JW

    I bought my oldest son a early 80’s CJ in the 90’s for his first set of wheels for $400, didn’t last one year before things started falling apart, it became a piece of art in the woods of Wisconsin where he lived with his mother.

    • Bingo

      Did the wife get the farm in the divorce?

  3. irocrob

    Where I am from they rusted very quickly and bad.This one does look great to me.I have driven them and always thought they were very under powered

  4. Ck

    This is so kool I woulden’t change a thing.These old Round headlight jeeps are by far the best looking.The older the better.Sadly over here on the right side of the country these old jeeps are mostly beat up old rust buckets .

  5. duke

    look closer…..this was towed behind a motor home / RV —i suspect the miles are more towed than actual running….slide the transfer case into neutral and hit the road to see america

    • Dennis M

      Yup, you got it Duke! Those brackets on the front bumper are for a tow bar.

    • Howard A Member

      Good eye, Duke. It’s considered “high class” to pull these behind your “Ultimate Behemoth”. If that’s the case here, this could indeed have low miles, except for bearings and seals, but probably driven very little. I know a guy, who has a successful trucking company, retired now, and bought a motorhome AND a Jeep Wrangler, we figured, just to be hip. He doesn’t sleep in the motorhome, or drive the Jeep. Ah, the rich and famous.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      If the transfer case was in neutral, would the odometer still spin?

      • Howard A Member

        Hi leiniedude, yes it would. The speedo cable is run off the tail shaft going to the rear axle.( so if the rear driveshaft turns, when it moves, the speedo works.) Besides, @ 120g’s, it would most assuredly look like my picture in the link above.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks Howard! I was trying to think back to my old CJ. Been a long time now. Take care, and a heat wave here, nice to get in the garage!!!!!

  6. CJay

    Still cheaper and more useful than a side by side.

  7. Rustytech Member

    This is one nice Jeep. If you think this 6 cyl was under powered, you need to drive one of the later 4 cyl models. I don’t know about any other part of the world, but around here, if you find one it’s going to be more tin worm than car. Personally, I’d love to have this.

    • Cory

      I would love this Jeep too…

      Slowest vehicle I ever drove was as a teen the Company I worked for had a fleet of Ford trucks and vans and some had the 300 6 cyl .That thing couldn’t move at all..

      Up a hill empty the F 150 ,300 6 6cyl, stick shift would go 15 mph, not a joke either, I tried all gears as I couldn’t believe this turd..

      I owned a 1968 440 4 speed GTX with a cam that ran 12.20’s @ 117 mph in the 1/4 mile with street 225 70 14’s and 3.54 gearing,looked dead stock outside,interior I like them that way..babied that car too…. and no traction until 90 feet, but also a winter 1975 Valiant Slant 6 with 300,000 well used miles 18.74 1/4 at 80 mph slowest car I owned but quicker and felt like a hot rod compared to those Ford 300 6cyl so I know what power is and no power is..But the ultimate no power were the Ford 300 6 cyl ..It made my Sisters new 84 Chevette a Hot Rod compared to those 300 6cyl Fords..0-60 in 35 seconds..had to be !

      I had to deliver some stuff to a shop and I drove the F 250 Van with the 300 6cyl and the van actually got stuck when I was backing up in some wet dirt/mud .. The wheels didn’t spin the engine revved up and the van didn’t spin..I got out looked as I thought it had to have spun.. Nope just way under powered…Slowest underpowered vehicle I was ever in..I did the same deliveries to that place in the Companied older 351 ford vans with zero problems even in mud and snow,this 6 banger was a joke..I refused to drive it again and Number 17 1975 Ford van was mine for work for 4 years,until I finished my Schooling at 23 year of age lol..

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I owned a 1976 CJ 7 back in the day, It was ok when I bought her used. I took the glass top of every spring till fall. That thing was a ton of fun! It turned out to be to small for camping and canoe adventures and moved up to a Cherokee. When I sold her she ran like a top still, but the body was getting close to the one in Howards photo. Seller has a cool truck for sale also. 1949 Chevy 5 window truck.

  9. Wagon master

    Rust and “right side” …. I’d say it might be the wrong side. We are spoiled here on the left side.

    • Ck

      Yep ya have all the KOOL rust free stuff .I just got home. I was stuck behind a plow slingin sand &salt all over my truck from the 2nd Blizzard in 4 days.Ya except for the mudd slides and crazy wild fires I’d say your spoiled on the left side.

  10. Steve

    In regrd to vehicle towed behind RV’s being “low mileage”, I had a coworker who bought a early 00’s silverado 1500 4×4 pickup that had around 100k miles on it. Seller claimed it was only driven a fraction of that. Guess what? The suspension was just as worn out regardless of how it was being motivated down the road. My buddy replaced more components on it at one time (shortly after purchase) than I had on a similar truck, due to it not having routine maintenance. Granted the engine was lower mileage, but the 5.3 engines routinely see 200k with no issues. I suppose the seller mainly used it around campgrounds and on short trips to tourist spots, and never noticed how bad the suspension was worn out. My buddy bought it to drive back and forth to work, on freeways about an hour each way (made no sense to me why he wanted a 4×4 for such, in central Texas…)

  11. Cory

    Nice Jeep,looks great..Drop a sweet 360 Mopar Crate engine or spend more and make it modern with a 5.7 HEMI conversion,but more bang for the buck a 450 hp 360 Mopar ! That would be awesome..Or as is a slow poke but original and perfect condition Jee,I reall like this rig !

    Least they are honest about the mileage and not saying its 20,000 miles as they ALL DO !

    5 digit odometers as some mentioned here before.. after 99,999 the old cars roll over to 0 and people don’t understand this..

    Granny’s old 1965 Whatever isn’t 23,000 miles its 123,000 or 223,000 and it has no rust and looks and drives like new as she washed it, waxed it, got it serviced and didn’t drive it hard..

    That Hemi Cuda isn’t 30,000 miles its 130,000 or 230,000 as they drove them well into the 1980’s..By the late 70’s they were 90,000 low mileage to 220,000 miles I have seen this back then and knew loads of people with high mileage cars and they looked great.. Dealers that were slimy would sell them as not rolling over..That Ls-6 454 chevelle not 12,000 miles at least 112,000 or 212,000 same with that 428 SCJ Torino GT that isn’t 38,000 try 138,000 then he blew the engine and parked it in 1987..(those were a few of the cars I know about)

  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    The old good looking girl sold for $10,600. 16 bids.

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