Mother Daughter Workhorse: Rusty 1973 Jeep CJ5

When first glancing at this awesome 1973 Jeep CJ5 project, it’s easy to look past any glaring flaws straight to that vintage business decor still proudly displaying this truck’s working history. However, that same lineage as a plow truck used in America’s Dairyland is what has made this one a quandary for the Jeep fanatic: it’s a desirable specimen but it is also loaded with rust. Find it here on eBay where the Jeep is offered without a reserve. 

Further upping the intrigue is the claim that it has just over 15,000 original miles. The seller says it was used (like so many of these old Jeeps and Broncos) as a lot-plowing truck, essentially purchased to do its duty in the worst weather winter had to offer. Unfortunately, it seems the Jeep was either never washed off or stored covered in road salt every winter as the tub is fairly rotten and the seller says even the bed pan is bowed. It will need floor pans, bed pan, tub braces and possibly frame welding before it’s safe to drive.

Here you can see holes in the floors by the pedals, and also that the windshield frame is rotten and will need replacing. I’m not sure how you’d verify the mileage as being accurate, but the seller points to the date stamping on the tires as indicative of being a low-mileage original. The paint does look quite fresh on the inside (and even the outside for the matter), but the seller admits there is filler in different places on the cab. This says to me the mileage claim is not to be relied upon as a factor in assigning a value to this Jeep.

Still, for the Jeep enthusiast, you have to love the details, right down to the OEM mudflaps that still look like new. The removable doors and hard top will always make a vintage Jeep a tempting project, especially with the baked-in details like the Mother/Daughter Snow Removal signage. You could re-create that look, but it wouldn’t be the same. And since the roof and doors look like the best parts of the body, those pieces could be set aside while the rest is restored. What say you – is the eyeball appeal alone enough to warrant bringing this rusty CJ5 back to life?


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  1. Bingo

    Mother/daughter? Cooties AND rust…I’m out.

  2. Don

    By a fiberglass body if the frame is good.

  3. JW

    Wow I would have liked to meet the woman doing the plowing. I couldn’t and probably would have regretted it if I did get my wife / mom / mother inlaw / sisters to ever do any plowing with either of my plow trucks. This jeep will need more work than it’s worth, I would look for another that hasn’t done plow duty then if you need to move snow put a plow on that one.

  4. Howard A Member

    I could very much believe the mileage. Believe it or not, before Jeep CJ’s became such a cult-like status, people bought these for the sole reason,,,,to plow snow, and that’s exactly what this truck did. 15,000 miles translates into a LOT of driveways. When folks from warmer climates look at this, they are aghast at what happens, but this is pretty typical. The plow truck at the farm I’m staying at, is a late 80’s Dodge pickup, that looks similar to this underneath, that’s why it’s a plow truck, it’s downright unsafe to operate it on the public roads. You’d never get a plate for this in NY, that’s for sure. Too far gone to restore. I’d keep it as a plow truck. Plow alone is worth a grand. Wash a plow truck??? Oh, that’s a good one. Like washing a farm tractor.( which I would do, but I’m no farmer) Usually, they are used, and put away ( out of sight ’round back, preferably) until it’s needed again, which may be months.

    • JW

      Hi Howard, I agree if you get it cheap just use it to plow your driveway or lot no highway use. Yes the Western plow is worth a grand. Our 78 Dodge Snow Commander with a Meyers plow was only used for our 1/4 mile circle drive as it was not road worthy so we never washed it. But our company plow trucks were washed after each snowfall of plowing duty and dried in our heated three truck building. We had to keep them decent as we plowed condos and their associations were picky about what was seen working in their communities, heck I couldn’t have a truck plowing them over 5 years old, I would just get one paid off and within a year or two I had to trade it in. Silly but they paid darn good so who am I to complain.

  5. chad

    nuttin left, keep as is, where is, till gone.
    I seen as bad & worse brought back.
    My EB took more’n 3 of em to get the one…

  6. John H

    I’m amazed that the hubcaps are still with it! Look at the pics of the front springs — settled on the bump stops while sitting still. This was rode hard and literally put away wet!

    Howard’s right: Long before these were a cult vehicle they were bought and used for a purpose. It was a tool, plain and simple. I’ve seen so many plow trucks just like this over the years that will never pass a road inspection but are still serving the primary purpose. I know of a couple, including a CJ2 flat fender, within a couple of miles. The flattie looks pretty good from the road but could be this one’s uncle when you see it up close!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi John, In the mid 80’s, I bought a 1951 flat fendered Willy’s pickup with 19,000 miles.( for $500 bucks) The body was almost perfect, but the engine had a non original hole in the block. It had a homemade plow that weighed a ton, and all the guy did, was plow his driveway with it,( for like 30 years) until the motor blew. The front springs on that looked just like this. I didn’t want the plow, so he cut it off, and surprisingly, the springs came back, some.

      • John H

        Most of those old plows weighed a ton and I knew of a lot of guys who never took them off. They weren’t nearly as easy to remove and replace as the new stuff — and I’m reminded of that every time I have to take the plow off my tractor, while the guy who owns the next property has his off of his truck in a fraction of the time.

        One of the other mechanics I worked with in the 70s had bought a new Dodge with the, I think it was called, Sno Commander package, which included the plow, heavier springs, etc. His front springs were sagging within 2-3 years from leaving the plow on all winter.

  7. Skibum2

    Bought a 73 SUPER JEEP in 76… yep, sold it too soon..

  8. Jubjub

    Doesn’t look as bad as many Jeeps I’ve seen. Had a ’70 CJ5 in about the same shape. Always hated it when the original round taillamps on these got busted up and replaced with what’s on this. Even worse on Land Cruisers.

  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Wow! This rig is located in Waukesha, Wis. It is really hard to believe the condition it is in. Had Jeeps pretty much since I started driving and have never seen a hardtop like this one. I gotta agree with John H on the hubcaps. The paint is even still on them! She must have full time hubs also, most were changed out. And the condition of the plow, minus the headlight is unreal. I really don’t think the girls did much plowing. Jubjub, I agree on the tail light replacement. My buddy has a steel T-bucket and runs the same lights! I razz him every time I see it. I think he stole them from the Chevy plant.

  10. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Saw this on C/L today, had to laugh.

  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    After watching the videos again, somebody got a sweeeeeet deal! Sold for $2,325.00. 42 bids.

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