Never Painted: 1976 Jeep CJ5

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Jeep CJs are among some of the more pleasing 4x4s you can buy, with simple mechanicals and  cheerful dispositions that belie their respectable chops off-road. This example is said to wear original paint and a number of OEM options, and has remained largely preserved under the current owner. Bidding is over $6,000 here on eBay but the reserve remains unmet. 

We love seeing the old dealer license plate frame; it’s a nice touch whether original or not. The body on this CJ5 is immaculate, and the seller points out that this is its most desirable feature. Because it hasn’t been through the ringer on an off-road trail, or over-restored at a shop, the body panels have never come off. The seller notes it retains all of its “…cool original spot-weld marks on the tub.”

The interior is likewise gorgeous, with clean gauges and functional switchgear. The seller has owned the Jeep for the last 16 years, which is nice to see considering how often well-preserved survivors like these end up with flippers. The original spare tire is still attached, and the hard top that’s included with the sale is a nice extra. The seats, however, have been redone, and frankly are a bit too flashy.

This is how Jeeps were meant to be enjoyed: windshield down, no doors and knobby tires. The clean body and rust-free condition really does mean this Jeep should limit its time off-road, but that’s OK – there are plenty of rock crawlers out there to choose from. Does the ample supply hurt this CJ’s chances of a big sale, or is it nice enough to command a fair bid regardless of rarity?

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Comments

  1. Jeff

    If you have interest in this vehicle, I would question the original paint. The owner indicates original paint, except for a touchup tube of paint with a small brush for chips. If you look at the image of the undercarriage, you will see a great deal of yellow overspray. Since the current owner has owned this vehicle for 16 years, I think he would be aware of fresh overspray. I attached an image of the individual jpg showing the undercarriage. My 2 cents.

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    • KEN TILLY

      Jeff. Looks like it could be mud thrown up rather than overspray. My 2 cents.

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  2. Rustytech

    I too would question the original paint claim. Michigan is one of the worst of the rust belt states, unless this has been crated all its life, OEM paint seems far fetched. I love the Jeep and the color combo, and wouldn’t take anything away from it, but I’d want to do a very close personal inspection to verify the accuracy of the sellers claim before putting any money down.

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  3. Howard A Member

    Well, paint or not, it sure is a nice CJ. Prices for these have just gotten out of hand for what these are. I guarantee, you drive this for a few hours, and you’ll want to kick the neighbors dog. These were never intended to run down the interstate, bouncing thru the backwoods, much more like it. (psst, new owner, ever hear of Jeep “death wobble”? Didn’t think so,,,)

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    • dan

      Love the “death wobble”. I used to plow snow in a CJ 5. Between the weight of the plow, metal cab with ice forming on it and lack of heat made this beast a lot of work to drive. As I recall, no syncro in 1st gear either.

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  4. Neal

    Grew up with one just like this at a campground in Penna. this is a nice example whether resprayed or not. Except for the recovered seats; not to my taste. And it’s all just a little too clean for a jeep.
    I found the one here in the picture (if I can post it) in a barn/garage at a cool air b’n’b house in New Hampshire where I stayed last fall. We didn’t drive it of course, but I had a great time lifting the hood and teaching my kids about engine parts and how things work because you could actually see all of the components on that simple, smog-free engine.
    I’d much prefer the relative refinement of a Scout 2 of this age, but this would be a fun rig to enjoy if one were into Jeeps.

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  5. Dan B.

    Sweet CJ5, especially for the Midwest.

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  6. Tyler

    Jeep is from the Latin “moneyus pitus”, literally meaning a hole you throw money into…

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  7. Steve

    That sure does like overspray to me! I had an 81 cj7 for almost 20 years. There is no way it is all original and original paint in michigan unless it has been a summer only car! In my 20 years (outside of chicago) I redid front fenders twice and rear corners once. Those were the 2 problem areas – fenders were double walled and trappes moisture. I also put a new drivers floorpan in because of snowy boots!

    That being said, this was my daily driver for 5 years and I drove on rural interstate every day about 40 miles.(maintaining 60mph!) The best was when a semi passed and you felt yourself being sucked up in his wake.. actually had my softtop ripped/sucked off on a super windy day when a truck passed be doing about 80. Everything I owned blew all over I-88 🙂

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  8. DJ mcquaid

    It’s not overspray. It’s dirt , dust. For you arm chair car experts …….

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  9. BMW4RunninTundra Member

    I had a CJ 7 Renegade long wheel base. Absolutely LOVED driving that thing. Year round! Summer, no top, no doors, stereo blaring (ever tried to put a set of front speakers in a CJ………..don’t…….within a hair of impossible), and my foot hanging out on the nerf bar! At that time, the Outer Banks allowed vehicles on the beach, what a blast!! During the winter I was on the “On Call” list for the local hospitals that neeed to get their Nurses/Doctors in during particularly bad snow storms. I know they and myself would have loved a hardtop!!! If you have owned and driven one, year round, you know that a decent towel, to wipe all the condensate from the windshield, is a must!!!! (no A/C back in those old ones) I spent more time under the hood, keeping it running, than I did behind the wheel. I also spent considerable time fighting a no win battle against rust. Even with the “draw backs”, I would love to have another one!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I started looking for a “summer car – convertible”, I told my Wife I was going to get another CJ. All of a sudden the “summer vehicle funds” dried up!? In order to keep me FROM buying a CJ, the “Budget” was upped enough to pick up a nice used BMW convertible. Like it a lot, still rather have a CJ though………….

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