Pair of Stellar Vintage AMC Jeeps – CJ5 and CJ8

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The seller is offering two sweet-looking Jeeps from the years following American Motors’ acquisition of Jeep. One is a 1977 Jeep CJ5, while the other is an even nicer 1981 Jeep CJ8 (aka Scrambler). From the looks of things, the seller is getting out of the 4X4 hobby, but we can’t be sure. Both are priced in premium territory but appear to be well-kept and lightly used machines.

Regarding the CJ5, its roots lie in the Willys Jeeps that were built for domestic consumption after World War II. The CJ Series was rough and tough and was built in one fashion or another from 1945 through 1986. In all, more than 600,000 were produced, excluding their ancestors who braved the war effort in Europe and the Pacific. This seller’s edition has a 258 cubic inch inline-6, which was the same engine that you’d find in a Hornet, Pacer, or other AMC products of the day. The seller’s nice example is from 1977 and the big news that year was a modification on the frame to a completely boxed unit.

The CJ5 is a one-owner Jeep that still wears its original Firecrack (Firecracker?) Red paint. The mileage is but 27,000 and there is zero rust to be found. On the other hand, the 1981 CJ8 Scrambler was only in production from 1981 to 1985 and was a pickup version of the CJ7. The goal was to give AMC/Jeep an entry into the growing compact truck market that had emerged in the 1980s. It wasn’t for looks only and had a payload capacity of 1,500 lbs. We think the engine in this one is the “Iron Duke” I-4 that AMC borrowed from General Motors.

As a plus, this Scrambler comes with the Laredo Package, a trim option with special stripes and chrome doodads, plus a more luxurious interior. Both vehicles look to be sharp rides and are offered from Vail, Arizona. They’re available here on craigslist and the asking price is $35,000 each. There is no mention of a price break if you decide to take both. The seller says these are not your “run of the mill” worn-out CJs – and we tend to agree. And our thanks to T.J. for another grand tip!

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  1. Rw

    All nice except price,I think I beat HOA

    Like 8
  2. HoA HoAMember

    Ha! It’s okay, Rw, we’re all bozos on this bus, in no particular order.
    While the Scrambler, I believe Jeeps most expensive model at the time, $9-$10,000 new, doesn’t do anything for me. Naturally, the red CJ( of which I read, over 1.5 million CJs were made) is a fun find. At around $7100, new, it was still a big seller. With so many made, there are bound to be finds like this. Having a Jeep in the west is a given, whether they are used or not. Since featured from Tuscon, not a lot of 4×4 usage, fact is, I bet the transfer case stick is rusted from no use. Again, plenty of us still willing to shift gears with a Jeep like these, but a quick walk through my local new Jeep dealer, of which maybe 30 new Jeeps in stock, not one was a stick. Proof the style is still popular, regardless of the poor mileage they get( 15-18 hwy), it’s what people want in a Jeep today. Modern gee-gaws, not rusty shift levers and archaic front lockouts.
    Bottom line,,,still CJs, and all the inherent flaws still exist. I’m spoiled with my YJ, and probably wouldn’t enjoy the ride near as much in a CJ.

    Like 5
  3. Upchucked

    Looking for a big return on investment, which I doubt the seller will get, at least not now!

    Like 1
  4. Jay McCarthy

    I’m pretty sure the Scrambler is a 6 cylinder

    Like 1
    • ablediver

      Hi Jay,
      The 151, or the 258 were available for the Scrambler.

      Like 0
  5. ablediver

    These are both great looking CJ’s . It’s unfortunate that the powerplants are transposed, the 258 in the CJ-5 and the 151 in the CJ-8. The CJ-5 will work just fine with a four-banger, but to power the A/C, and the extra weight in the Scrambler, you’ll wish you had the six cylinder. Now, I’ve seen the four cylinder in a CJ-7 and it worked real hard everywhere it went. The 258 is pretty much a very common engine for the CJ’s and there’s a lot of aftermarket options to boost its power. A SBC 350 and THM 400 for the Scrambler would be mighty powerful and scary fast for the uninitiated, whereas a 304 / 3spd, would be an easier retrofit.
    As far as rust is concerned, that’s academic. The next door neighbor had a reproduction, crated, Scrambler tub delivered via freight truck in his driveway. No doubt, you can do the same with a frame as well. It’s just time and effort. The entire CJ nose can be stripped off with hand tools carefully in your driveway in 2-3 hours. I did so and replaced it with a tilt ‘glass nose. So, it’s all do-able, again, just time and effort.
    Now, it’s just my opinion, but, there’s a fair amount of these CJ models out there, and I would say the seller is not getting out of the CJ world, but possibly reinvesting his capital elsewhere. Did anyone notice to the J-10 Honcho SportSide in the background of the Scrambler pic ? They were hard to find in the 1980’s. And of course, there’s a Grand Wagoneer back in the corner, too.

    Like 2
  6. chrlsful

    not much written up on the Scrambler but the only Jeep to own (if w/the 258 motor). One model I’d take over my early bronk. That’s the Alaska Postal or World Cab. If I got a CJ-8 I’d use a break’n bend up the alu to complete it.
    Make a rear door w/left to right swing-open. Fold dwn steps and a big tent
    or awning attached there. I like break-down accessories that can store off board (in garage or other) so conversions are easy. This would be a better base for a single guy like myself than the current rig (better for the woods wrk it’s done for several decades). Pretty hi price but a better start ona project rig…

    Like 1

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