SoCal Scrambler: 1982 Jeep CJ-8

Jeep was still a few years away from having their own small pickup, and the Scrambler was sort of their stop-gap measure. The company had to try to grab buyers who were scrambling (no pun intended) towards Japanese pickups that were becoming popular in the U.S. This 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler can be found here on craigslist in Yorba Linda, California with a $9,800 asking price. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this tip!

The CJ-7 wheelbase was extended almost ten-inches which Jeep figured would give them a nice pickup configuration to compete with the Japanese trucks and captive imports that were flooding onto the U.S. market in the 1970s. The CJ-8 Scrambler would be made from 1981 to 1985 and some were sold in 1986 as they never reached the sales that the company had hoped and they needed to get rid of inventory.

This Scrambler looks great upon first glance but there is some rust to deal with. Yes, even in Beautiful Yorba – one of the country’s richest cities and the birthplace of Richard Nixon, who may or may not have ever owned a Jeep. The next owner will have to do some cypherin’ to do (as no Yorba Linda resident said, ever) to evaluate whether they can justify the seller’s asking price.

This example is far from perfect as you can see once you dig into the photos, and kudos to the seller for providing so many great, honest photos. Hagerty lists a #3 good condition example as being worth $15,500 and a #4 fair condition Scrambler as being worth $7,300. Taking the average of those two prices gives us $11,400 so already it’s a good deal. They say to add 5% for a soft top, so that brings us to $11,970. This does seem like a nice deal now even though there is a little rust to deal with and a few things like those sideboards and that dent on the left-rear corner and the ripped fender flare.

For being in such a hot, dry climate – and, I know that ocean air and/or hot, dry climates can be almost as corrosive and destructive as other areas – the interior seems to have been spared really any damage that I can see. I don’t see any cracks or rips anywhere. One issue with this Jeep is that they say it has 228,000 miles on it, I never would have guessed that it had that kind of miles on it from how it looks.

One benefit, value-wise, is that this Scrambler has AMC’s 258 cubic-inch inline-six with 115 hp. It runs and drives great according to the seller. If a person were looking for a nice project to drive while they restore, or just drive and not worry about fixing the small rust areas, this could be a nice deal. Have any of you owned a Jeep Scrambler?


  1. GTiDave

    Jeep made a pickup in 1982.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      They made one in 1963, too, and I guess a person could count the Willys pickups and FC pickups, but as I mentioned Japanese pickups flooding into the U.S., I assumed that everyone would know that I was referring to a small Jeep pickup like the Comanche which came out in 1986. I have edited that line so there’s no confusion. Which pickup are you talking about in 1982, GTiDave?

      Like 4
      • GTiDave

        My apologies Scotty, I didn’t read carefully enough “small” pickup. I referred to the J-10 which I never really considered to be full size.

        Like 1
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        No worries at all! You’re probably right on the J-10. I didn’t think to mention that or the Forward-Control pickups and then I thought of Willys and by that time my head was spinning. I should have been more clear on small Japanese market pickups and Jeep wanting to tap into that market.

        Like 4
  2. OhU8one2

    Back in the 80’s, if you lived in Arizona and were seriously looking for a used Scrambler. You had to move fast because a company called Pink Jeep Tours in Sedona was buying everyone that came up on the market. Plus most of the time they were paying full asking price.

    Like 2
  3. Steve R

    Reasonable price for a truck that is rising in value. It will make a good plaything and future restoration project.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  4. Wolfgang Gullich

    And of course no one remembered Jeep’s one ton, the CJ-10…

    Like 1
    • Jeepster

      or the Jeepster/Jeep Commando Pickup 1966 – 1973. It was just a bit smaller than the Scrambler

  5. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    1985 CJ-8 vs 2020 Jeep Gladiator-What happened in 35 years?
    Could be an interesting article!

    BTW, Wolfgang-thanks for the CJ10 reference. I thought those were all relegated to air bases as aircraft tugs until you made me look-cool stuff!

    • Wolfgang Gullich

      Here in Anchorage, AK there’s a dude with 2 civilian model long bed CJ-10s… One’s even the Aussie spec with right hand drive.

      Like 3
  6. chillymost1

    I had one of these. It had an Iron Duke 4 cyl.

    Like 1
  7. Jim in FL

    It may sound like a lot of money for basic transportation, but this is a good deal. Wish more of these would show up on the east coast. Ready parts availability, good motor, rising value. I had a yellow 1982. Bought it from a dealer in 91, he was a friend of my dad and couldn’t get it off the wholesale line. I paid 1500 for it back then, cleaned it up and made a profit. They won’t lose value, plus the nostalgia factor with the new gladiator coming out.

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