The CJ-7 has been dubbed the “ideal replacement” for the CJ-5, and it remains a favorite among Jeep and off-road aficionados worldwide. The Jeep brand has always been associated with adventure and freedom, and the original Jeep CJ-7 is no exception. It’s possible that it’s one of the best Jeeps ever produced.
The Jeep CJ-7 is an upgraded version of Jeep’s famous CJ model and the seventh generation of the original, aiming to build on the fan-favorite CJ-5 with a slew of new features and looks based on consumer feedback.
The “CJ” stands for “Civilian Jeep,” as Jeeps were mostly renowned for their employment in military operations and as the backbone of WWII transportation prior to the debut of the CJ model. Despite the fact that a CJ-6 was produced between 1955 and 1956, it fell short of most expectations and was mostly sold in Sweden and South America rather than the United States.
The CJ-7 has been dubbed the “ideal replacement” for the CJ-5, and it remains a favorite among Jeep and off-road aficionados worldwide. The CJ-7 was better suited to accommodate specific client preferences because it came with a variety of engines and transmissions.
Furthermore, because the trim packages fluctuated over the CJ-7’s 11-year manufacturing run, there were numerous options to distinguish your ride and pick for customizing preferences.
A Quick Overview Of The CJ Model
The Jeep CJ was born in 1945, when Jeep decided to start selling cars to the general public. Originally known as the “Willys Jeep,” the CJ was the first mass-produced four-wheel-drive vehicle available to the general public. The Jeep brand exploded from there, resulting in a multi-branched evolution of many models.
One of the CJ’s distinguishing features was that the bodies and frames were manufactured separately, allowing the manufacturer to swiftly swap top-side bodies on identical frames, making them more durable for off-road use.
As Jeep adjusted production of the CJ through the model numbers, the parent business that owned the Jeep brand changed hands multiple times. The CJ series produced over 1.5 million Jeeps, ranging from the basic SUV to a foray into the Jeep pickup truck, but the overall shape and body style stayed the same for nearly 45 years.
CJs were regular sights in a variety of unusual settings, as they continued to serve in the military while also performing agricultural and farm work in place of tractors. The CJ model had already become popular by the time the CJ-7 was introduced, and Jeep fans abound.
What Made The CJ-7 Unique
The CJ-7 was an advance on the CJ-5, with several features that made it more accessible to most everyday drivers. Many of the CJ-7’s features and options were available for the first time in Jeep’s history. The wheelbase was ten inches longer than the CJ-5’s and curved off to accommodate hinged doors.
Because of the extra length, the iteration might feature an automated transmission. On top of that, for the first time on the CJ-7, Jeep offered an optional Quadra-Trac all-wheel-drive system as an add-on. Jeep also offered optional molded tops and steel doors, which was a first.
The CJ-7 also featured a new chassis system that enhanced stability by allowing shock absorbers to be fitted near the exterior of the body, and many believe these changes to be the start of the “custom shocks” movement that has become so well-known and continues to this day in the Jeep brand. These changes also allowed the CJ-7 to maintain faithful to Jeep’s reputation as a tough, off-road vehicle.
Throughout the CJ-7’s 11-year run, Jeep continued to innovate and appeal to a broader spectrum of customers by varying features by trim and engine. The Renegade, Golden Eagle, Laredo, Golden Hawk, and two limited-edition trims, the Limited and the Jamboree Commemorative Edition, were among the most popular trim packages.
Depending on the consumer option and related trim, engines offered a 150 and 151 cu in 2.5 L, 3.8 L, 4.2 L, 5.0 L V8, and even a 2.4 L Diesel. The CJ-7 offered so many varied options that it was certain to have something for everyone who was interested in the brand.
Cost And Availability Of The Jeep CJ-7
There have been examples of highly collectible or modified Jeep CJ-7s fetching exorbitant prices. For example, one item sold serving $1.3 million at a recent auction to support a charity for US military men and their families. That isn’t always the case, though.
Currently, a CJ-7 in drivable and very good condition may be found for anywhere between $18,000 and $33,000. When in near-mint condition, the Renegade and the Golden Eagle are some of the rarest or more coveted trimmings tipping the top of that spectrum.
Although the CJ-7 is not difficult to find for sale, finding one with low miles and in good condition may be challenging, as many CJ-7 owners took the marketing effort seriously and put their Jeeps to the test off-road and cross-country, inflicting significant wear and tear.
According to the NADA guide, the original purchasers of the CJ-7 in 1980 might have paid an average retail price of $11,300. That means that, in terms of the total value, the CJ-7 is one of the best at keeping its value over time and remains a sensible purchase for Jeep fans.
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