The Jeep CJ is the variation that many still picture in their heads when the word is uttered. Two round headlights, two round marker lights, one big speedometer in the center of the dash. My dad had one, a Renegade in red with the silver wagon wheels, and he adored it to death. As a young kid, so did I…riding in that CJ was so much different than anything else I rode in, good bad or otherwise. Making the move from a Chrysler E-class to a CJ-7 was a shock to the system. The noise was unreal. The vibrations never ceased. And you loved every minute of it. Jeep loyalists love the CJ for what it truly is: the last of the basic Jeeps, before the Wrangler stepped in and started toning down some of that roughness.
I wasn’t intending on finding a CJ-7 in Rough Start range that didn’t require the eviction of the animals living in it, but here we are. From the passenger side, you wonder what’s the hitch, because as clean as it is, something has to be wrong, right? Look on the driver’s side and you’ll find where the devaluation is, right in front of the rear wheelwell. That’s a healthy patch of rot, and there are a couple other areas on the tub that could use some attention before they blister completely through and present themselves. Is it a project? Yes it is. But is it one that is worth a Rough Start look? The Jeep itself is going to eat every last cent of the budget, but it’s complete enough that you could save up through a winter and get what you need to start doing bodywork on it. What better vehicle to learn how to patch up that a box with a windshield, right?
“1984 CJ7 4.2 Six cylinder with 5 speed T5, 3 inch lift with Mickey Thompson 16in wheels and Baja Claws. Warn bumpers and lockout hubs. Engine with low mileage since rebuild. Drives great, has full doors, Soft top. Alpine stereo system with IPod, amp, subwoofer and Mids. Body has rust, frame is solid. Weekend driver for me, so don’t really need.”