Welcome to Found Off The Street, our look at cars found on the cape that rust liked so much it decided to summer there; Cape Cod, MA. Today we have a 1979 Jeep CJ-7
In the very brief history of Found Off The Street we have seen quite a few vehicles fighting the battle against rust with varying levels of success. This week let's take a look at a 1979 Jeep CJ-7 that has a strong weapon in the fight against rust; an aftermarket fiberglass body.
The first CJ or "Civilian Jeep" prototype was produced by Willys in 1944. Various CJ models were produced with each model number increasing as a new model was introduced. The Willys CJ-5 was introduced in 1954. The Willys CJ-5 became the Jeep CJ-5 after 1964 as a result of Willys Motors becoming the Kaiser Jeep Corporation. A total of 603,303 CJ-5s were made before production ended in 1983
The CJ-7 was introduced in 1976 as a longer wheel base version of the classic Jeep CJ-5. 379,299 units were built in the 10 years that CJ-7s where produced. One of the benefits of the CJ-7's longer wheelbase is a wider variety of engine/transmission swap options then the smaller CJ-5. At some point in time, one of this week's FOTS CJ-7's previous owners took advantage of this knowledge and swapped a 350 V8 into it.
As we mentioned earlier, this particular Jeep CJ-7 has, along with many other modifications, been fitted with a fiberglass tub and body parts at some point in its life. Although the frame and some other components are still metal, not having to try and protect a rust prone Jeep tub and body is a huge upper hand in the battle against rust. Many Jeeps on the cape that rust remembered have been fitted with fiberglass bodies out of practical necessity.
Not a whole lot is known about this particular off road beast. It appeared in the most industrial part of a small Cape Cod town about a month ago seemingly right before the Snow began to fly. The Jeep has weathered every Snow storm since, not a whole lot worse for the wear. While old Jeeps are a fairly common sight in the area, you don't see too many equipped for serious off road use like this one.
After driving by it once or twice, I had to take a look. Not knowing much about Jeeps or whatever off road activity this truck was built and designed for, it was more curiosity than anything that kept me looking over, under and around this big old red Jeep for a half an hour or so.
A quick call to the owner didn't reveal much except the model year (1979) and the fact that it had been shipped from the Midwest 4 or 5 years ago. According to her the previous owner had "put his life into building the truck". Judging by the end product, it doesn't seem too hard to believe that statement. The owner told me that there was not anything wrong with the Jeep besides like most old vehicles, it doesn't like to sit for extended periods of time. While I'm not planning to trade my old primitive Scout for something like this beast anytime soon, it's a cool vehicle that someone could have a lot of fun with. For $10,000 that someone could be you.