At $14,500, Could This 1983 Jeep CJ-8 Get you Scrambling for Your Checkbook?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The new Gladiator may have been one of the highlights of the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, but it’s still pretty ungainly. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Scrambler on the other hand is all kinds of just right. Let’s see if that feeling extends to its price.

Yesterday, I noted that Porsche enthusiasts once could be divided into two main camps—those who only wanted the company to only produce rear-engined, air-cooled sports cars, and those who didn’t care what they made as long as they were good. The later camp obviously won out as today Porsche builds freaking crossovers and sorta station wagons.


At one point they also built the 1986 944 Turbo we featured yesterday, and while few would still argue the true Porsche-ness of that water-cooled front-engined car, quite a few of you did take issue with its $9,999 asking price. That was seen as too high, and the Porsche fell in a 68 percent Crack Pipe loss. Kudos were offered to the seller however, not for his pricing acumen, but for the detail and care given to the car’s description in its ad.

There’s far less description in the ad for today’s 1983 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, but at the least the important info is there. Also, the pictures do a lot of the talking.

The CJ-8 was a CJ-7 with 10 inches added to its wheelbase and another foot or so tacked on the back. That made it a sort of pickup truck with a swinging gate and spare in back and an optional hard cap around the two-seat cab. In fact, with its four-way top and doors (hardtop/hard doors, soft top/sift doors, soft top/hard doors, no top/no doors) the CJ-8 entered an exclusive and enviable club of convertible pickup trucks.


It also was never officially called the Scrambler. Jeep named the model CJ-8 as that was the next in line in the CJ series. Scrambler was an optional trim package that many of the models carried, and over the years that name seems to have just stuck. Over its six year model run fewer than 30,000 CJ-8s hit the streets making it a fairly rare duck.


This one is an ’83 which puts it smack dab in the middle of that run. It comes in metallic Burnt Umber with a pebbled bed liner sprayed in the back. Above that it comes with both hard and bikini tops as well as full and half doors.


Bull bars front and back give the truck an aggressive stance and are tied together by step bars below the doors. Aftermarket wheels underpin and the whole thing is said to have been restored back in 2010. It also seemingly comes with its own Hot Wheels® doppelgänger still in the package.

The interior is pretty much the same as the exterior seeing as their division is somewhat arbitrary and fluid depending on which doors/top you use. Vinyl seats and a metal dash are all you get, but are fortunately also all you really need.


Mechanicals start off with a 4.2-litre AMC OHV six offering up 98 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque. Backing that up is a Borg-Warner four-speed stick and a two-speed transfer case. The seller claims the part-time 4WD to work without issue.

The tires look to have decent tread depth and not of vintage origin. Body and chassis—what we can see of them—also seem solid and without major funkiness. Finally, the title is clear.


Mileage isn’t offered, but then given the noted restoration and the truck’s unlikely position as a daily driver, that probably isn’t all that important an omission.

The price would be, however. After all, that’s why we’re all here. The asking is $14,800 and much like yesterday’s Porsche, it should be noted that Scrambler prices are also all across the board.


We’re focused on just this one and so it’s now time for you to weigh in on it and that $14,500 asking. What do you think, is that a decent price for a ‘restored’ Scrambler? Or, for that much will this CJ-8 engender nothing but hate?


You decide!


Santa Barbara, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.