Not wearing any skivvies is colloquially known as “going commando.” Owing to its rust and tetanus traps, it would be advisable to wear as much clothing as possible when going near today’s Nice Price or No Dice Jeep Commando. Let’s see if this project 4X4 is worth the risk.
You know, going to lengths to prove that something is a deal is oftentimes a prime indicator that it is not. The seller of yesterday’s 2018 Volkswagen GTI asked $28,500 for the car and offered a scenario where the private party price coupled with it being located in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax on that sort of second-hand sale made the car a much better choice than going the dealer route. Many of you weren’t having it, though, giving the car and the seller’s convoluted calculation a 78 percent No Dice loss.
When you look around at all of the cars and trucks on the road, you might notice that a certain style — the crossover or sport utility vehicle — seemingly dominates the landscape. This has been the case for decades now, with some manufacturers having almost given up entirely on building anything else. Many ascribe the origin of this era to Ford’s introduction of the Explorer in the early 1990s. In fact, however, the style goes back way further than that. Those origins can be traced all the way back to just after WWII when Willys-Overland set to task transitioning its wartime production of the Jeep off-roader to civilian duty. That basic but capable small truck was aimed at farmers and outdoorsy types, but neither of those represented substantial markets so Willys sought to expand its reach with the more civilized Jeepster. That fancier model lasted from 1948 through 1950 and managed about 20,000 in sales before production was shut down due to declining demand and rising costs.
Flash forward nearly two decades to 1967 and Jeep was back with another Jeepster, a revised version of the original that appended the Commando name and sought to compete against the likes of the International Harvester Scout and Ford’s Bronco. Jeep wasn’t going to make the same mistakes it made with the original Jeepster, however, and imbued the new model with not only roll-up windows and an optional hard-cap roof, but also available 4-wheel drive. The Commando would prove much more popular than the original Jeepster for these reasons but was still dropped from Jeep’s lineup in 1973 for the even more civilized and modern Cherokee.
Capable, cute, and offering an interesting history, it’s no wonder that the Commando has its fans, and these days you’ll find that the model has followed the original Ford Bronco into dizzying levels of pricing.
This 1967 Jeepster Commando is not particularly expensive, but then, it’s also in need of a full-on restoration and rejuvenation to make even the least bit street-able.
The ad notes the car’s status as a “Restoration project” and the pictures bear that out. There’s a lot of rust throughout — and not just surface rust but that Swiss Cheese kind of stuff that requires cutting and welding to address. Despite that, and a front bumper that looks to have lost an argument with a tree, this Commando looks to be mostly all there. Oh sure, there’s no roof at all, but the seats, controls, and what appears to be a full drivetrain all seem to be present and accounted for.
A pop under the hood indicates that this Commando gets its marching orders from a 160bhp 225 CID Dauntless V6. That was sourced from Buick and here looks to be backed up by a T14 (or maybe T86?) three-speed stick. That should be connected to a two-speed transfer case, although the lever for that appears to be AWOL. Also missing is most of the air in the tires, so the plan of attack for any ambitious new owner should include replacement donuts that hold air and hence can be rolled.
Amazingly not missing is the car’s title, which is clean and, according to the ad, matches the VIN tag. Everything else about this Jeep appears to need a complete going over and rejuvenation. That’s not too daunting to someone with the capability for such work, but it means that the price needs to be low enough to make that point of entry of the job worthwhile.
In the case of this Commando, that price is $2,500 and you all now need to decide if that is in fact low enough. What do you say, is this Jeep project worth that much cash as it sits? Or, for that amount, would you be more apt to just let it rust in peace?
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