For $3,750, Could This 1978 Jeep CJ-5 Be Your New Summer Love?

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

Are you tired of seeing David Tracy have all the glory with his project Jeep? If so, then have a gander at today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe CJ-5. If its price proves right, you could join in the fun.

Okay, seriously? You wouldn’t go twenty grand for yesterday’s seemingly suitable 2001 Qvale Mangusta? I guess I should be specific, 80 percent of you wouldn’t pay that much for a one of 284 Italian tourers designed by Marcello Gandini? 


That’s the what its eventual Crack Pipe loss ended up being, and based on the comments it mostly came down to two factors: its appearance and Florida. Now, I’ll give you Florida, that pretty much goes without saying. But the styling? That’s just mean.

Because of yesterday’s debacle, today I’m giving you something with unassailable classical style, and located off of that pillar of rightousness, Route 66 (The Mother Road), in solid, sensible, serious Missouri. That’s an America you can set your watch to.

This 1978 Jeep CJ5 has a lot of the right stuff too, even though some of that stuff is a little—okay a lot—rough around the edges.


Let’s start out with the basics: the CJ-5 was one of Jeep’s longest running production models, serving in the lineup through almost thirty years and three corporate overlords. Over the course of that run the CJ-5 saw a lot of small but notable changes, one of the biggest of which occurred in 1972 when the wheelbase and front clip were stretched to accommodate engines from new proud papa AMC, and engendering the nickname “Long Nose.”


One of the AMC engines that found its way under that longer hood was the 304-CID V8, which is just what this CJ-5 rocks. Behind that is a Tremec T-150 three-speed stick which works in conjunction junction with the two-speed transfer case and Dana 30 front/AMC 20 rear axles. Set up in that manner, this Jeep is going to be a lot happier scaling the sides of mountains than blasting down the freeway.

Aesthetically, this orange over black Jeep has some plusses and some minuses, just like we all do! The positives include a set of decent seats both front and, for the tiny folk, in the back. There’s a six-point roll bar on top of that, and a radio which seems kind of pointless in a vehicle of this type. Other noteworthy features include a good bit of mechanical refreshening, including the exhaust, radiator, shocks and a battery. The seller in fact claims it to be in “great mechanical shape.”


So what’s this Jeep’s turd in the punchbowl? Well, in case you hadn’t noticed all the ass-end diamond plate, this Jeep suffers from possession by the rust demon. There’s popping on both sides below the A-pillar and a general feeling about it that a good sneeze might send the entire thing flying off in the breeze.


That’s perhaps a bit too harsh an assessment, but the seller notes that it is a project. He also claims that frame is solid with only one exception. Suffice to say, unless you’re competent with both grinder and welder, this Jeep might be too much for you. The cut front fenders and tired soft top probably don’t help either.


For somebody however, it’s likely a perfect summer project. That’s the time when you’re supposed to get out and get stuff done, not the dead of winter like our own David Tracy.

If you felt compelled to tackle such a project what do you think would be an acceptable cost of entry? For this CJ-5 that just so happens to be $3,750, which is cheap for a Jeep, but perhaps overly expensive for one that requires a dustpan to collect. Would you pay that much for this summer project as it’s presented in its ad? Or, are you just willing to let Tracy have all the fun?


You decide!


Springfield MO Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to grant 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.