BEAUTIFUL FRAME-OFF 4X4 CJ7 LAREDO, 258 I6, 5-SPEED, LIFTED, 33" TIRES, SOFTTOP
For pure off-roading fun, there's still only one Jeep. Vehicles like this ultra-clean 1981 CJ7 have been a staple of having fun in the mud for decades, and even with all of today's technology and performance, they're still the vehicle to beat when the trail truly turns against you.
Finding an all-steel CJ that hasn't been bashed to death on the rocks or eaten alive by the tinworm is no easy task, yet this black Laredo shows off its original bodywork with pride. Sure, it's probably been off-roading a few times in its life, but nobody has abused this Jeep, and with only 21 miles on the frame-off restoration, you know it hasn't seen any heavy use since it was finished. The rockers are protected by shiny panels, and the brilliant yellow paint has a great shine that will be easy to clean. With basic panels and soft doors, there aren't really any panel gaps to align, but the hood snugs down easily with those chrome latches, and the drop-down tailgate shows zero signs of rust. Simple chrome bumpers have been fitted so as to be both light and effective, and the traditional Jeep grille nestled between those fat fenders is protected by a polished stainless steel grille. Rubber fender flares cover the oversized tires and keep the mudslinging to a minimum, and you'll probably want to lower the windshield for the full frontal experience. Rounding out the package are fresh Laredo decals and a stripe kit, accurately re-creating 1982 and to be honest, it looks great, not dated.
Inside, it's rugged and basic, with black vinyl and cloth high-back bucket seats designed to be cleaned with a hose. The floor has been covered with spray-in bedliner material for the same reason, but that doesn't mean the CJ is bereft of comfort and convenience features; in fact, this might be one of the more luxurious CJs we've seen. There's a full array of gauges, which are critical when you're out in the wilderness, a center console for valuables, and a full back seat for a pair of guests to ride along. The two levers on the floor manage the 5-speed manual gearbox, which totally transforms the CJ's on-road behavior, as well as the shifter for the 2-speed transfer case, which is the core of any Jeep's off-road abilities. There is no top, but if you're asking for one, you're doing the whole Jeep thing completely wrong.
Power comes from AMC's durable and torquey 258 cubic inch inline-six, which was definitely the powerplant you want in your CJ. It isn't designed for all-out speed, but it's plenty snappy around town and for off-roading, what you really want is a smooth flow of power (which this engine delivers), good low-speed torque (in spades), and bulletproof reliability (check). It hasn't been modified and was obviously nicely detailed during the restoration, and the engine rebuilt during the restoration. Underneath, it's extremely solid with the aforementioned 5-speed manual transmission, 2-speed transfer case, and an AMC 20 rear axle and a Dana 30 up front, all of which make this CJ highly maneuverable in the brush. The suspension was lifted with a mild shackle kit and the exhaust system has a hearty rumble, which always makes folks do a double-take when they hear it coming from a Jeep. It's shockingly clean underneath, nicely detailed, and sits right on those giant 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires.