1978 Jeep CJ-5 4x4
Chassis no. J8F83AH042831
Restored and upgraded in the USA
Top-of-the-range 304ci 150bhp V8 engine
Three-speed manual transmission
Versatile 'go anywhere' vehicle
Although forever associated with Willys-Overland, the original Jeep was developed by American Bantam. Designed to meet the US Army's requirement for a rugged, go-anywhere, four-wheel-drive vehicle capable of surviving on the barest minimum of unskilled maintenance, Bantam's prototype Jeep was up and running by 1940. The Pentagon, though, doubted the firm's ability to meet the military's post-Pearl Harbour demands, so the major contracts went to Willys and the Ford Motor Company. Produced by the million, the Jeep saw service in every theatre of WW2 and continued in military service for several decades thereafter.
Marketed as the ideal work vehicle for farmers, construction workers, and other trades, the first civilian Jeep - the 'CJ-2A' - was introduced by Willys in 1945 boasting a host of refinements that its military counterpart lacked. The succeeding CJ-3B version was distinguished by a four-cylinder 'F-head' engine, replacing the original 'flathead' four, and then in 1954 came what many regard as the definitive civilian Jeep: the CJ-5. Longer and wider than its predecessors, the 'round-fender' CJ-5 was based on the Korean War M-38A1. Under new owners Kaiser, and from 1970 American Motors Corporation, the CJ-5 would remain in production for a remarkable 30 years.
Delivered new in the USA with the 304ci (5.0-litre) V8 engine and the three-speed manual transmission, this CJ-5 was acquired by its previous owner in the early 2000s. This Jeep enthusiast treated the car to an extensive restoration, during which it received new paint, a new interior, a new soft-top, and a mechanical overhaul. Later on the owner decided to incorporate various improvements. Ground clearance was increased by using 'rough country' suspension components, and the Jeep also received new 33" 'mud country' tyres mounted on American Racing wheels. Once the CJ had been lifted, it received exhaust and intake snorkels, allowing it to negotiate water depths of 1.2-1.5 metres. The Jeep was also equipped with a heavy-duty competition-series T-Max winch fitted to the front bumper, ensuring that even in the most extreme circumstances it would never get stuck.
A V8 model rarely seen in Europe, this CJ-5 was purchased by the vendor in Florida in 2016 and subsequently imported into Belgium. The vehicle then received a service including replacement of all fluids, as well as an overhaul of the steering and rear axle (invoice on file). In its current configuration, this CJ-5 offers exceptional usability and driveability; its impressive engine produces plentiful torque, enabling the Jeep to be driven and enjoyed in the most extreme circumstances as well as on casual family trips on scenic back roads.