"Gaucho" CJ stepside pickup build - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
jscherb
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"Gaucho" CJ stepside pickup build

Back in the 70's, a Jeep dealership in Southern California made a limited number of custom Jeep stepside pickups. These were based on a CJ-7, rebuilt on a longer CJ-6 frame, and using a fiberglass stepside bed and fenders made by a company called California Stepside. The half-cab hardtop was modified from a CJ-7 hardtop.

Having recently finished my Retro Wrangler pickup build (photos at the bottom of this post), I've been looking for another project to do, and I've decided to build an updated reproduction of the original Gaucho.

I've collected most of the parts I need for the project (tub, bed, hardtop, a fender and more), and I'm just beginning the fabrication now. If there's interest in following this build I'll document it here.

I should also say that I'm building this one for sale - I've already got two Jeeps and don't really have a need for a third (I know, hard to believe ). My initial plan is to fabricate the tub, bed, fenders, tailgate and (possibly) half-cab hardtop, and then sell this "kit" of parts to someone who wants to drop the parts on their Scrambler frame. It will be a great replacement for someone who's got a rustbucket Scrambler they want to rebuild. What I'm building will be a direct replacement for a Scrambler tub (and a Scrambler half-cab will be the right size for the tub I build), or a CJ-7 or Scrambler frame could be lengthened for a longer wheelbase if that's what the eventual owner would like to do.

Here are some photos from the 70's showing the original Gaucho pickups:



Below is the project I just finished. It is based on a 2006 Wrangler Unlimited; the frame was lengthened 22.5 inches; the bed is the same size as the classic Willys pickups; the fenders are custom; the tailgate is custom and incorporates a CJ7/CJ8 tailgate logo; and the hardtop is custom, made from bits and pieces of Jeep military and export parts. It's also got a soft top with Sunrider, modified from the original LJ soft top.




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post #2 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 04:41 PM
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Crap, now I've got to keep checking ANOTHER one of your unbelievable projects over here on JF!

'82 Scrambler - NV4500/4.5" lift/33" Toyo MTs/4.0/twin stick, and my windshield washers work! Full 1/2 cab Cage

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post #3 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 05:02 PM
BriansCJ
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This is definately going to be a nice and interesting project, keep us posted.


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post #4 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 05:59 PM
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Awesome, it's just incredible.


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post #5 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 06:08 PM
Jeep2003
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Hey elmira ny Im not far in vestal. That jeep is very interesting i bet you get quite a few strange looks from passers by

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post #6 of 1450 Old 03-01-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep2003 View Post
Hey elmira ny Im not far in vestal. That jeep is very interesting i bet you get quite a few strange looks from passers by
If by "strange" you mean "positive", yes, I do. I can't hardly park it anywhere without someone coming up to me and complimenting it. The remarks are so positive it's hard to believe Jeep never made one, seems people really like it.

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post #7 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 10:55 AM
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yeah, I'm goin' to hafta pull up a virtual stool for this one, no doubt about it!

in your OP- did you mean they built them on a scrambler frame, or CJ6 (as posted)?

and California stepsides- very familiar with them... they also provided beds/fenders for a lot of Chevy Luv pickups. My buddy in high school had a '78 with one of their stepsides, and we searched forever trying to find a replacement fender after he wrecked it.

Hoss

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."

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post #8 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 11:26 AM
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im really starting to hate you due to jealousy
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post #9 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 12:20 PM
Jay12
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after you build it youre not going to want to sell it


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post #10 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
jscherb
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Originally Posted by Jay12 View Post
after you build it youre not going to want to sell it
I may not want to, but that's the plan. Definitely don't need 3 Jeeps. Which one would you sell? The one-of-a-kind Retro Wrangler pickup? The very rare CJ-8 Overlander? Or the Gaucho parts? The Gaucho is being built to sell so that's what's gonna happen, unless I can't find anyone who wants to buy it...

Someday I might be talked into selling the Overlander, if the right offer came along, but right now no plans to sell either the Retro Wrangler or the Overlander.


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post #11 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 02:23 PM
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I like jeep truck. I'm going to like watching this build.
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post #12 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 02:40 PM
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Wow, these are great metal working jobs. Seriously. Nice work.
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post #13 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 03:58 PM
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Really nice rides, I dig the detail and oem parts use.
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post #14 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubl0Vert View Post
Really nice rides, I dig the detail and oem parts use.
Thanks!!

I wanted the Retro Wrangler to look like it could have rolled off the assembly line in Toledo, so I used or modified OEM parts wherever I could. A great example is the step bumper - a pickup should have a step bumper, but rather than get some aftermarket bumper or bumper from some other truck, I made a step bumper from the LJ bumper. I think it looks very factory.

Another example is the CJ-7/8 tailgate "Jeep" embossing in the custom tailgate, and the Wrangler tailgate paddle handle in the tailgate also.

I'll be doing the same kind of things for the Gaucho project.


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post #15 of 1450 Old 03-02-2009, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Here are few design drawings I've done for the Gaucho project. The top one is a 103.5" wheelbase (Scrambler frame), and the bottom one is a 111 wheelbase (lengthened Scrambler, CJ-7 or Wrangler YJ frame). - I'm building the bed/fenders so they can be used on any wheelbase from 103.5 up to 111 or perhaps a little longer, all that will change with a longer WB is the location of the fenders on the bed sides and some small changes to the bed mounts.

The components I'm building will be a direct drop on for a 103.5" Scrambler frame, so they could be used to replace a rusty Scrambler tub.

I'm making a few small changes from the original Gaucho:

- The cab wll be about 3" longer on mine than on the original. The original had a very short, cramped cab because it was on a 101" wheelbase CJ6 frame.

- All of my components will be steel, except for the hardtop. On the original, the bed and fenders were fiberglass.

- The original was built on narrow track axles, I'm building for WT axles. As a result, my bed will be 44" inside dimension vs. the 41" on the original.

- I'll probably build a well in the front of the bed to hold a spare; the original didn't really have a provision for a spare except to lay it flat in the bed.

There are a number of other small detail differences, but basically I'm trying to be faithful to the original Gaucho while making a few small improvements.

Suggestions and comments welcome...




"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford
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