Hello, I'm new to the forum and with the winter months coming I plan on taking on the build of a CJ7. Now I really like the idea of a retro theme so what I want to do is make the Jeep look the way someone would want cruising/wheeling jeep built in the 80s. But, my problem is that being 18 years old I have no clue what a period correct CJ7 would actually look like and can't seem to find anything online. With that being said I am turning to this forum for advice on what should be done to it for it to look like it came straight from the 80s. We're talking paint wheels and tires, off-road lights if any, front bumper,seats and anything else you could think of. Pictures are also a bonus!
Hmm, I was 23 in 1980. Radial tires where still not the norm, fiberglass ply was the affordable tire. Big tires were very expensive as were aluminum mags. The trend was white or chrome wagon wheel. So most had white wagon wheels and narrow mud tires.
Four trends were fighting for dominance, Disco/Soul, Rock and Roll, Punk and then came the Movie Urban Cowboy and the cowboy (lets get back to my roots). The cowboy thing took off in lots of places. But the colors from the Disco/Soul where still the trendy colors.
Stereo in cars were still growing, no sub woofers, two Pioneer rear deck speakers with no bass was the norm and if you could afford the 6x9's you were it!!
It was a no frills time, a pick up truck was still a working vehicle. 3 on the tree (three speed shifter on the steering column) was still around but no longer being sold in new vehicles and a three speed on the floor was sporty. So think, plain and basic.
Take your Jeep back to 100% stock look, put some above the deck speakers in it, get some white wagon wheels and some skinny mud tires and hang a chrome skull from the rearview mirror and you will just about have it.
I'm not trying to be mean, that's just the way it was back then. I graduated high school in 1975, a high school kid with a car was not the norm, it was a luxury and chances are the car was an old beat up uncle Bob's throw away, but it was transportation that you kept alive with duct tape and bailing wire. The car manufacturers did not need to offer frills in new vehicles, just having one that would crank up and drive with a radio and heat was enough.
Also, while these Jeeps were slightly modified by the removal of the spare tire carrier, the addition of some stripes, and of course the tops, this thread shows screen shots of the CJs on the TV show Fantasy Island:
All great info guys thank you so much! Now are the wagon wheels and skinny mud tires as far as it went for modifications before people went fully with the excess of lift, shocks and tires? I kind of like the look of a mild lift and 33s but like I said I really want to stay period correct on the thing. I kind of get the idea that the renegade CJs with the decals were the big thing what about coloured letters on the tires and stuff like that? This will be a secondary vehicle for me so no need for tops or doors. Anything to be noted about the roll bar like off-road lights or paint or anything like that?
This is an all original CJ7 I picked up a couple of months ago and it is just as it was from the dealer in 1978 with the exception of the front seats.
This Jeep is the Base Model with Tilt Steering Column and HD Cooling as only options. Never had doors or top. This is a Quadratrac Drive with the GM Turbo 400 trans and all wheel drive including the low range option..
I am just starting on it and it will be on the road soon and will remain as original as possible.. She has 2 visable dents and NO RUST...
I have the original sales documents from the dealer when the Jeep was purchased in 78. This is the original paint and I intend to leave it alone. The winch and a temp gauge were the only addons after purchase that I can see.
I have already installed new valve stem seals, removed Air Pulse system and plugged all manifold holes with HP steel plugs, removed the EGR and rebuilt the carb. This plus change all fluids and install a new radiator, hoses, belt and a tune up..
She runs down the road fine and starts right up..
Only new item so far is a SpyderWeb Sun Shade. I am going to replace the seats as close to original as possible and just drive her..
Oh Yeah, 9938 original miles when I picked her up!!!! Lived on a central Texas ranch all her life.. now she is kinda of a townie in a small South Texas town..
Here are some pictues when I brought it home. Notice original wheels including side mount spare with lock & I have the key.
ventedperogi - We can direct you to alot of pics and info but first we have to know which CJ-7 you have, mainly the year. There were many little changes over the years. Most people wouldn't know of them but your wanting a "period correct" one which tells me you desire to be accurate. Fill out your profile and pics help bigtime. Are you looking to do a plain jane, a Renegade, a Laredo, a Limited, or the Jamboree (82 only)?
Here's a link to the different Renegade schemes if your headed that direction. This page and the next covers 80 and up. http://www.jeepfan.com/tech/cj-reneg...-guide-page-2/
Here was mine as stock about a month off the showroom floor. It's an 82.
Sorry Renegade82 - I guess that would have been to say that I already have the jeep... Not yet but where I live they're not extremely hard to come across. What I'm leaning towards is an 82-83-84 Renegade as I do like the color schemes and decals but other than that I don't know where to go from there to build it up in a 1980s fashion.
In the early 80s 7" wide white wagon wheels were $25 and 10 X 30 bias ply tires were $50. That's about all I remember fondly about the automotive 80s. It is refreshing that an 18 year old wants a retro look. I can't get into the four door rice burners with big spoilers and little wide tires, or the recycled cop cars with 20" rims.
There is a roll call thread at the top of the page where folks have posted pictures of their CJs over the years. Many pictures are gone as are many of the posters, but there are still many examples to look at. Take a few days to scroll through them and you'll get many ideas. Then look at build threads.
My words of advice are ensure it is safe and dependable before you drive it and spend wisely. Ask for help here. You may get conflicting opinions but the advice is usually sound.
If it has electric windows and A/C it ain't a Jeep. It is a rebranded Dodge!
One benefit of putting together a CJ that looks mostly stock is that it will possibly be worth bit more than a non-stock-looking CJ. The country is full of hacked together CJs, highly modified crawlers, and other gross deviations from the original design, but finding a mostly stock CJ is a real gem. Now, I didn't say that such a CJ will turn you a profit, but it might be worth more than a highly modified one, especially to the person who wants something that is exactly in line with what you're aiming to produce.
"I give you a republic, if you can keep it." - Benjamin Franklin