The Jeep CJ is one of the most iconic American vehicles of all time. It goes by many names and has one of the longest production runs, from the 40s right up to the 21st century if you include the Japanese copies. And the CJ5 found true commercial success, from 1954 all the way to 1983, with about 600,000 units made. While they are collectible, you almost never see them restored to this degree.
Vanguard Motors has this stunning 1969 Jeep CJ5 for sale right now. And at $59,900, it would match some of the most expensive examples ever sold at auction. Normally, the value of such a 4×4 can be $15,000 or even lower, but we need to take into consideration the spec and level of restoration.
Perhaps the most important factor here is the motor. The previous owner told Vanguard that this should be the original motor that came with the vehicle, and the casting date of the block supports this. This is the 3.7-liter Dauntless V6 we’re talking about, which Kaiser introduced in 1965 after purchasing the casting rights to the Buick 225. In this case, the motor is fitted with a Rochester single 2-barrel carburetor.
1968-cast block with original internals and heads
This produced about 160 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque, and while that might not sound like much even by 1969 standards, you have to remember the little Jeep only weighed about 2,400 lbs. Its original powertrain also consisted of a 3-speed manual and part-time 4×4, with the front wheels engaged manually for off-road conditions.
The T14 gearbox sends power to a Dana 44 rear axle with 3.55:1 gears and a Dana 30 front axle. This is a really simple, tiny vehicle, and it’s shocking to see it costing so much money.
The mods on this aren’t extreme. However, the bright red of the fiberglass tub has been paired nicely with the bright Wagon 15-inch wheels from later models. It’s got a bikini top, which is most likely a reproduction of the original, and underneath that, you’ll find black upholstered seats with lap belts, some nice toggles, and a chromed steering wheel. Basically, it’s nicer than a 1969 Jeep should be, and nothing’s rusted. So if you want to enjoy driving down the road in the simplest of off-roaders this could be for you… as long as you’re willing to spend new Gladiator Rubicon or Grand Cherokee Trailhawk money.