I was born in 1972 and I can remember well as a kid the cars of the 70’s, especially the big American cars. I remember when I was about 12 I loved the big Ford Broncos and jeeps with their soft tops and big tyres. These are the advertisements I remember as a kid.
I’ve always had an interest in restoring cars and I suppose it’s the romance of having something old and imperfect that appeals to me. I’ve always had old cars. The first car I restored was a VW beetle when I was about 19. That was a little beauty and by strange coincidence I came across it about 15 years later while driving interstate, but that’s another story.
So 30 years later I’m finally fulfilling my fantasies of having an 70’s model jeep. I bought a little 1979 CJ7 a while ago and although it was in pretty good condition there was plenty of work needed to get it in good running order. I’ve done a bit to it already but it’s getting to the final stage where it’s a nice usable little buggy. Since I spend most of my time on or near the water, I’ve developed a phobia of rust. I can’t stand it! No matter what steps you take to avoid it, rust will eventually rear its scaly head.
The original body on the CJ7 was of course made of sheet steel. That was replaced with a hand built fibreglass tub. Now the only steel parts on the jeep are the bonnet, doors and grill (apart from the chassis and running gear of course).
I’ve managed to also track down some fibreglass doors which need some work but will eventually be fitted.
The great thing about the old jeeps is the availability of parts. I’ve sourced most of the parts from the U.S. where these were (and still are) ubiquitous. Parts are not only cheap but easy to find.
The most recent work includes:
All new body mounts;
New original seats from the U.S.
Spring and shackle hangers replaced;
Convert auto shifter from column to floor mount with a Lokar auto shifter;
Removal of old dash and gauges and replace with hand made custom brushed stainless panel dash and new gauges;
New soft top direct from the U.S.; and
Much more to come.