1970-1979

DARING ADVENTURES BEGIN HERE

The Jeep® Brand's 4x4 leadership continues in the '70s with the introduction of the first full-time 4x4 system. The sporty two-door full-size Cherokee (SJ) sweeps the 4x4 of the Year awards. Six models help elevate sales to all-time highs.

THE AMC YEARS

In 1969, Kaiser Jeep® started a “Jeep® Great Escape” advertising campaign showing the variety of recreational uses of Jeep® Brand vehicles. Kaiser Jeep sold the company to American Motors (AMC) in 1970 for approximately $75 million. Four-wheel-drive vehicles were becoming very popular – by 1978, AMC was producing 600 vehicles a day. In 1972, the Quadra-Trac® 4x4 System was introduced, the first automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system. In 1976, the Jeep® Brand introduced the CJ-7.

1970-1984 DISPATCHER JEEP® (DJ)

Jeep History 1970-1984 Dispatcher Jeep

1970 Jeep® mail truck.

WALK-IN DELIVERY VAN

The Dispatcher Jeep® (DJ) was a two-wheel version of the popular CJ Series. The vehicle resembled the CJ, but was different in many ways; it was completely enclosed, rear-wheel drive only, included sliding doors, and included a swinging rear door.

1974-1987 JEEP® J-10 PICKUP

Jeep History 1974-1987 Jeep J-10 Pickup Truck

1978 Jeep® J-10 Honcho pickup truck.

HONCHO MEANS “BOSS”

In 1971, the Jeep® Trucks dropped the Gladiator name. Later offerings were called J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch). Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members. The J-10 J-Series pickup truck line included the Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 trim packages.

Jeep History 1980 Jeep J-10 Honcho Pickup Truck

1980 Jeep® J-10 Honcho pickup truck.

All trucks shared the same body design as the Jeep® Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward, and were offered with traditional slab-sided or step-side bodies. The 10-4 trim package was produced from 1974-1983. The 1978 package consisting mostly of color choices and detailing, the 10-4 package also offered an optional, factory-installed CB radio.

Jeep History 1979 Jeep J-10 Honcho Pickup Truck

1979 Jeep® Honcho pickup truck.

In 1976, the popular Honcho model appeared and added $699 over a standard custom level J-10 shortbed. It was the truck equivalent of the wide-track Cherokee Chief and included two versions: the step-bed Sportside and the Townside.

Jeep History 1976 Jeep J-10 Honcho Pickup Truck

1976 Jeep® J-10 Honcho pickup truck.

The Honcho included gold striping on the bedside, fenders and tailgate, wide 8x15-inch spoker wheels and off-road tires, Levi’s denim interior and sport steering wheel. The Laredo package replaced the Honcho in 1983. Produced in 1977-1983, the 1977 Golden Eagle package included a grille guard, driving lamps, pick-up bed roll bar, eight-inch wheels, Levi’s seats, accent stripes and an eagle hood decal – all for a $749 premium.

1974-1987 JEEP® J-20 PICKUP

Jeep History 1974-1987 Jeep J-20 Pickup Truck

1975 Jeep® J-20 pickup truck.

NEW AND IMPROVED JEEP® BRAND PICKUP TRUCK

In 1974, the Jeep® Trucks changed names to either the J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch) models. Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members.

Jeep History 1974-1987 Jeep J-20 Pickup Truck Rear Side View

1978 Jeep® J-20 pickup truck.

J-20/J-30 pickups - the J-30 were the higher GVW (gross vehicle weight) rated trucks in the lineup, ranging in capacity from “heavy” half-ton to over one-ton capacity and even dual rear wheel configuration.

1955-1983 JEEP® CJ-5 UNIVERSAL

Jeep History 1955-1983 Jeep CJ-5 Universal

1973 Jeep® CJ-5 Universal.

NEW AND IMPROVED JEEP® PICKUP TRUCK

Beginning in 1973, all Jeep® CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V8 engines. Renegade models typically featured a 304 cubic inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels and a Trac-Lok® limited slip rear differential.

Jeep History 1979 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade

1979 Jeep® CJ-5 Renegade.

Many special editions were offered, including the 1964-1967 “luxury” Tuxedo Park, the 1969 Camper, the 1969 “462”, the 1970 Renegade I, the 1971 Renegade II, the 1972-1983 Golden Eagle, and 1973 and 1976 Super Jeep®. A two-wheel-drive version DJ-5 was offered through 1974.

Jeep History 1955-1983 Jeep CJ-5 Universal Advertisement

1974 Jeep® CJ-5 advertisement.

A popular and enduring legend, the CJ-5 has probably logged more trail miles than any other Jeep® Brand vehicle. Spanning thirty years, the CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep® Brand vehicle.

Jeep History 1955-1983 Jeep CJ-5 Universal with Camper

1970 Jeep® CJ-5 Universal with camper.

The CJ-5 / camper was marketed as a new camping concept. It featured a unique industry-first detaching system that made removal of the camper a simple operation.

1972-1983 JEEP® CJ-5 RENEGADE

Jeep History 1972-1983 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade

1974 Jeep® CJ-5 Renegade.

SPECIAL EDITION 4x4s

Renegade models typically featured a 304-cubic-inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels and a Trac-Lok® limited slip rear differential. For 1976, AMC reintroduced the Super Jeep® (also offered in 1973). This unique CJ-5 featured special striping on the hood and seats, chrome front bumper, roll bar, 258 OHV inline six, black rubber lip extensions on the fenders and oversize Polyglas white-walled tires.

Jeep History 1970 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade

1970 Jeep® CJ-5 Renegade.

A special run of 600 Jeep® Renegade II models with 200 each painted Baja Yellow, Mint Green and Riverside Orange were produced in 1971. Also, 150 were finished in Big Bad Orange early in the run.

1975-1983 JEEP® CHEROKEE (SJ)

Jeep History 1975-1983 Jeep Cherokee

1974 Jeep® Cherokee.

FULL-SIZE JEEP® BRAND 4x4

The new Cherokee was a sporty, two-door version of the Wagoneer and featured bucket seats, a sports steering wheel and racy detailing designed to appeal to younger, more adventurous drivers.

Jeep History 1974 Jeep Cherokee

1974 Jeep® Cherokee.

In February 1974, the Jeep® Cherokee was the first vehicle to win Four Wheeler magazine’s Achievement Award that we know today as the Four Wheeler of the Year award.

Jeep History 1975-1983 Jeep Cherokee Advertisement

1980 Jeep® Cherokee advertisement.

In 1975, the Cherokee was offered in two body styles: the Cherokee wide-track with three-inch wider axles and fender flares, and the Cherokee with normal size axles and no fender flares. A four-door version of the Cherokee was available by 1977.

Jeep History 1980 Jeep Cherokee Laredo

1980 Jeep® Cherokee Laredo.

Besides the base Cherokee, options packages offered over its nine-year run included the Cherokee S, Cherokee Chief, Laredo and Golden Eagle.

1975-1978 JEEP® CHEROKEE CHIEF (SJ)

Jeep History 1975-1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief

1977 Jeep® Cherokee Chief.

WIDE-TRACK OPTION

AMC brought back the two-door Wagoneer as the youth-oriented Cherokee.

Jeep History 1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief

1977 Jeep® Cherokee Chief.

The new Jeep® Cherokee was a sporty, two-door version of the Wagoneer and featured bucket seats, a sports steering wheel and racy detailing designed to appeal to younger, more adventurous drivers.

Jeep History 1975-1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief Side View

1981 Jeep® Cherokee Chief.

In February 1974, the Jeep® Cherokee was the first vehicle to win Four Wheeler magazine’s Achievement Award that we know today as the Four Wheeler of the Year award.

Jeep History 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief

1978 Jeep® Cherokee Chief.

In January of 1975, the Cherokee Chief was introduced. The Wide-Track option was available with key upgraded interior and exterior features: exterior stripes, larger wheels, three-inch-wider axles, larger front and rear wheel cutouts, Dana 44 front and rear axles, and a nicer interior. The package retailed for $349 more than the “S” model.

Yellow cherokee on dirt infront of forest

1978 Jeep® Cherokee Chief.

Besides the base Cherokee, options packages offered over Cherokee’s nine-year run included the Cherokee S, Cherokee Chief, Laredo and Golden Eagle.

1976-1986 JEEP® CJ-7

Jeep History 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7

1984 Jeep® CJ-7 Laredo.

THE LEGEND CONTINUES

In 1976, AMC introduced the CJ-7, the seventh generation of the original vehicle and the first major change in Jeep® Brand design in 20 years.

Jeep History 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7 Advertisement

1980 Jeep® Renegade advertisement.

The CJ-7 had a slightly longer wheelbase than the CJ-5 in order to allow space for an automatic transmission. The CJ-7 featured squared-off door openings vs. the CJ-5’s rounded door openings. A quick way to distinguish the two apart.

Jeep History 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7 Mark A. Smith

Jeep® CJ-7 used by Mark A. Smith to cross the famed Darien Gap in the 1978 Jeep® “Expedition de las Americas”.

In 1978, Mark Smith, who is widely known as the father of modern four-wheeling, took a group of 13 modern explorers from Tierra del Fuego, Chile to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in their Jeep® CJ-7 4x4s. The 21,000-mile trip took 122 days to complete and included a remarkable crossing through the Darien Gap, a stretch of hostile jungle that had only once before been crossed by the British military in 100 days with the loss of eight men. Smith and his men crossed the Darien Gap in 30 days and lost no one.

Jeep History 1985 Jeep CJ-7 Laredo

1985 Jeep® CJ-7 Laredo.

For the first time, the CJ-7 offered an optional molded plastic top and steel doors. Both the 93.5-inch wheelbase CJ-7 and 83.5-inch wheelbase CJ-5 models were built until 1983 when demand for the CJ-7 left AMC no choice but to discontinue the CJ-5, after a 30-year production run.

1970s JEEP® GOLDEN EAGLE PKG

Jeep History 1979 Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle

1979 Jeep® CJ-7 Golden Eagle.

TAKE FLIGHT IN A SPECIAL EDITION PACKAGE

The Golden Eagle option package was a $200 premium above the Renegade package. It originally included an eagle decal on the hood, larger tires, Levi’s Soft Top, rear-mounted spare, wheel lip extensions, spare tire lock, Convenience group, Décor group, tachometer carpeting and clock.

Jeep History 1980 Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle

1980 Jeep® CJ-7 Golden Eagle advertisement.

A 1980 Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle named “Dixie” was made famous by Daisy Duke on the popular show Dukes of Hazzard. The vehicle is now on display in the Dukes of Hazzard Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The CJ-5 Golden Eagle package was available from 1977-1983.

1963-1991 JEEP® WAGONEER (SJ)

Jeep History 1963-1991 Jeep Wagoneer

1983 Jeep® Wagoneer.

CONTINUING THE TRADITION

American Motors Corporation acquired Kaiser Jeep® Corporation in early 1970. The Jeep® Wagoneer continued to be refined and upgraded with many advances coming through the decade.

Jeep History 1977 Jeep Wagoneer

1977 Jeep® Wagoneer.

A new AMC 360-cubic-inch V8 and later 401-cubic-inch V8 engine were introduced. The innovative Quadra-Trac® 4x4 system revolutionized the industry with full-time (no manual shifting) capability.

Jeep History 1977 Jeep Wagoneer Limited

1978 Jeep® Wagoneer Limited.

The Wagoneer Limited (1978-1979) was the spiritual successor to the Super Wagoneer and was later renamed the Grand Wagoneer. The Limited was the most luxurious 4x4 ever produced at that time. Road & Track magazine called it “The Champagne of 4-wheel-drives.”