Each Friday on the Jeep® Blog, we explore the Jeep brand’s iconic heritage by highlighting a different historical vehicle. This week’s vehicle is the 1976–1986 Jeep CJ-7.
The seventh generation of the Jeep CJ series was the first major change in Jeep vehicle design in 20 years. The CJ-7 had a 93.5-inch wheelbase versus the 83.5-inch wheelbase of the CJ-5, in order to house the new automatic transmission, and became the first Jeep vehicle to offer an automatic.
Through 1981, V-8 CJ-7 models featured the optional Quadra-Trac system, a new full-time chain-drive transfer case with a lockable center differential that could split the torque 50/50.
The CJ-7 offered an optional molded plastic top – a feature that remains available today in its successor, the Wrangler. Steel doors were also available in the CJ-7. A quick eye-test to distinguish the CJ-7 from the CJ-5 shows squared-off door openings compared to the CJ-5’s more rounded door openings.
Several packages were available for the CJ-7 throughout its lifetime, including Renegade (1976–1986), Golden Eagle (1977–1980), Golden Hawk (1980), Jamboree Edition (1982), Laredo (1980–1986) and Limited (1982–1983).
Stay tuned to the Jeep Blog as we make our way through the end of the 1970s into the 1980s in our retrospective of classic Jeep vehicles.