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 1980–1986 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler.
Picture this: You and your best friend are planning a camping trip through some pretty rugged terrain. Which of you has the vehicle capable enough to climb and crawl over and through the mud, rocks and anything else that stands in its way? Well, if it’s 1981, the answer is whoever drives the Jeep® CJ-8 Scrambler.
Akin to the popular CJ-7, the CJ-8 was the answer to this question: “When are we going to get more space?” Sporting a modest 103.5-inch wheel base, the Jeep brand tacked on an extended rear overhang, creating a mini-pickup-style truck bed with just over 30 cubic feet of cargo space, designed for a 1,500-pound payload.
The Scrambler used the traditional transfer case and manual front-locking hubs to engage the four-wheel drive. Most models featured a four- or five-speed manual transmission, but a three-cylinder automatic option was made available by the end of the model’s run in 1985.
Coming in soft- and hardtop models, the SR and SL Sport models had a few more cosmetic touches than the baseline model, featuring “Scrambler” lettering and striping to complement the exterior color. A full-length fiberglass hardtop covering was an available option, as were wooden side running boards.
Though it was a modest seller in its day, popularity of the Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler soared after it was discontinued in 1986, and still lives on today in the eyes of collectors. Do you have a favorite story about your Scrambler? Let us know in the comments section below.