The History of the Jeep® CJ-7 (1976-86)


Because 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the Jeep® brand, we’ll be sharing all kinds of fun things on the blog that we’ve dusted off from our past, including some great vintage ads and a model-by-model rundown of our vehicles over the years, like we’re doing with this highlight on the famous CJ-7 that was introduced in 1976.


Back when we were owned by AMC, the Jeep brand made some pretty memorable vehicles. Some of you may recognize this one, but we won’t blame you if your memory is, well, starting to fade.  Although it was essentially a CJ-5 stretched about ten inches (primarily to make room for an automatic transmission), the CJ-7 also marked a major change in Jeep 4×4 design, the first significant one in 20 years.  Featuring an optional molded plastic top, steel doors and air conditioning, the vehicle was a huge leap forward in comfort and day-to-day practicality. It also marked our first use of an automatic transmission and full-time Quadra-Trac® 4WD.


The CJ-7 was one of our most successful models, with close to 400,000 made by the time it was discontinued in the ‘80s, and it featured numerous popular special packages, like the Renegade, Limited and Laredo versions.


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