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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The most valuable Willys and Jeep CJs from every generation

Ford's Model T put America on wheels, but it was the Willys Jeep that first took us off-road. The civilian Willys CJ-2A brought a hard-working vehicular veteran-one of what President Eisenhower commended as "three tools that won the war"-from the battlefield into America's open fields.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/hagerty-insider/the-most-valuable-willys-and-jeep-cjs-fr...
48 REPLIES 48
DUB6
Specialist

I once had a '61 CJ3-B with the F head and 3-speed. It was generally gutless, had no synchros, wandered all over the road at over 35 mph, whined from every gear set, had little-to-no-heat, and the top leaked like a sieve. I loved the dang thing and would give up my current ('08) model for it in 2 seconds. Bought it for $1600, recovered the seats and painted it, then sold it for $3800. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
GRP_Photo
Instructor

It probably had the steering sector replaced. By the late 70s, replacement steering sectors were made in Korea by people who seem to have had a extremely poor measuring skills. My CJ2A wandered a lot too after I rebuilt the steering box.
TransAm-forever
Intermediate Driver

Your wandering at speed may have been due to bias-ply tires as well. When I switched from bias-ply to radial tires on my old 1971 IH 1210 4x4 the road feel difference was incredible.
SAG
Instructor

Should have bought a: 2A
Still have the one my G-ma bought for G-pa in 1946.
the short wheel base was: short.
but 60 mph was ok
Tuxedopark
New Driver

I can't believe the author didn't even mention the Dauntless 225 Buick V-6 motor or Tuxedo Park option. An original Tux is very hard to find. Maybe I missed it!!
Jojo
New Driver

We have a 48 Willy and love it.
Agoodbob68
New Driver

My stepfather had a '77 CJ7, Quadra Trac, with all Levi's interior. Even had the Levi's logo on the side. I wonder how much that would be worth today if in good condition?
JeepDave
Pit Crew

I am a little confused here. It says the "The most valuable Willys and Jeep CJs from every generation" but yet it skims over the WILLYS MB and has no mention of the MA. I would bet the price/value of the MA would overtake any of the WILLYS versions mentioned in this article.

Not only that, it appears these values are basically covering values here in the US. Go to Europe and GB to see what the value is on some of the early MA and MB's are over there.
GRP_Photo
Instructor

Neither the MA nor the MB are civilian models; hence, they are not "CJs." I guess the author could have entitled this "The most valuable Willys CJs and Jeep CJs from every generation", but I believe it's clear enough the way he wrote it.
Jeep4me
New Driver

The CJ5 Golden Eagle with a 304 V8 will bring even more $’s! Only built from ‘77 to ‘80. Biggest engine in the smallest body and in a rare option Golden Eagle configuration will be sought after and at the top of the collectors list!

mikeg77
New Driver

Si I bought a 77 Golden Eagle new in 1977. I still have it and use it for plieing. I had my option of the CJ5 or 7. I bought the CJ5 6 cyl, because of the 4 speed with a creeper gear and the plow package. It needs work, rusting pretty bad , but starts and runs pretty good. Wondering if anyone out there would be interested in it for a refurbish.
BGray51
New Driver

yes.

drm101
Detailer

Heck yes. I, along with many others would love to restore a Golden Eagle!
BGray51
New Driver

Pictures and how much? 

drm101
Detailer

We have a '47 CJ2A with the Go Devil that is basically stock. Many folks complain about the steering, but ours will run straight as an arrow at 50 MPH. It just requires everything to be inspected and any looseness removed from the steering components. It is the perfect example of a slow vehicle that is fun to drive fast. I added a lunchbox locker to the rear diff which really helps with off road capability. I have a Dauntless in the barn right now being disassembled and cleaned up. It may find it's way into our '47 or the '66 CJ5 we have waiting in the wings. The Dauntless has a very heavy flywheel and they say it's the perfect gas motor for a Willy's.
mikeg77
New Driver

So wondering how to connect to someone to send pics of my Golden Eagle and discuss selling it or restoration options . As I oreviously posted, I run it for plowing my driveway yet. Usually starts and runs fine , but its rusting pretty bad in places .
mikeg77
New Driver

Ok. Just reviewing this article. Im wondering why the 2 pictures of the Golden Eagles in this article dont say limited edition on the hood. Mine which I bought new in 77 says Limited Edition. Its the CJ 5 with the 4 speed trans, 1st gear creeper gear and the in line 6. But wondering if theres a value differance between the ones that say limited edition and the ones that dont .
Poodules
New Driver

I remember the silver anniversary I work for a jeep dealer in 76-77.i own two 48 CJ2A s now one with PTo on it .love to restore old willy's
JayO
New Driver

Hello ? M38A1 I am shocked that the article missed this important variant! You covered MB nicely.
oversight?
GRP_Photo
Instructor

The article is about CJs, not military vehicles. No CJs were derived from the M38A1.
Guysair
New Driver

My first new vehicle was a brown 1979 CJ7 renegade with orange stripes and a white hardtop 3 speed 6 cylinder beige denim look interior taught my newlywed wife to drive a stick later added 2 car seats in the back and loved it for 4 years, sold it to my best friend who drove it till it rusted away . Still have the wife wish I still had my little jeep.
AJAnt
New Driver

I had a '74 CJ5 Renegade. Plum Crazy with a mildly modified 304CID (Edelbrock SP2P intake, Holley Carb and Hooker headers with side pipes). Loved that little Jeep. Traded it even for aa bone stock '78 CJ7 Golden Eagle with the 304. This past July I sold my last Jeep. This is the first time in 48 years that I haven't had a Jeep registered in my name.
DUB6
Specialist

Having owned some sort of Jeep or another for almost as long a @AJAnt , I feel I can attest to their wonderfulness.  But as some others point out, not every single Jeep is suited for every single use.  There are a ton of models, even having delved up into "semi-luxury" levels, and all the way to down-and-dirty "beat-the-crap-outta-it" examples.  When a younger man, I had at least one of the latter, and it was mainly trailered to the trailhead and very seldom saw pavement.  As I aged and took on a more "pampered" lifestyle, I bought more comfy, roadworthy models - knowing that even the plushest ones could keep me out of a lot of trouble (especially in winter) if I needed them to.

   I've owned 7 or 8 different makes of 4WD vehicles, and multiple models of those makes, and I will stand up and tell any crowd that the one vehicle of any make that I've really felt good about putting my wife in the driver's seat in January, has always said the word JEEP on it.

Stixx
Detailer

IF YOU EVER DROVE A LONG WAY IN A JEEP OF ANY MODEL OR MAKE , YOU MIGHT UNDERSTAND WHY I'VE NEVER OWNED ONE. THOSE FOLKS WHO LOVE JEEPS ARE MADE OF A DIFFERENT CLOTH IN MY VIEW.

EVEN MY WORST RIDING SPORTS CAR WAS A TREAT COMPARED TO RIDING IN A JEEP. JUSAYIN
denali94
Intermediate Driver

Sorry but I must disagree. Having made several long distance trips (4,000 miles plus) with a '77 CJ5, a '58 MGA, a '75 TR 6 and a '60 AH 3000 I found the Jeep to be quite tame. The trips were almost identical; Chicago to Montreal to Seattle and back. The exception was the Jeep which took a right in North Dakota and ended in Homer, AK. I sold the Jeep there in 1983 and last saw it in Homer in 2014, still running strong despite having changed hands 5 or 6 times. Only mechanical issue with the Jeep was when it blew a heater hose on the Seward Highway near the Hope Cutoff, stranding my wife for about 12 hours. She was 'rescued' by an old gold miner but that is a story for another time.

Osprey
Pit Crew

What an absurd comment!  The Jeep is for hauling farm gear across fields, hauling wood on logging trails, and climbing rocky hills for a view of the river valley below.  I would never attempt this in an MG, Triumph, or Alfa Romeo.

DUB6
Specialist

Well, sort of...I had a friend who had a Cherokee Limited with some of the plushiest, Park Avenuiest, wussiest stuff on it you ever saw.  It was not primarily made for the fields, trails, or hills.  The good thing about it, though, is that he knew that if he HAD to go or wanted to go to any of those places, his Jeep would and could do it.  Might get a little scratched up and dirty, but it'd do it!

DUB6
Specialist

   @Stixx - sorry, but nope, I don't understand why you never owned one, and I personally have driven several models (and by-the-way they were all the same "make" - JEEP) a "long way".  I have crossed the entire USA from coast to coast, and once drove from Idaho to Saskatchewan, and nearly clear across Canada before returning through the upper continental states.  All in Jeeps.  And two of those trips were with my wife and two of my grandkids.  Once pulling a U-Haul trailer.  All very satisfactory trips.  Now, these were not CJ's, nor even Wranglers (Cherokee and Liberty), granted.  But your claim is "any model", and I am seriously doubting (since you've admitting to never owning one) that you can claim any experience in driving a long way in one.  I have, by my estimate, well over 400,000 miles in Jeeps of various models (again, only one make, though).  I wouldn't try to take a serious off-road version (and I've had two of those) more than a few miles on the freeway - but I've had many, many miles of very safe and comfortable driving on quite long trips in others, and since my 2008 is sitting out there in the driveway, I guarantee you I'll be doing so again when the opportunity presents itself!

   Again, I discourage people from writing with "extreme, all-inclusive" statements.  They are too easy to debunk (even if you write them in all caps)...

JackVan
Detailer

Whole bunch of GIs wound up in the hospital driving the WW2, Korea and Vietnam stuff flat out or trying to turn. Early civilian stuff had the same problem. Most of the GIs coming home had already been through natural selection so they knew how to drive them. A Guard team, in the middle of a parade several years ago, tore their vehicle down to body pieces, frame, engine and drive train in less than 10 minutes. Put it back together just as quick and drove away. The video is someplace on the internet.
GRP_Photo
Instructor

Bill Mauldin said the reason for this is that inexperienced people would try to drive it like a car. The MB is not a car; it's a light truck.
Osprey
Pit Crew

My father was in the 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, 14th Armored Division.  He drove peeps throughout the war during the Battle of the Bulge.  He told a few stories about his experiences.  He was blown out of his peep, shot at by a Panther tank, etc., but he never mentioned anyone "winding up in the hospital" because he couldn't drive a peep.  

Osprey
Pit Crew

I've had three CJ2As and bought my first one in 1970. At the time in NH it was common knowledge that a Jeep was worth $100 a wheel. That's what I paid for my first one. By the time I bought another couple in 1990 and 1995, it was up to $300 a wheel. It is hard to believe that anyone would pay for tens of thousands for a CJ2A. But mine are true woods and farm Jeeps with good mechanicals and rough and ready body having slid into trees, rocks and carried their share of manure, gravel and firewood.
70429TbirdBob
New Driver

Would like to find a decent CJ-8 a little more room
JohninNC
Instructor

CJ-8 Scrambler anyone?
GRP_Photo
Instructor

When I had my CJ2A in the late '70s, you could just about build one from a Sears & Roebuck catalog. They sold everything but the engine and transmission.
Jpdelpozo
Intermediate Driver

This was a pretty good coverage of the infamous Jeep CJ-5 with the one exception.  When AMC bought the Jeep line in 1971, I believe, they made some important changes for the 1972 line-up.  I was working for a Jeep dealer and noticed one day a transport yellow jeep sitting forlorn in a corner of the back lot.  I bought it but what did I buy?  Anyway, the new thing for 1972 was the Jeep CJ-5 was extended 3 inches and had the 304 AMC V-8.  You only had to look at the bottom fender line to see the extension.  It also had the t-5 transmission with the Dana 20 transfer case.  But getting back to the CJ I had bought.  I bought it without front hubs to allow the front end to break in.  Put Warns on it later.  What was interesting was that it didn't have the standard exhaust manifolds as the other CJ's on the lot.  They looked like Headman Hedders!  It also had an aluminum intake manifold with a Holly 2 bbl carb.  This Jeep was never sold to a civilian except me.  It had come from the factory with the goodies in place.  It also had a Detroit locker rear 3rd member.  I paid a whopping $3200.00 (1972 dollars) for this jeep and I wish I still had it.  Owned it for 7 years and I thought I had finally worn it out.  Sold it to a friend who promptly totaled it out by running into a tree in the Rocky Mountains.  He told me the tree had moved!  Aw the misgivings of running off-road!  Anyway getting back to the Jeep, I was later told that the factory had played around with several jeeps at the time of doing the V-8 installation and I ended up with one!  Hmmm -- - It did run like stink!  

cvo493
New Driver

I bought a 1978 CJ7 golden Eagle, white, with tan colored canvas doors and top in 1982 for $5,000. I got a company car so it became my wife's daily driver. Sold it a year later when my wife [at the time] refused to keep driving it in the winter. Tried keeping the weather out by installing rubber seals around the doors with little effect. We lived in Calgary Alberta with weeks of -30C weather and lots of snow. Couldn't hold it on the road in 2 wheel drive in the snow so had to use 4 wheel just to keep up with other traffic. It had a 258 cu in 6 and 3 speed manual. Loved it when the weather was good. Final straw was when someone stole one of the doors.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

So many CJ-5 and CJ-7's around when I was a kid. So many "awful" graphics packages as were typical of the day in the 70's. They were neat as a kid but boy they haven't aged well. I didn't realize the CJ-5 had been around almost 30 years.
Mlpurvis
New Driver

Have a 1959 Willys CJ5 in original condition. While it is over 60 years old and showing its age, it is complete and original. It seems like there should be a significant value difference between original Willys and the subsequent AMC Jeeps. Please offer your thoughts!!
DUB6
Specialist

I agree.  The molded word WILLYS on it should automatically increase its value!  I loved that about my '61.

gincledon
Intermediate Driver

I was hoping that the 6th Gen would be my 2005 LJ Rubicon Sahara edition.
Maestro1
Technician

I remember the First Generation very well, and since then have not paid much attention to Jeep but certainly as a utility go anywhere vehicle, it was unsurpassed for a long time.
Much, much later one of my collector friends found a CJ-5 in the same barn as a Packard
he wanted and bought both cars for a very friendly price. I had a ride in it when it was put mechanically in shape so it would not kill anybody and drove it myself. I damn near bought
one even though I have no use for it.
Thank you for this and stay well.
Clufkin
New Driver

Jeep CJ7’s rock!
I have owned 7 in my lifetime, sold 5 thru the years and still own one ‘84 that I restored frame off and am working with my most recent, a 1981 from TX with only 31k miles and in semi-original condition.
I just love them and they are true America, in my opinion.
I have driven them everywhere from off-road in the deep mud in MS and AL, to the deep snow in CO, to even cross country, east to west and back, and then south to north and back!
But, those were the old days, without cell phones or gps, just me, my dog(s) and various road maps and atlas’!
There is no better American Icon than the Jeep CJ!
I should know, as I married the step-daughter of the gentleman that brought it to life from the MJ when he bought American Motors / Willys, 40 years ago, Mr. Roy Chapin.
Another true American icon and pioneer in the automotive industry!!!
RIP Roy, and thank you!!!
Shermanator
Pit Crew

Isn't 1954-1983 (4th gen) thirty model years, not twenty-nine?
Engineerbruce68
Intermediate Driver

My High School Auto Shop teacher was the master of engine swaps for Jeeps. I had a friend who had an old CJ. In shop class, we put a Chevy 327 in the Jeep. That Jeep did scoot!
BenjieMcCall
Pit Crew

Wonder why no CJ-8's are listed? Love my '82 Scrambler.
CypherShane
New Driver

Me thinks you forgot the 1973 CJ5 Super Jeep. Very few were made and one in pristine condition can go for over $100K! I do own a 73, but unfortunately it is not one of the famed super jeeps. So I modded the hell outta it!!! 😂
SilverbackCJ7
New Driver