- Written by webmin
Image courtesy lov2xlr8.no
The last two candidates for the Class of 1986 – the Hyundai Excel and the Acura Legend/Acura Integra – represented the beginnings of eras in American motoring. Today’s candidate – the 1986 Jeep CJ-7, along with its long-wheelbase sibling, the CJ-8 Scrambler – represents the end of an era.
You see, the 1986 CJ-7 was not just the last of the CJ-7s, but also the last of the CJ series of Jeeps, the round-headlight quarter-ton trucks that launched one of the world’s most recognizable brands. And 40 years later, after many different permutations, sales had slid far enough for parent company AMC to start thinking about a revision to the CJ series. Though development work began on the replacement YJ Wrangler as early as 1982, AMC/Jeep smartly managed to keep news of the CJ-7′s departure quiet until January 1986, just a month before the public introduction of the YJ and four months before the YJ went on sale. Regardless, one California Jeep dealer launched a Save the CJ campaign and – even though the TJ more than made up for the YJ a decade later – Jeepers still don’t seem to have forgiven AMC/Jeep for replacing the beloved CJ. Even Joseph Cappy, then in charge of AMC, noted that “Completion of CJ production will signal an end of a very important era in Jeep history.”
According to Kit Pat Foster, writing in the Standard Catalog of Jeep, there was a Collectors Edition CJ offered, though he doesn’t note how many of the 25,929 1986 CJ-7s came with that package. Obviously, Jeep made no major changes to the CJ-7 or CJ-8 for 1986, even keeping the carbureted version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder while the rest of the Jeep lineup switched to a throttle-body injected version. The 112hp 258-cu.in. six-cylinder remained optional this year as well.
So this week’s selection may be a no-brainer, but we’ll still pose the question: In your garage dedicated to vehicles from 1986, would you make room for a CJ-7 or CJ-8, Collectors Edition or not?