The Jeep® brand's 4x4 leadership continues in the 70's with the introduction of the first full-time 4x4 system. The sporty 2-door full-size Cherokee (SJ) sweeps the 4x4 of the Year awards. Six models help elevate sales to all-time highs.
The AMC Years
In 1969, Kaiser Jeep started a “Jeep® Great Escape” advertising campaign showing the variety of recreational uses of Jeep vehicles. Kaiser Jeep sold the company to American Motors (AMC) in 1970 for approximately $75 million. Four-wheel-drive vehicles were becoming very popular – by 1978, AMC was producing 600 vehicles a day. In 1972, AMC introduced the Quadra-Trac® 4x4 system, the first automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system. In 1976, AMC introduced the CJ-7.
Daring Adventures Begin Here
1970-1984 DISPATCHER JEEP® (DJ)
1974-1987 JEEP® J-10 PICKUP
Honcho means “Boss”
In 1971, the Jeep® Trucks dropped the Gladiator name. Later offerings were called J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch). Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members. The J-10 J-Series pickup truck line included the Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 trim packages.
All trucks shared the same body design as the Jeep® Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward, and were offered with traditional slab-sided or step-side bodies. The 10-4 trim package was produced from 1974-1983. The1978 package consisting mostly of color choices and detailing, the 10-4 package also offered an optional, factory-installed CB radio.
The Honcho included gold striping on the bedside, fenders and tailgate, wide 8x15-inch spoker wheels and off-road tires, Levi’s denim interior, and sport steering wheel. The Laredo package replaced the Honcho in 1983. Produced in 1977-1983, the 1977 Golden Eagle package included a grille guard, driving lamps, pick-up bed roll bar, eight-inch wheels, Levi’s seats, accent stripes and an eagle hood decal – all for a $749 premium.
1974-1987 JEEP® J-20 PICKUP
1955-1983 JEEP® CJ-5 UNIVERSAL
1972-1983 JEEP® CJ-5 RENEGADE
Special Edition 4x4s
Renegade models typically featured a 304-cubic inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels, and a Trac-Lok® limited slip rear differential. For 1976 AMC reintroduced the “Super Jeep” (also offered in 1973). This unique CJ-5 featured special striping on the hood and seats, chrome front bumper, roll bar, 258 OHV inline six, black rubber lip extensions on the fenders, and oversize Polyglas white-walled tires.
1975-1983 JEEP® CHEROKEE (SJ)
1975-1978 JEEP® CHEROKEE CHIEF (SJ)
In January of 1975, the Cherokee Chief was introduced. The Wide-Track option was available with key upgraded interior and exterior features: exterior stripes, larger wheels, three-inch-wider axles, larger front and rear wheel cutouts, Dana 44 front and rear axles, and a nicer interior. The package retailed for $349 more than the “S” model.
1976-1986 JEEP® CJ-7
In 1978, Mark Smith who is widely known as the father of modern four-wheeling, took a group of 13 modern explorers from Tierra del Fuego, Chile to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in their Jeep® CJ-7 4x4s. The 21,000-mile trip took 122-days to complete and included a remarkable crossing through the Darien Gap, a stretch of hostile jungle that had only once before been crossed by the British military in 100 days with the loss of eight men. Smith and his men crossed the Darian Gap in 30 days lost no one.