It’s long been my goal to have my car hobby pay for itself, but probably never become a day job. Over five years, Hooniverse has helped towards that goal, but I’m also looking to get into a little more of a hands-on approach. I recently took a friend’s car from non-starting, non-running basket case to decent cheap commuter and made about $1200 in the process. The Missus is encouraging me to roll that forward…
Which is how this ’66 CJ5 caught my eye. Yes, it’s a total basket case. However, the seller’s asking $800. With a negotiated discount, that’s about the part-out-and-scrap value of the collective parts. Meanwhile, a crappy running CJ5 is worth around $3k. This one’s ugly, but has potential to get some attention with the 350 swap and…well…the 350 swap. There’s next to no information about whether that motor’s seized or an afternoon of work away from running. Same with the rest of the drivetrain. Might be little more than a lawn ornament for all we know.
Assuming there’s a salvageable drivetrain in there, the nice part about a rough CJ5 is that expectations are low; more typical cars have failure points like A/C, stereo, doors, windows, glass or a roof, but not here. If I can get it running, turning and stopping, it’s already doubled or tripled in value. While I’m at it I might throw the wheels and tires (and maybe axles) from my Wagoneer under it as an excuse to get new ones. Oh, and I’d need to get a replacement title.
Would it be a well-sorted “buy it and drive it across the country” grade vehicle? No, but it’d be one cool 4×4 saved from the scrapyard and a good starting point for someone else’s fun project driver.
1966 Jeep CJ5 for sale – SF Bay Craigslist