I live in the country, and from the time I was a kid, I always thought that there wasn’t anything much cooler than an old Jeep running around town. I always had definite ideas on what I would do to a Jeep if ever given the opportunity, so to the purist; my Jeep may make a few lips curl. However I came from a hot rod and show car family, so the fact that my project gravitated that direction is not surprising. I bought it about 8 years ago, basically in a box, but with the sales pitch that is was all there and just needed to be assembled. The idea was to put this thing together and have a cool little buggy to run around in. Well that was the idea, but after getting into the project it became painfully obvious that “it just needed to be put together” was a little misleading, and what was done, was pretty poorly done, to the point of being unsafe. I knew better, but that’s how I justified buying it, we’ve all done that right? So deeper into the teardown I went until I was pretty much at the point of a body off restoration. Now you can’t be down this far and not clean and paint before reassembly, right? After shelving the project for several years, I decided to get to it, and what better time to put in some of my childhood ideas, and make this thing just the way I wanted it. Knowing I was going to put a small block chevy in it was no big deal, everybody’s done that. But what I hadn’t seen much of, and always thought would be cool, was to have 8 lug, 1 ton running gear in it. I don’t mean slap a couple of wide differentials out of a truck under this thing. I mean cut these things down to as close to stock CJ width as possible. Obviously there is much more to it, but here is the result. I call it my little Tonka on steroids. My wife and I joke that it’s our little beater to run around in, like was originally intended. As usual, I’ve ventured far from traditional.
Engine: 350 chevy, Dart heads & Intake, Comp Cam, Rockers & Girdles, Scat Crank & Rods, 11:1 compression, 4 spd, Dana 60 front, Dana 70 rear. Design, Fabrication, and Built at home by owners Matt and Karen Chapman.
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