Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let the Eagle soar!

I was poking around the furthest backwaters of Central Pennsylvania near a nuclear power plant when I passed by what seemed to be an forgotten old gas station of repair shop still stocked with vehicles. I parked very conspicuously in an attempt to not come across as a vandal and started exploring. Stuck in the side of a tree was this old brown dog:
This is a 1979 Jeep SJ Cherokee in Alpaca Brown Poly with the Golden Eagle trim package. Rough and abandoned as it is I bet you could get this running with a battery, some gas, and 20 minutes tinkering. This is a utilitarian beast!
The Cherokee was the 2 door version of the Jeep Wagoneer which debuted as an instant classic in 1964. Both the Wagoneer and Cherokee shared most components and were produced in tandem from the Cherokee launch in '74 through '83 when the models separated.
This beast is loaded to the gills with late '70s Malaise-era styling cues: big decals with both lettering and imagery, square headlights, not to mention it's brown as can be!
Look at this vaguely tribal Golden Eagle on the hood like an off-road version of the Firebird from Pontiac! Motion lines surround the outer edge in '70s colors. I was snooping pretty hard in the parking lot of a long-closed repair shop by a busy country road otherwise I would've held those branches back for a better view. I was half expecting to be run off the property any second.
AMC had a penchant for using lower case letters in this gentle font. Even the Gremlin had only a capital G when most automakers either use all caps or frilly script. I'm afraid golden eagle has seen its fair share of salty winter roads from the tattered rocker panels.
Oh yeah that's it; LAST CALL for this wheel well which is poised to become an open door to the inside any second. Those '70s Wagon Wheels are great for rugged off-road trucks of this era.
Inside it's not really discernible but the upholstery is tan Levi's denim along the lines of the Levi's Gremlin I posted recently. To the right of the3 radio you can see a small black rectangle which is the clock. Below that is the large centrally-located glove compartment. 
The tailgate's either been replaced or spray painted over as it's missing its wicked striping. That chrome ball sticking out of the drivers side rear was likely a CB antenna which was all the rage in the late '70s.
The cardboard headliner is crying out for some good old fashioned duct tape.
We'll leave this eagle in its nest at the top of a mountain in PA. Old Jeeps are like the original VW Beetles; they rot away to smithereens given half the chance but chances are you could get this thing fired up and drive it away if you wanted to. This era of larger 4x4 hasn't really taken off in the collector market yet so there are bargains to be had. The mechanicals are identical to trillions of AMC products spanning several years so keeping one going would be a piece of cake. Find a decent frame & body and you're off!
Oh and by the way you're very welcome

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