Return Of A Backcountry CJ
Lots of old Jeeps run and run and run. They just keep on serving their owners and taking them places off the beaten path. The 1984 CJ-7 on these pages had done just that, but it was starting to feel worse for wear when owner Frank DeSomma decided the old iron needed a refresh. The 35-year-old body had seen a lot of desert and had taken some rock beatings.
The original plan was to install a new aluminum body and a few upgrades, but the project expanded well beyond that, and the results came out well. Frank is the president of Patriot Ordnance Factory, a premium firearms manufacturer in Glendale, Arizona. He wanted a vehicle with a striking personality, but one he could use on weekends to take out to explore desert trails and carry him to his favorite hunting and sport shooting spots.
For the build, Frank called on the fabrication expertise of Ian Liljeblad and his crew at Random Precision Mfg. (www.rpmfab.com) in Phoenix. They took the Jeep into the shop, scuttled the trail-worn sheetmetal and went about reworking the old 4x4 to make it better than ever. In the end, the Jeep got a new Aqualu body, for sure, but it also got a whole lot more.