Rick and Jennifer Connerly have enjoyed 'wheeling for a lot of years and lay claim to this striking Scrambler and two other Jeeps back home in Ormond Beach, Florida. They have a '82 CJ-5 and a '82 CJ-7 that are both orange, as well. We like the bright, coppery color and it seems somehow fitting for a state heavily draped in citrus.
Rick started the CJ-8 build nearly four years ago beginning with a bare '81 frame and body he bought from a friend. From there, he decided to build another rig that would have a longer wheelbase and the ability to tackle anything from sand dunes and deep mud to the rocks he seeks north of his home state. A few starting components, many more parts, and a lot of hard work has yielded a sweet lifted and bobbed trail Jeep.
We ran into Rick up in Tennessee and took a quick liking to his freshly completed project. When we hopped in for a ride, a glance at the odometer showed it had a mere 77 miles on the clock. It was clean and new, so we shot some photos before he hit the trail for its first real run and started putting some dirt on it. By the end of the weekend, the new Scrambler had seen some spring snow, mud, rocks, and a couple of river crossings. Not a bad shakedown run at all.
Vehicle: 1981 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
Owner: Rick and Jennifer Connerly
Hometown: Ormond Beach, Florida
Engine: GM Ram-Jet 350 V-8
Transfer Case: Dana 300
Low Range Ratio: 4:1
Front End: Dana 60
Rear End: Dana 60
Ring And Pinion: 5.38:1
Front Differential: ARB Air Locker
Rear Differential: Spool
Suspension: Front spring-over conversion with 2 1/2-inch lift Alcan Spring leaf packs; Rear spring-under with 8 1/2-inch lift Alcan Spring leaf packs
Tires: 42-inch Interco Super Swamper TSL
Wheels: 17x9 Spyderlocks