Forrest Ely is as much a Jeep Honcho historian as he is an off-road lover. When he sent us the information and story behind his ’80 AMC Jeep Honcho J-10, we quickly realized why as he was quoting old AMC Jeep brochures from the ‘80s. He purposely chose to use period-correct parts for his Honcho, as well as designs made to emulate the desert racing support trucks of its time. Most of the original AMC components have been retained wherever possible with the help of a few new additions. Forrest’s adoration and respect for this old iron is obviously apparent when you look at the detail on this old fullsize Jeep, but that certainly doesn’t mean he doesn’t use it. In fact Forrest recently took first place at a Monster Jam event in the “street warrior” class. Not bad for a classic piece of 4x4 history kept so immaculate that you could eat off it!
Vehicle: ’80 AMC Jeep Honcho J-10 Stepside
Owner: Forrest Ely
Chassis: Boxed ladder frame, spring-under front suspension.
Engine:1972 AMC High Output 360 V-8 from a Javelin. Competition Cams RV Grind with MSD ignition. Hooker Headers coated by Jet-Hot. Custom Fabricated double barrel stainless steel exhaust system with expansion joints and quick disconnects from Julian’s Exhaust.
Drivetrain: Dana 44 front with Warn hubs, AMC Model 30 rear axle. Off Road Unlimited differential covers.
Suspension: 8-inch front, 6-inch rear from BJ’s Off Road, all spring. Dynatrac gold-anodized U- Bolt flip kit, Heckethorn shocks, Energy Suspension bumpstops and polyurethane spring eye kit.
Steering: Crossover with Heckethorn steering stabilizers.
Brakes: Power Stop cross-drilled rotors and brake pads
Tires/wheels: Mickey Thompson Alcoa 15x10 bead lock wheels on 33x12.50R15 BF Goodrich Mud Terrains. (Old-school 15x9 Centerline race wheels are in storage)
Interior: Custom-designed Beard Racing seats in brown velour with yellow and black vinyl accents. Impact four-point racing harnesses attached to custom tubular mounts. MOMO steering wheel.
Other Parts: Custom made Autofab prototype race front fenders, Autofab hood pins, Warn 8,000-pound winch. Odyssey battery mounted in bed, Power Tank CO2 tank, Hi-Lift jack and Craftsman hydraulic jack. Vintage aluminum Olympic Jeep racing bumper on the rear. KC 150-watt Daylighters in stainless steel. Aluminum overflows tanks by BJ’s. 30-gallon auxiliary gas tank, Mile Marker emergency kit, custom bed tire rack and root beer metallic paint.
Favorite Off-Road Area: Surfers and The Wall in El Paso, Texas.