“No Rancho Yetto”
So possibly just because project Ground-Up is finished we were totally stoked to come across images of another early CJ-5 project taken by Eric Rickman for Hot Rod magazine in 1962. This Jeep, known as the “DeWolf Jeep,” is what our early CJ-5 project could have been if we had done things slightly differently. While the mods on Ground-Up may not be too subtle, our hope was that it would be retro enough to make people do a double-take. How about this vintage CJ-5? Yeah, the mods are very subtle, but they are there. Check out the white walls, full hardtop, and nice Weimaraner.
Here is another shot by Eric Rickman of the subtly modded Jeep. You can see the exhaust that was bolted to the engine with some slick headers that run outside the frame rail—this makes hacking up the fenders unnecessary. You can also see the PTO and early Rancho (aka Studebaker) Overdrive unit on the back of the Spicer 18. Check that teeny tiny rear driveshaft! We can’t see a M38A1 gun mount in this shot, so that makes it more likely that the shackle reversal in the next photo is a custom mod to the early CJ-5 frame.
The First Dauntless?
First thing is the Buick V-6—that’s stock, right? Nope, the first CJ-5s with the Dauntless were built by the Kaiser factory in 1965 for the ’66 year model, not 1962. In other shots by Eric Rickman, there are other subtle indicators like fabricated motor mounts and some kind of home-brew oil filter relocation puck to afford clearance between the oil pump and the front axle.
Here is another shot of the CJ-5 by Eric Rickman. Look for the mods here. We noticed the corner of the license plate above. It says ’56, does that mean it’s a ’56 just like Ground-Up? What else is different here? There is a PTO-driven winch, a steering stabilizer, and this Jeep has shackle reversal. The shackle reversal is not stock unless this is actually a civilized M38A1 with a Civilian dash (visible in other photos) or someone swapped frames under the civi’ sheetmetal. Either way, it’s a cool modification to make this CJ-5 work better off-road. Are those larger-than-stock drum brakes up front?