Ralph Lauren may not be known in the off-road world. He made a name for himself designing clothes, but that doesn’t mean he can’t drive a Jeep. In fact, his white 1976 Jeep CJ-5 has spent more time off-road than on.
This classic CJ lived the high life: driving on the sandy beaches of East Hampton, through the snow during the winter months, and around the family’s property. That’s a pretty solid life for a Jeep, however, after more than 30 years of living outside and hauling the family around the salty, sandy beach, the CJ had seen better days.
Cancer was starting to eat through the Jeep in several spots, and it had a worn-out interior and several failing components. But since the engine ran like a dream, Ralph decided to have the Jeep fully restored to its 1976 glory rather than buy a new one—and get it ready for another 40 years of beach life.
Ralph didn’t want the restoration of the CJ-5 to look brand-new, so replacement panels were used to get rid of the rust, a matte white paint was applied to give it that vintage look, the interior was reupholstered with period-correct material, and all the parts that had failed over the years of service were replaced.
Thanks to Ralph’s attention to detail and his eye for what’s appropriate, this CJ-5 should give the next generation of Laurens as many memories as it did when it was brand-new.