Jeep 101: Jeepster Commando
Copperhead: Rockcrawling Jeepster
Jeepster Commandos are a hot commodity lately, but to paraphrase George Jones, “I was Jeepster before Jeepster was cool.”
Eric Johnson comes by it honestly, with parents who raced a Jeepster back in the 1970s when he was born. He has never known a world without Jeepsters. They’ve been a part of his life since the beginning. In fact, it was his father who found this 1968 Jeepster rotting away in someone’s front yard in Tacoma, Washington. A deal was struck, Eric got a Jeepster of his own, and the Jeep received a new lease on life.
As the service manager at Northridge 4x4, Eric gets plenty of seat time in some of the most capable JKs in the nation. His Jeepster is at the other end of the spectrum, not in terms of capability, but comfort. It has no radio and no top, much less luxuries like cruise control and heated seats. Eric built the Jeep with the help of Rob Boardway at Stainless Brain Fabrication, who bent and welded all of the tube work, crossmembers, suspension mounts, and aluminum body armor. “Basically, all of the cool stuff,” Eric confesses.
We ran into Eric and Rob at King of the Hammers, where they were putting the newly completed Jeepster to the test and having a blast in the process.
Tech Specs1968 Jeep Jeepster Commando C101
Engine: Ford 302ci V-8
Transmission: Ford C4 3-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas II with 4.3:1 low range
Axles: Dynatrac ProRock 60 with 4.88 and ARB Air Locker (front and rear)
Springs & Such: 3-link with ORI struts and Rock Krawler links (front); 4-link with ORI struts and Rock Krawler links (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.50R17 Nitto Trail Grapplers on 17x9 KMC Machete beadlocks
Steering: Saginaw steering box, hydraulic assist ram, GM 1-ton tie-rod ends
Other Stuff: Custom rollcage by Stainless Brain Fabrication, Chris Durham Motorsports hood, Optima YellowTop battery, drivelines by Adam’s Drivelines, Stainless Brain Fabrication aluminum body panels, Corbeau seats, AutoMeter Phantom gauges, Art Carr shifter, Summit Racing Equipment aluminum radiator, 23-gallon fuel cell