When you see the name Jeep, what comes to mind? Woods, mountains, mud, and off-road trails most likely flash in your mind’s eye. Adventure also comes to mind, I’m sure. Now, combine the Jeep name with the CJ-7 model, which was in production from 1976-1986. You’re probably thinking of an old, yet lovingly cared for Jeep slowly crawling over rocks, modified with large off-road wheels and a winch.
So, when I tell you that an old Jeep CJ-7 model is probably the fastest drag-ready Jeep currently built, you most-likely just spit out your beverage of choice. It’s okay, when I first heard about it I said, “oh look, someone else modded a Grand Cherokee SRT Hellcat.” Then I did further investigating and discovered this drag-ready beast was actually a CJ-7 model.
I just had to write about it…
Far From Stock Performance
Obviously, this drag-ready Jeep is a vehicle that’s far from stock performance. For owners of these cool, but weathered vehicles, you know it’s a good day when your old CJ-7 with a 258 cu. in. (4.2-liter) engine doesn’t blow-up when you take it over 30 mph.
Now, imagine that same CJ-7 with a highly modified 6.55-liter Ford V8 under the hood with an 88mm turbo bolted on. You’d say that was absurd, right? I’d have to agree. But clearly, it’s possible. Because that’s what this drag-ready CJ-7 has, and it’s able to do an 1/8 of a mile run in 5.2 seconds. Holy. Crap.
That’s not just stupidly fast for a Jeep, that’s just fast in general. While we don’t know the horsepower that’s produced by this modified eight-cylinder, it clearly has to be a decent amount if it propels a CJ-7 that fast down the drag strip. This is only backed by the fact that it pops a wheelie at the starting line when the driver stuffs the pedal to the metal.
Obviously, it wasn’t just the engine that was modified. This was a whole transformation, and given that the CJ-7 has the aerodynamic proportions of a box, a lot of bodywork had to be done.
It started with a major weight loss, resulting after replacing parts of the body with composite materials like fiberglass. The interior is also entirely gutted, home to only the driver’s bucket seat, digital instrument cluster, and quick-release steering wheel. The top has been entirely removed, and in it’s place is a roll cage. That’s right: no roof or wheelie bar. Totally makes the driver a badass.
A parachute has also been tagged onto the back, which is actually an accessory that’s used on the drag strip and in Jeep’s history. Remember, the Willy’s MB model was parachuted onto the battlefield via plane.
In true drag-ready style, the CJ-7 has massive back tires thrown on it, and it looks like the front tires are stock size. Or just slightly bigger than stock. Either way, the difference in front and back tire size is enough to give it that jacked-up dragster stance.
Sure, the CJ-7 was meant for low and slow off-road crawling. With enough modifications though, it appears that it’s a drag car as well. Who would’ve thought?