Retro-Flamed Hot Rod 1972 Jeep CJ-7

Hailing from Loveland, Colorado, Bruce Hayward came to the 2019 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive Presented by Jeep driving his Jeep CJ-7. If the burbling rumble of its hopped-up V-8 didn’t announce its arrival first, then the purple-flamed retro paintjob would grab your attention as it passed by. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: There’s just something special about a hot rod-style Jeep.

Mostly built with his own two hands, Bruce’s CJ-7 is powered by a 1972 AMC 360ci V-8 that’s been souped-up with a lopey cam, Ford 2-BBL carb, Edelbrock r4b intake manifold, and MSD ignition system. Backed up by a T-18 tranny and Dana 20 transfer case, the V-8 delivers power to a Cherokee 44 front axle center with 1976 Scout outers and a 1976 Scout rear axle.

A 2-inch custom-built coil suspension system up front and 2 1/2-inch custom dual-shock and leaf-spring system in back swing the mutant transplanted axles. Both carry 4.56-geared ARB Air Lockers that can instantly put the lock on all four 33×12.50R15 Goodyear Wranglers wrapped around 15×10 American Racing wheels.

Bruce Hayward from Loveland, Colorado, joined us for the 2019 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive Presented by Jeep in his CJ-7. It was powered by a built 360ci V-8 with a throaty exhaust note that got it a lot of attention.

Inside the cherry-condition CJ-7 body, you’ll find more simple and classic style in the way of a collection of Auto Meter Phantom gauges mounted in a hinged center dashpanel that can swing down and open for service. An eight-point rollcage was incorporated into the frame. A Ramsey steel-cable winch sits up front, underscored by a clean chrome bumper. Bruce found the main center section of the spare tire rack on eBay, and then he fabricated the swing, stop, and latch for it.

You already know how we feel about Bruce’s Jeep CJ-7. Go ahead and check out all the photos for more details. We think you’ll learn to love it too.

The flamed purple paintjob makes this hot rod Jeep a thing of beauty. It sits on a ’76 Scout rear axle, Cherokee 44 front center with ’72 Scout outers, 15-inch American Racing wheels, and 33-inch Goodyear Wranglers. Bruce picked up the main section of the rear tire carrier used on eBay, and then he fabricated the swing, stop, and latch.

A well-thought-out custom upper shock mount and crossbrace system surround the hopped-up 1972 AMC 360ci V-8. The 360’s rebuild highlights include 0.40-over pistons, a lopey cam, an Edelbrock r4b intake manifold, a Ford 2-BBL carb, and an MSD ignition system. Grown men just stared and listened.

The custom 2-inch coil lift system Bruce built for the nose of his Jeep CJ-7 and the dual-shock 2 1/2-inch leaf-spring lift created for the rear end help give the rig improved wheel travel and articulation, as well as just enough lift to comfortably run 33×12.50 tires.

This view of Bruce’s CJ-7 is a vision of classic and timeless style. The simple chrome bumper, well-maintained and steel cable-filled Ramsey winch, and perfectly appropriate lighting are framed by those beautiful front fenders.

There’s something about the flamed paintjob, visible exhaust collector, and side pipe running down the length of the rocker panel that give you the impression the CJ-7 is making a rumbling noise—even when the engine is not running.

The center instrument panel in the front dash holds a full complement of Auto Meter Phantom gauges, auxiliary switches, status lights, and controls—and it was fabricated with a piano hinge along the bottom, so it can swing down and reveal its backside for service.

Hard Facts
Vehicle: Jeep CJ-7
Engine: 1972 AMC 360ci V-8
Transmission: 1974 T-18
Transfer Case: 1972 Dana 20
Suspension: 2-inch custom coil (front); Black Diamond 2 1/2-inch spring-over axle conversion (rear)
Axles: Cherokee Dana 44 center w/ 1976 Scout outers (front); 1976 Scout rear axle (rear); both w/ 4.56 ARB Air Lockers
Wheels: 15×10-inch American Racing
Tires: 33×12.50R15 Goodyear Wrangler


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