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Super Rare 1971 Jeep Commando Hurst Spent Decades in Storage, Needs To Be Saved

Introduced in 1948, the original Jeepster was retired after only three years in production. The nameplate was revived in 1966 as the Jeepster Commando, a small two-door SUV that Kaiser-Jeep developed to compete with the Ford Bronco and the International Scout.
1971 Jeep Commando Hurst 16 photos
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Originally offered with the Hurricane four-cylinder (75 horsepower) and the Dauntless V6 (160 horsepower), the Commando gained a pair of inline-six mills and a V8 in 1971, when AMC took over. While the latter was rated at 210 horsepower, the Commando was never advertised as a performance SUV.

However, Jeep attempted to spice things up with a limited-edition Hurst model. Yup, you probably remember Hurst for the iconic shifter and the beefed-up Oldsmobiles of the late 1960s, but the Pennsylvania-based company worked with other carmakers too. Notable vehicles include the 1969 AMC SC/Rambler and the 1970 Chrysler Hurst 300.

The Commando is one of those forgotten vehicles that were sent to Hurst for accessories and stripes. Unlike some Hurst-modified muscle cars, the Jeep didn't get a boost in the performance department, but it looked the part thanks to red and blue stripes over a white body, a hood scoop, and wider wheels.

Built for the 1971 model year only, the Commando Hurst is extremely rare. Even though Jeep projected a production run of 500 units, Hurst put together notably fewer examples. The exact number is unknown, but most experts agree that only a little more than 100 Hurst-prepped Jeeps arrived in showrooms.

The rusty Commando you're looking at is one of those SUVs. And it needs a new loving home and an owner that will restore it to its former glory.

This rare classic surfaced in South Carolina, and based on the way it looks, it spent quite a few decades in storage. And yes, it's missing the Hurst hood scoop, and there are no photos of the shifter, but there are traces of white paint, and it still rocks "Hurst" badges above the front fenders.

Sadly, the SUV appears to be in poor condition. While all that surface corrosion isn't necessarily an issue, it does have a few rust holes that need to be fixed. Fortunately, the undercarriage appears to be in better condition.

The seller believes that the Commando still has its original engine and transmission, but he doesn't provide photos of them. These Jeeps came equipped with the company's optional, 225-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) V6 rated at 160 horsepower. The radiator is missing, as is the 8,000-rpm tach that Hurst mounted in the hood scoop. The engine has not been turned over, but it most likely needs a rebuild to run.

All told, this Commando needs a full frame-off restoration that will probably require a rather big investment. How valuable are these Jeeps? Well, I've seen at least one survivor in excellent condition go for $25,000, so they're not exactly expensive.

Restoring this hauler might not bring a profit, but it would make for a cool showpiece that will stand out among other Hurst vehicles. The SUV is being auctioned off by eBay seller "gr8topsparts" and bidding has reached only $2,800 with almost three days to go. The reserve hasn't been met.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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