World's Lowest-Mileage 1979 Jeep Golden Eagle Comes Out of the Barn After 36 Years

1979 Jeep Golden Eagle barn find 8 photos
Photo: Dennis Collins/YouTube
1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find1979 Jeep CJ Golden Eagle barn find
When it comes to classic Jeeps, the Willys MB, and the CJ-5/CJ-6 are among the most desirable nowadays. The former, thanks to its role in WWII, while the latter is the most capable CJ (Civilian Jeep) and the model that laid the foundation for the Wrangler.
While the MB is somewhat challenging to find in excellent condition since many were lost in battle, the CJ-5 is quite common. That's because the latter remained in production for almost 30 years (1954-1983), during which Jeep built more than 600,000 units. The CJ-7, a longer and slightly more civilized version of the CJ-5, also enjoyed a long production run. Offered from 1976 to 1986, it spawned almost 380,000 units.

With almost one million examples made, these Jeeps are common in the classic car market. Still, some versions are harder to find than others. The Golden Hawk, built only for the 1980 model year, is one of them. Then there's the Golden Eagle, which enjoyed a long production run but became a big hit with Jeep enthusiasts, and it's arguably the most desirable iteration of the CJ-5 and CJ-7.

There are no public records of how many were built from 1977 to 1983, but with so many collectors chasing them, examples in solid condition are hard to find. And that's why I got all excited when classic car prospector Dennis Collins announced he discovered what might be the lowest-mileage example out there.

Unearthed in Talihina, Oklahoma, this Golden Eagle is a 1979 model-year version that spent most of its time in storage. According to the window sticker, it was last registered in 1987, meaning it spent 36 years off the road as of 2023. But what makes things more interesting is the fact that even though it was registered for around eight years, the owner drove it for only 5,518 miles (8,880 km).

Moreover, the vehicle faced those three decades of storage like a champ. The original paint still shines, and the Golden Eagle decals on the hood are in excellent condition. The same goes for the interior, which is not only highly original (save for an aftermarket CB) but also looks almost new. And what I like the most about this Golden Eagle is that the owner ordered it in Morocco Buff over a two-tone tan interior, the best color combo for this limited-edition Jeep in my book.

It also sports gold-tinted windows on the hardtop, an optional (or maybe an aftermarket?) sunroof, and still has all the original documentation. On top of that, the engine under the hood is all-original, complete, and of the numbers-matching variety. If you're unfamiliar with the Golden Eagle, these CJs were fitted with 304-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V8 engines rated at 125 horsepower and 218 pound-feet (296 Nm) of torque.

Sure, the engine no longer runs, and Dennis had to haul the Jeep on a trailer, but it looks like the old AMC-made V8 will fire up with just a bit of work.

Now that it's off to a new home, the 1979 Golden Eagle will reside alongside a 1978 soft-top version from the Dennis Collins collection. Finished in Mocca Brown Metallic, yet another cool Golden Eagle hue, the Jeep you'll see toward the end of the video is also highly original. And it's great to see these old CJs getting the love they deserve.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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