Will the real Commando please come forward

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
#1
I read the piece about a new Commando above, and will have to say it's cultural appropriation. I have the real Commando, and it's a California car without rust. With AMC taking over the helm of the Jeep line from Kaiser by the 1972 year, their car engineers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make the venerable Jeepster into a Boxy Bronco and Scout look-alike, at least on the longer front clip. They extended the front end of the frame and engine compartment 3 inches to accommodate the longer AMC 258 c.i. I-6. This model, officially called the C-104, lasted only 2 years: 1972-73. Gone were the flat, iconic 7-slat Jeep grill, and the fold down windshield. But the factory made up for their Ford/IHC chase by adding other features like the torquey 5.0 liter, 304 c.i. V-8; the 104 inch wheel base and much sturdier frame with 5 cross members (which was the prequil to the Jeep Scrambler in the next decade), extra long rear springs for a better ride, 12 inch non-power drum brakes (which work very well, whether the engine is running or not), full removable, no leak hard top, with slope back and an actual drop down tailgate, and Saginaw power steering. My buddie's dad bought this car new to ply the sands of Baja in style, which he did, so I know it's entire history. After he was done with it, subsequently, to make this into a sleek, world class off-roader, we had to bulletproof and slightly widen track on the drive train with a Dana 44 front axle with an Eaton Detroit Tru Trac torque biasing limited slip; manual 6-bolt locking hubs; shackle reversal, and steering over; a Dana 60, 35 spline rear axle with full Detroit Locker narrowed from a J-4000; both with 4.10 gears for better highway manners; traded the 3-on-the-tree T-15 transmission over to a creep friendly wide ratio Borg Warner T-18 (6.32:1 low gear); and fitted a Dana 300, all gear driven T-case with a 4:1 TerraLow gear set (with the exceedingly rare Texas pattern case bolt pattern used only in the 1980 Scout) making the final drive in low-low a glacial speed 112:1. It has a full custom roll cage and a springs-over-axle swap. The 5 tires are 36x12.50/15 Super Swampers on 8 inch wide aluminum wheels. It has a Warn 9Ki winch and a back seat. Full custom roll cage; Custom bumpers. The weak part of this rig from the factory was the frame which has been 3-side plated on the front half. Other than that, it's so low tech there is not much to go wrong. It needs a new bench seat cover and a carb overhaul, with assorted dings and one big gash, but this 45 years old veteran is smog exempt. The carbureted V-8 does very well on steep or side angles and has about 70K actual miles on the original engine. This is the original paint. I also have 6 inch wide fender lips that go with this if you need the cute factor. This was used as a chase car during my brother John's (JR) racing days at the King of the Hammers, hence his number on the bulkhead: 427. Here is a short vid showing this rig doing Winch Hill #2 on the Fordyce Jeep trail, about 15 miles from my place: so open my dropbox for this very unexciting crawlfest: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ihbrpikdnugw184/winch_hill1.m4v?dl=0
This is one rare and capable "Glamper" with a lot of best of best, tried and true parts for the time. Only 9500 units were sold in 1973, the last year of the Commando. I have the original window sticker and a 1973 Commando shop manual that goes with it for provenance. I've gotten communiques asking about a swap. No swap. If it doesn't sell, I'll just finish the bodywork, new seat cover, paint, and use it as a winter tractor on our property on the west slope. So, lehmee noh. jefe
 

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