Digestible Collectible: 1978 Jeep Renegade Levi's Edition

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 1978 jeep renegade levis edition

One day, two blue Jeep Renegades. I wonder which will be worth more in ten years. To be fair, I’m trying to compare apples to refrigerators here. The modern Renegade is a commuter appliance with some off-road pretense. The vintage truck here could be used for commuting, but is at home on the trails.

I can’t claim to be a Jeep fan. I live in Midwestern suburbia, where the most difficult terrain I’ll encounter is frost-heaved interstate in April. My weekends are spent hauling kids to sporting events, or occasionally, my golf clubs to the nearest cheap course, rather than hauling a big-tired rig to the forest. I’ve driven a Jeep exactly once, for about an hour, and I came away unimpressed with the on-road manners.

This Jeep, however, is special. Very few survive even ten years without serious modification, let alone thirty seven years. The seller claims this barn-find Renegade Levi’s Edition has never been modified, and by the photos, I can’t dispute that. That little red badge on the fenders might hold the key to collector value someday, too.

The denim seats are a bit cheesy, especially for a vehicle that is quite likely to see rain in the cabin. But unlike other “designer” cars of the Seventies — like the Bill Blass Lincoln or Oleg Cassini Matador — I can see this rolling across a stage at a big auction. I could even see myself owning it. The full-time all-wheel drive and automatic transmission, while less than ideal for hardcore off-road work, would make it palatable for my wife.

The automotive world is full of recycled nameplates, most of which fail to live up to their legendary predecessors. The Jeep legacy comes from decades of dependable service both in the military and for off-road enthusiasts. Modern commuter Jeeps trade on that legacy, and generally fail to live up to it.

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  • Toad Toad on Sep 11, 2015

    An older Jeep Wrangler is a great second car, especially if you want a convertible but don't like little sports cars. Few cars are more fun on a nice day than a dropped top Jeep. As a daily driver, particularly in family duty, a Wrangler makes no sense; it was not designed as a family truckster or commuter vehicle and is a poor choice for that job. But few vehicles will give you more grins than an occasional drive in a topless Jeep.

  • Willyam Willyam on Sep 11, 2015

    The grammar is so bad. My eyes. A "Barn Fine". The FONT and center "un"-justify. I actually scrolled to the bottom first to see if this was a Nigerian scam. It may still be ("Jeep ordered in Nigeria by my uncle who may be related to you as possible millionaire inheritance please kindly provide bank information to verify..."). Still, I am filled to the brim with want. The only thing better would be the Spirit of '76 edition. The object of my childhood Jeep dreams.

  • SCE to AUX "had far more to do with working with Venezuela to ensure freer elections and more international cooperation than expanding anyone’s oil supply"That's double BS - no oil purchase will clean up Venezuela's corruption, and of course the administration wants to see lower gas prices.The US chooses its friends poorly, and this is the latest example.
  • Jkross22 Aren't toy cars by definition those with 2 seats?
  • SCE to AUX Nothing new to see here. Indonesia is already the world's largest nickel producer (30%) at 800 metric tons.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_nickel_productionLiberals don't care because this production advances the EV agenda, and conservatives feign concern only because it's a convenient weapon against the EV agenda.Absolutely nobody cared when the same nickel mines helped produce every other product we have been buying for the last 50 years.
  • FreedMike So...large scale energy production has consequences, no matter what the source. Wouldn't have guessed that in a million years.
  • SPPPP I doubt that the fishermen and locals get any direct benefit from this industrial park. This would be a hardship in any country, but particularly bad in a place with a land-based (or water-based) subsistence economy. You can't just take your fishing skills and move to the city.
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