After the acquisition of the Jeep® brand by American Motor Corporation (AMC), sales of the Jeepster Commando (C101) grew rapidly in popularity. The Jeepster Commando was the brand’s answer to battle vehicles like the Ford Bronco, International Scout, and Toyota Land Cruiser for 4×4 superiority. However, AMC would soon go to work on a follow-up to the C101 (short for 101-inch wheelbase) to continue to go after the Ford Bronco after 1970.
AMC would drop the “Jeepster” part of the Commando’s name, stretch the wheelbase to 104-inches, and completely redesign the front end to accommodate AMC’s 3.8-liter (232 cubic-inch) and 4.2-liter (258 cubic-inch) I-6 and its 5.0-liter (304 cubic-inch) V8 engines.
But like the muscle car era, sales for the popular off-roaders would drop off rapidly in 1972 as the ongoing oil crisis in the U.S. Jeep would go on to discontinue the Commando after 1973, and would replace the gap left by the Commando in 1974 with the full-size Jeep Cherokee (SJ).
Fast forward to today, the Commando has become a highly sought-after Jeep vehicle for diehard enthusiasts.
This 1972 example, is currently for sale on the popular automotive auction site, BringATrailer.com. It was acquired by the current seller in December 2007 and was refurbished over the following 15 years.
The body has since been replaced with a 1973 body, finished in vivid Gold exterior paint. The vehicle now features a modified hardtop, bulky fender flares, and a lifted suspension sitting over 15-inch Mickey Thompson polished aluminum wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A rubber.
Power comes from a 304 cubic-inch V8, that was rebuilt in September 2014 and now features electronic fuel injection (EFI) and Doug Thorley headers. The 304 is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission and a Dana 20 dual-range transfer case, a Dana 44 rear axle, and a Dana 30 front axle. A 23-gallon Aero-Tank with a skid plate and electronic fuel pump has also been equipped.
Inside, a set of Bestop front bucket seats are upholstered in Gray vinyl with cloth centers and are accompanied by a Black textured floor and body-colored dash and doors. Other amenities include air conditioning, a roll hoop, a center console, a Lokar floor-mounted gear selector, a parking brake, manually-operated windows, lap belts, and sun visors. The radio is not installed, and the Vintage Air climate control occupies the glovebox storage space.
The Commando will be listed until Sunday, December 11th, at 3:10 p.m. EST. For more information, and photos, and to see how to bid on it, you can visit its dedicated BringATrailer.com page.
Nevertheless, the Commando reminds us that Jeep can build some truly awesome off-roaders outside of its Willys-based offerings. Jeep looks to be revisiting the Commando formula soon, now with an electrified powertrain, with its upcoming 2024 Recon (EJ).
1972 Jeep® Commando (C104) 4×4 Image Gallery: