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The Rarest CJ-7 Ever Built &
One of the Rarest Jeeps of All Time


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The Jambo Definition


Jim Alexander (1929-2006)

The Jambo was designed by James "Jim" W. Alexander (1929-2006). Thank you, Jim! You can see Jim's signature at the bottom of the Product Direction Letters (PDLs) shown below.

As shown in the PDL below and also available here, the Jambo was born on November 20, 1981. Thank you to Jim Allen for providing this letter! During this meeting Jeep, decided to offer a CJ-7 Special Promotional Package called the "Jamboree" to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Jeepers Jamboree, which began in 1953.

As this PDL details, the basis for the Jambo was the CJ-7 Soft Top, to which several unique components would be added. The Jambo was to be available beginning April 1, 1982.

The PDL clearly specifies that all the Jambos would be painted Topaz Gold Metallic and include Laredo-style seats with gold inserts, instead of the Laredo-silver, to match the gold paint.






This single color and commemorative dash plaque matches the approach taken for the 1979 CJ-5 Silver Anniversary, just three years earlier, with the exception that the Jambo was to be given a serial production number and not just a special dash emblem.

The Silver's were painted Quicksilver Metallic (8C), which was not used for any other CJs.

So, both the Jambo and the Silver were given a unique paint color that was never used on any other CJ. This is important because it helps to verify authanticity.

The package would also include Jamboree decals, a special Jamboree spare tire cover, and a commemorative plaque mounted on the instrument panel (I.P.).

Importantly, the Jambos were to be batch built and serialized via the dash plaque, from number 1 to 2500. As we now know, Jeep would only produce about 650 Jambos, making it the rarest CJ-7 and one of the rarest Jeeps of all time.
Jambo PDL1
Jambo PDL 2a 
On January 27, 1982, Jeep modified the definition of the Jambo as detailed in the PDL to the left or available here Thank you to Jim Allen for providing this!

The changes added a black center console and tilt steering. Both of these changes made the Jambo conform to the Laredo specs.

Jeep also decided to eliminate the option of air conditioning (AC). They did so, because the CJ AC was under the dash. This required relocating the ash tray to the instrument panel. When Jeep did this on other CJs, the ash tray went right where the Jambo commemorative plaque went. Therefore, Jeep eliminated AC as an option for the Jambo. You can read more about this here.

You would rather have an AC than an ash tray? Well, maybe you can drive your sister's Suzuki Samurai. :-)

Jeep also eliminated a full-size spare tire because the special Jambo tire cover would only fit the small polyspare.
 
With these changes, the Jambo was defined as detailed in the chart below and available here. Thank you to Jim Allen for providing this! As you can see, on the exterior, all Jambos were to come standard with Topaz Gold Metallic paint, Jamboree hood lettering, chrome wheels, chrome bumpers/bumperettes, black soft top, black rocker trim, and special Jamboree spare tire cover.

Jambo PDL 2b 

On the interior, Jambos had special black bucket seats with gold inserts (front and rear), center console, black floor and wheelhouse carpeting, black padded roll bar, saddle bags, and special plaque denoting the production number mounted on the instrument panel.

Jambos also came standard with the 258 CID 6-cylinder engine (a $150 upgrade from the 4-cyl), 5-speed manual transmission ($199 upgrade from 4-speed), power steering ($229 upgrade), power disc brakes ($99 upgrade), 20-gal fuel tank ($49 upgrade from 15-gal), tachometer & rally clock ($96), Marchal fog lamps, tilt steering, heavy-duty battery ($47), heavy-duty alternator ($59), heavy-duty cooling ($49), heavy-duty suspension ($103), Trac-Lok rear differential ($219), and P235/75R15 Wrangler Radials ($722). Here is the window sticker for #0555 that shows the prices of these upgrades.

The following options were not available from the factory: AC, conventional spare tire, non-chrome wheels, and factory installed radios.

At some point, Jeep appears to have clarified that a hard top was an available option ($445 upgrade). This is handwritten in the chart above. We don't know when this handwritten change was made. The hard top was to be black with gray-tone glass, like the Laredo. Many Jambos have hard doors. These could have been accompanied by a hard top or a soft top (an iron sides setup). Here is a picture of Topaz Gold Metallic CJ-7 from the 1983 accessories catalog. This is clearly based on a Jamboree without hood lettering and includes a hard top.

It also appears that AC was ultimately made available, since this handwritten change was made. 82jambo.com suspects that this change was not made until after the initial batch of about 425 Jambos was produced (after #0450). Thus, Jambos through about #0450 may have all conformed to the standard above and were painted Topaz Gold Metallic, had manual transmissions, and did not include AC. However, we do know of at least one Jambo under #0450 (#0176) that came with a hard top.

After #0450, we believe Jeep allowed AC and even produced some automatics. Just how many automatics were produced is uncertain, but we believe it was fewer than 22 (19 Gold and 3 White).

Notice in the above chart that the Jambo was to be painted Topaz Gold Metallic (2H), which was referred to as the Wagoneer Color. This is because the only Jeep vehicle that could be painted gold prior to the Jambo was the Wagoneer. The Jambo is the only CJ to have ever been painted Topaz Gold. 

This chart also specifies that the Jambos were to have Black Rocker Panel Molding, as with the Renegade and Laredo. The 1982 Jeep sales brochure does not specify the color or Renegade molding. However, it does state that the Laredo's had black rocker molding in 1982. Every CJ pictured in this brochure, even the Renegade and the Scrambler, has black rocker molding.

The Decor Group included rocker panel molding, sports steering wheel (not leather wrapped), front frame cover, and instrument panel overlay.

The table above does not list the Convenience Group, which was standard on the Laredo. The Convenience Group included tachometer and rally clock, hood insulation, heavy-duty shocks, and spare wheel lock. Since the tach, clock, and shocks (H.D. suspension) are included in the chart above, we do not believe Jambos came with hood insulation or a spare wheel lock.

The Jambo

This is a Jeep marketing photo of Jambo #2000. It appears in the Jambo brochure. We do not believe this was actually #2000. The brochure is dated 3/82 and this picture was probably taken during the initial run of Jambos, which were produced between February and March 1982. So, this Jambo was mostly like numbered below #0450, but a #2000 plaque was installed for pictures.

Notice that it is equipped as detailed above. This Jambo also includes the following dealer-installed options: Ramsey Model 2001 Electric Winch and with Roller Guide Mounting Kit (not the Warn winch), Over Windshield Light Mounting Bar with Off-Road Driving Lights (Marchal 859s), Brush Guard (relocating factory-installed Marchal 850 fog lights), and a Grille Guard. As shown in the Jambo sales brochure, this Jambo also included the AM/FM/CB and dual radio speakers.

Jambo 2000 Picture

Notice the color of this Jambo is a bit different than the one shown on the brochure. We believe this is just because of the poor quality print sent to 82jambo.com by Chrysler.

The dash of #2000 is below. Notice the Rally Clock to the left of the steering wheel, as in the Laredo. The AM/FM/CB is clearly visible, as is the mounting location of the CB mic. If you look very closely you can see the top of the ash tray (painted black), just to the left of the gear shift. Also, notice the steering wheel and the grab bar. The Jambo came with the soft-feel steering wheel, not the leather-wrapped Laredo steering wheel. In addition, the grab bar is just a basic grab bar, not the Laredo leather-wrapped one.

Jambo 2000 Dash

Here is the flyer provided to dealers that lists the Jambo equipment:

Notice that this only lists Topaz Gold Metallic as the color option. As detailed above, all Jambos were supposed to be Topaz Gold Metallic, but a decision to add white was made about two-thirds of the way through the production run.

Jambo Equipment

Interestingly, the 1983 accessories catalog features a Topaz Gold Metallic CJ-7 on the front without the Jambo lettering. This catalog came out in July 1982, which is just at the end of the Jambo production run and the end of the 1982 model year. The basis for this catalog must have been a picture of Jambo #2000 without the Jamboree lettering.

Here is a picture of that "Jambo". Notice the Jambo seats and Jambo optional equipment. The only non-Jambo items are the running boards, the passenger-side mirror, and the chrome grille overlay. This Jambo is missing the very cool Marchal stone guards for the Marchal 850 fog lights (on bumper) and the Marchal 859 driving lights (on light bar).

For more detail on Jambo parts and equipment, please click here.

 
 
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