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

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Jambo Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers (if we know them) about the Jambo. If you have a new question or an answer please email  jambo152@82jambo.com.

How can I tell if I have a real Jambo?

No listing complete listing of Jambo VINs is known to exist. We are, however, trying to compile one. Therefore, it is not possible to tell if you have a Jambo by looking at the VIN.  However, the key identifier for the Jambo is a trim code of 1EN. This code is located on the firewall above the VIN. Here is the page from the 1982 CJ Technical Service Manual that decodes the trim code.

1 = Black interior

E = Bucket seats

N = Gold insert purse straps (the Jambo gold seat straps)

 In addition, the paint code should be 2H or 9B.

If you have a potential Jambo, please send an email to jambo152@82jambo.com. Please include a picture of the Jeep, a picture of the dash plaque, and a picture of the VIN tag. We will compare this tag to our VIN database of known Jambos.

What does the VIN tell you?

Here is an example VIN: 1JCCN87E0CTxxxxxx. Here is a breakdown of the first five characters:

1 = USA (no other option)
J = Jeep (no other option)
C = MPV (E = Export LHD, F = Export RHD, MPV=Multi-purpose vehicle)
C = 258 ci engine (must match)
N = 5 speed (E=Auto Transmission, N=5-Speed Manual)

Since all Jambo's came with a 258 ci engine, your fourth digit must be a C. 

Here is a breakdown of the next five:

87 = CJ-7 (must match)
E = 4,150 pounds gross vehicle weight
0 = Check number
C = 1982 (must match)
T = Toledo (no other option)

So, your VIN must have an 87E-CT, where the "-" is a placeholder for the check number. 

The last six digits are the sequential serial number.

So, your VIN must have the following: 1JCCN87E-CTxxxxxx or 1JCCE87E-CTxxxxxx. The trouble is that almost any 1982 CJ-7 will have one of these two set of characters.

If you want more detail, here are some useful a link to a useful VIN decoders:

1981 - 1986

1972 - 1980

How many Jambos were produced?

According to the original marketing material, 2500 Jamborees were scheduled for production (the 1982 Jamboree Brochure shows #2000). We are certain that no where near 2500 were actually produced. Take a look at the Jambo Registry. Out of  nearly 130 Jambos none is over #0751. This would be very surprising if 2500 were actually produced. 82jambo.com believes that around 650 Jambos were actually produced and fewer than 250 are still in existence--maybe only 50 with the original equipment.

We are in the process of collecting VIN numbers for each Jambo on this site. This will allow us to create a plot of Jambo Plaque Number against Production Number. Please email jambo152@82jambo.com if you have a Jambo and want to check the VIN. Please include a picture of the Jeep, a picture of the dash plaque, and a picture of the VIN tag. We will compare this tag to our VIN database of known Jambos.

When were the Jambos produced?

We are trying to figure this out. We currently estimate that production began around February 18, 1982 and ended my mid-July of that year. You can read more about this on the Jambo Production page. You can help us pin down the production date by reading this.

What color were the Jambos?

According to the internal Jeep Product Direction Letter that defined the Jambo, they were supposed to be Topaz Gold Metallic (2H). However, after the initial run of about 450 Jambos, Jeep produced Olympic White (9B) Jambos. Both colors are mentioned in the 1982 Jamboree Brochure. 82jambo.com estimates that about 80 white Jambos and 570 gold Jambos were produced.

According to the 1982 Jeep Brochure, only Wagoneers could also be ordered in Topaz Gold Metallic, meaning that no other CJ could be this color. The Topaz Gold Metallic Jambos are the only gold CJs ever produced. Here is the
1982 Color sheet.

Which color is more valuable?

That is a hard question. We present three arguments below: One for Topaz Gold Metallic, one for Olympic White, and one against Olympic White:

The Argument for Topaz Gold Metallic Jambos
The only Jeep CJ that has ever been painted metallic gold is the Topaz Gold Metallic (2H) Jambo. In fact, Jeep only offered gold paint in three other years: Butterscotch Gold (490, 1972-1973) and Autumn Gold (1D, 1981). So, a gold Jambo will definitely stand out. It should be the only gold CJ around. Someone who knows Jeeps will know right away that your gold Jambo is unique.

So, while there are more Topaz Gold Metallic Jambos, perhaps around 200, that is only 200 gold CJs out of nearly 380,000
CJ-7s that were produced. In addition, the gold Jambos can be compared to the promotional material, which is nice for shows or showing off. There are no known factory pictures of the White Jambo. Finally, the Topaz Gold Metallic paint just looks great and matches the seats!

The fact that only about 570 gold Jambos were produced, makes it the rarest CJ-7 ever produced and one of the rarest Jeeps of all time. 600 '71 Renegade IIs were produced, in four colors. The Jambo is more rare than the '79 Silver Anniversary CJ-5. In addition, the Jambos are numbered, which makes it is easier to confirm authenticity.

The Argument for Olympic White Jambos
The Olympic White Jambo (9B) is more rare than the gold (only about 80 were made) and only appears above plaque numbers of around #0450. Jeep made the decision to offer the white Jambo about two-thirds of the way through the production run. Perhaps this was done to increase sales. Jeep sales were down nearly 50% in 1982 from previous years and this also hurt Jambo sales (the Jambo was expensive). We estimate that around 80 white Jambos were produced. This puts it in the same rarity class as the 1971 Riverside Red Renegade II. So, in terms of rarity, it is hard to beat the Olympic White Jambo.

The Argument against Olympic White Jambos
Because the Olympic White Jambo was introduced later, there are fewer of them. However, other CJs were painted white. In fact, white is always one of the most popular colors, with around 25% of automobiles being white. So, there could be 75,000 to 100,000 white CJ-7s. There were probably around 6000 white CJ-7s produced in 1982 alone. In this sense, the Olympic White Jambo is not very unique--It is a white Laredo with gold seats. In addition, Jeep produced white Jeeps for many years: Alpine White (G7, 1975-1979) and Olympic White (9B, 1981-1985).

In addition, and we think most importantly, the white paint removed the primary trim option (and the Jambo was only a trim package) that defined the Jambo to begin with (the paint was supposed to match the seats). What if Jeep produced a few 1979 Silver Anniversary CJ-5s in Mandarin Orange (9W)? Would that make the orange ones more valuable? Maybe.

How much are Jambos worth?

If you are thinking of buying a Jambo, the first thing you need to understand is that the Jamboree was mostly a trim package--only cosmetics. This included the paint, seats, wheels, bumpers, roll bar pad, and the dash plaque. The Jambo did include tilt steering, an over-sized fuel tank, heavy-duty suspension, heavy-duty cooling, and heavy-duty charging.

A Jambo that has been painted another color and is missing the seats is no longer a Jambo. The paint needs to be Topaz Gold Metallic (2H) or Olympic White (9B). Of course, the paint must match the paint code of the VIN plate. 

Here is an estimate of the costs if you want to get a modified Jambo back to being a Jambo:

Paint--$3000 to $5000
Jambo Seats -- Nearly impossible to find originals, reproductions will run around $2000
Bumpers -- NOS front bumpers are about $1000, reproductions are $350
Bumperettes -- OEM bumperettes are around $200
Rocker guards -- Very hard to find good ones, if you do, they around $250 to $500 (NOS will run $800+)
Wheels -- OEM wheels are hard to find and will cost around $500-$750, properly dated wheels will be even harder to find
Removing lifts -- $1000
Changing engine -- $3000
Replaceing transmission -- $2500

Changing the differentials further decreases the value. Adding a new stereo does not increase the value--especially if the dash was cut.

So, in short, buying a Jambo that has been repainted, is missing seats, bumpers, rocker guards, and wheels, is an expensive proposition. If it has been repainted, you are essentially looking at a base CJ-7.

Are Jambos more valuable than the '79 Silver Anniversary?

That is another difficult question. Based on current market prices, the answer is no. There are two things that determine the value of a collector car: rarity and desirability.

Fewer Jambos were produced that Silvers (650 vs 1000). So, it should be more rare. In fact, the supply of Silvers should be about 50% greater than Jambos.

In terms of desirability, the Renegade name is known to the masses--even non-Jeep people. And, it is a cool name--maybe cooler than Jamboree. In addition, the Silvers were produced when the 302 ci (V8) was still available. Though, Silvers could come with any engine, many seemed to come with the V8. Today, this is attractive to collectors, though there is little doubt the 258 ci straight-six is a much better off-road engine, given its superior low-end torque.

82jambo.com believes the Jambo should be more attractive to collectors than the Sliver for the following reasons:

1. Fewer Jambos were produced. You can read about that here.

2. The Jambo is easier to authenticate. Silvers are much easier to fake.

a. The Topaz Gold Metallic (2H) Jambos, at least, came with a paint color that was not used on any other CJ, ever. And, it is a color that not even commonly offered in another variant (gold paint was only available in 1972-73 and 1981, but this was not Topaz Gold or even metallic). The Silver was painted Quicksilver Metallic (8C). Jeep offered many different silver metallic paints through the years. Even in 1979 they offered Arrowhead Silver Metallic (9J). You can read out the paint here.

 For example, is this a '79 Silver Anniversary?

No, its a CJ-7, but it looks looks like a Silver Anniversary.

What about this one?

It defeinately looks like one. It's '79 CJ-5, but the VIN tag is missing. How do you know its a real Silver Anniversary?

Or, maybe this one?

It looks like one and it does have the a Silver Anniersary VIN tag, but check out the roll bar. That is not a late-model 1979 roll bar. It should slant down to the floor, not the wheel wells (see above picture).

b. The Jambos were numbered and we can relate this number to the VIN. The Jambo is the only Jeep vehicle to ever have been numbered. You can't fake a Jambo with just paint and decals. You can't even fake a Jambo with just paint, decals, and a reused VIN tag or reused badge. The VIN and the badge number need to match.

Silvers do not have that advantage. You can paint a 1979 CJ-5 (needs to be late-model year with new roll bar) 8C and put on some Renegade decals and try to pass it off as a Sliver. Real Jeep guys will know to check the VIN tag, but even then the tag could be taken off another Silver. We believe there has been at least one fake Silver for sale on eBay in the last few years. You can read about the Jambo VIN-badge relationship here.

c. The Jambos had more unique trim package features than the Silver. The Silver had unique seats, color (if you can tell the difference between Arrowhead Silver Metallic and Quicksilver Metallic), tire cover, and dash emblem that was not numbered. The Jambo had unique seats, paint that was more unique, tire cover, roll bar padding, saddle bags, and several unique dealer-installed options including AM/FM/CB, Ramsey winch, brush/grille guard, and Marchal fog/driving lights. You can read more about the parts here.

3. The Jambo has a richer history. The Jambo was named in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Rubicon trail. Several Jambos were driven on the Rubicon during the 30th Anniversary event. We have pictures of Jambos on the trail. We have many articles featuring the Jambo in 1982 and talking about its special features. You can read more about the history here.

Did the Jambo have a full-size spare?

No. According to the 1982 Jeep Brochure, the CJs came with a P225/75D15 Polyspare. CJs came with a spare tire cover to match the top. However, Jambos came with a very special spare tire cover, as shown in the Jambo Sales Brochure. Try finding one of these! You can read more about the spare tire here.

What was the original rear-end gear ratio?

According to the 1982 Service Specifications, the 2.73 was standard on all CJs. Capt. Pete's window sticker also lists the 2.73 as standard. Jim Allen lists the 2.73 as standard, but the 3.54 and 3.73 as options. We believe this to be a mistake.

Did any Jambos come with a V8?

No. Jeep stopped offering the V8 in CJs after 1981. The Jambos came stock with the 258 I6, which, according to this window sticker, was a $150 upgrade from the 151 ci 4-cyl. See the 1982 Jeep Brochure for detail.

Did the Jambo have a hard top?

According to the internal Product Direction Letter that defined the Jambo (thank you to Jim Allen for providing this), the basis of the Jamboree package was a CJ-7 Soft Top to which a group of selected options were applied. This included Topaz Gold Metallic exterior color, package identifier decals, Jambo tire cover, Laredo seats with gold inserts replacing sliver, and the Jambo commemorative plaque. Later Jeep added a console and tilt steering. 

So, a hard top was not originally part of the Jambo package definition. However, as shown in this internal chart, later it appears that Jeep decided to offer a hard top as an option. This hard top was supposed to have gray tone glass like the Laredo. Many Jambos came with hard doors. These could have been iron sides (soft top) or with a hard top.

How much did the Jambo cost?

According the Capt. Pete's window sticker the original cost was $11,449. That is over $30,000 in today's dollars. The Jambo option appears to have added $3,185 (around $8,500 in today's dollars) to the base price of $7,765. This is 40% increase over the base price.

Did the Jambo have chrome or black rocker trim?

The official sales brochure shows black rocker trim. In addition, the internal Product Direction Letters clearly state black rocker trim. However, nearly all Jambos that we know of have what appears to be clear anodized aluminum rocker guards. That is because they have faded over the last 34 years! They are supposed to be black. For more on this topic click here.

How was the limited supply of Jambos allocated?

We are not sure. We believe that #0001-0030 were held out and produced later, possibly for special dealers. Some other Jambos, appear to have been specially numbered.

What happened to all of the Jambos?

That is what we are trying to figure out! See the Jambo Registry.

Is there a list of Jambo VIN numbers?

Not as far as we know. We have contacted Chrysler and asked for records. They claim that all Jeep records were thrown out when Chrysler purchased Jeep.

We are in the process of collecting VIN numbers for each Jambo on this site. This will allow us to create a plot of Jambo Plaque Number against Production Number. Please email jambo152@82jambo.com if you have a Jambo and want to check the VIN. Please include a picture of the Jeep, a picture of the dash plaque, and a picture of the VIN tag. We will compare this tag to our VIN database of known Jambos.

Where was the optional fire extinguisher mounted?

We have near seen a Jambo with a Jeep fire extinguisher. You can read more about this here.

Where can I find Jambo hood decals?

Austin Jeeps and Golden Eagle Decals (www.goldeneagledecals.com) is the absolute best place to obtain Jambo decals. The owner, Mike Jewell, is a expert and will take care of you. Tell Mike that 82jambo.com sent you!

Where can I get a Jambo tire cover?

Several Jambo owners (#152, #355, #418) have purchased spare tire covers from a shop in New Mexico. These tire covers are outstanding. Here is a picture of Dano's. 

Here is the information from the shop that provides these (tell 'em 82jambo.com sent you):

Logo made of "High performance metallic gold vinyl" Do-it-yourself logo only, $60.00 + shipping.  or 
OEM style tire cover, fits up to 33" dia. tire, with logo installed $130.00 + shipping.
     Contact Ray at; 505-891-1741, ABC_signs@yahoo.com

Where can I find the special oversized Jambo fuel tanks?

Fuel Tank
Jeep CJSeries CJ5/CJ7
20 GAL A 6K0566 $66.37
Valley Automotive Can-ON(Pembroke) E-mail 1-800-565-7667
Fuel Tank
Jeep CJSeries CJ5/CJ7
20 Gal- 82 CJ7 GAS TANK   A01411 $125 Pearsons Auto Wrecking USA-CA(Ridgecrest) E-mail 1-800-446-5865
Fuel Tank
Jeep CJSeries CJ5/CJ7
20 GAL FUEL TANK   97178 $150 Eastern Automotive Inc. USA-NC(Four-Oaks) E-mail 1-919-934-4101

How was the AM/FM/CB wired?

The CB used a splitter for the AM/FM antenna and the CB antenna. More will be posted on the wiring shortly.

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Copyright 2017. J. Eric Bickel. All rights reserved
The Jambo Registry is a trademark of www.82jambo.com.