Black-on-black Jeep Commando custom 4X4 pickup

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The Jeep Commando has been tastefully upgraded
The Jeep Commando has been tastefully upgraded

The Jeep Commando was, despite its name, a more-civilized version of the classic CJ, with a longer wheelbase and designed to compete with the very popular Ford Bronco, International Scout and Toyota Land Cruiser. 

After Jeep was acquired by AMC, the front end of Commando was redesigned in 1972 so that it could be fitted with a V8 engine, and which inadvertently proved a cardinal truth about Jeeps and their hard-core fans: don’t dare alter a Jeep so that it no longer looks like a Jeep. 

The Jeep has a short pickup bed and composite roof
The Jeep has a short pickup bed and composite roof

Jeep folks hated the new full-width chrome grille and after years of success, Commando sales plummeted. Production was halted after the 1973 model year, replaced by the four-door Cherokee wagon.  

The Pick of the Day is an unusual 1973 Jeep Commando pickup truck that has been resto-modded with a Chevy V8.  And while the grille styling might not have the beloved Jeepiness of its era, this one looks to be a well-integrated custom that stands out.  

The Commando has been done completely in black, with Jet Black body, black composite top, black interior and a set of Ion wheels trimmed in back. The gloss-black body is set off with gray pinstripes. 

The Jeep looks very clean under its hood
The Jeep looks very clean under its hood

The 350cid V8 transmits its power through a Turbo400 automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive with high and low range, activated by a long-handled shifter.  The engine has been tweaked for performance and reliability, according to the Carson, California, dealer advertising the Commando on ClassicCars.com.

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“You will find many new upgrades under the hood such as HEI electronic distributor, alternator, 4-barrel Edelbrock carburetor, Edelbrock intake, hood hinges, air conditioning, brake booster, master cylinder, power steering and headers,” according to the ad. 

The interior retains a proper Jeep look
The interior retains a proper Jeep look

The interior has been upgraded as well, the dealer says, although from the pictures with the ad, the cabin looks to have retained much of its factory appearance, with a Rally-style Jeep steering wheel along with low-back bucket seats and door panels in black vinyl, and a  standard gauge cluster.  A Kenwood audio system has been mounted overhead.

This Commando looks like it would be a fun adventure truck as well as a car-show favorite.  The asking price is a strong $31,500, but it looks like everything has been done on this Jeep, and done right.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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