The Golden Eagle Jeep J10 rolls the best of the ’70s into one truck

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1978 Jeep J10 Truck front three-quarter Mecum

Imagine for a moment that it’s 1978 and you’ve got the urge to drive something with a 6.6-liter V-8, an engine-turned instrument panel, and a giant bird decal on the hood. It’s a totally natural impulse, and we understand completely. We’ve all been there. The obvious choice is a Trans Am, and while that would be an excellent selection—Bandit-approved, even—let’s say you’re after something a little more utilitarian. If you want to venture further off-roading than just a gravel road, then this Jeep Golden Eagle J10 up for sale at Mecum’s Scottsdale event might just be the perfect ’70s pickup to satisfy your craving. It’s a four-wheel-drive muscle car.

Even tossing aside the aesthetics of a tan-on-tan pickup with a Levi’s edition interior and the aforementioned Golden Eagle hood graphic (which makes it one of the best-dressed pickups from the decade), we’d be sold by the truck’s mechanicals. Underneath that soaring raptor is AMC’s biggest V-8. At 401 cubic inches, it churned out more than 200 horsepower at a time when emissions regulations were choking power from all but the most stubborn of engines. (See also: Trans Am.) This pickup didn’t simply make do with its factory power output, however; it ditched the stock top end in favor of aluminum heads and a taller, better-flowing Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake. It’s capped with a Holley carb and an air cleaner with the right factory decals that, if you didn’t look closer, might convince you everything else is stock, too. Behind the upgraded V-8 is a GM Turbo 400 transmission, just as AMC intended. The only thing we could ask for on top of a burly, bulletproof three-speed automatic is one with an overdrive—this beast has many more miles left in it.

OK, back to its looks. The color combo and hood graphics are, dare we say it, tasteful. It’s just the right amount of flash without being garish. The steel wheels are perfect with their black faces and gold rims that match the rocker trim, and the 33-inch Cooper Discoverer MTP tires make for a proper stance. Other exterior modifications include an LED light bar, reversible tire-carrier tailgate, LED headlights, bed-mounted roll bar, and a brush guard (the latter two being factory options). We’d say the lights betray the classic ’70s vibe a bit, but it’s also good to see where you’re going, and whoever buys this machine is definitely going places.

Will its ’70s style and big V-8 power resonate with the Wagoneer crowd and other full-size Jeep enthusiasts, or will its modifications stifle its sale price? What are your thoughts?

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