JeepHeritage Restores One-Year-Only Golden Hawk Cherokee


The ’70s and ’80s were prime for vehicles of all sizes to be offered in bold colors and with brash graphics. Take Jeep’s well-known Golden Eagle and lesser-known Golden Hawk trims with their huge hood graphics and stripes. Think of them as a 4×4 compliment to Pontiac’s audacious Trans Am. JeepHeritage, a sister company to Vigilante 4×4, has recently rebuilt one of those rare 1980-only Golden Hawk Jeep Cherokees to OEM+ spec.


“In the vintage Jeep market, Golden Hawks are rare. The opportunity to restore a very special truck like this was such fun for our team because Golden Hawks are a treasure, and we took our time restoring this one,” comments JeepHeritage and Vigilante 4×4 Founder Daniel van Doveren. “Speaking honestly, this fully-restored 1980 Golden Hawk is among the best-surviving examples of this particular Jeep in the world, a completely unique, absolutely stunning rig that instantly makes an impression out on the road.”

This Golden Hawk is finished in Bordeaux Metallic, which was available across the Jeep lineup on the 1980 CJ-5, CJ-7, and Cherokee models. Golden Hawks set themselves apart with a striking hood graphic and side stripes, pinstriped wheels, and a tubular black brush guard, which is missing from this otherwise complete example. The restoration of this Golden Hawk began with a complete tear-down, as the frame and body were both stripped to bare metal before refinishing.

Modifications to the original equipment were minor, with most parts of the original drivetrain, including the original AMC 360 V-8, remaining after being disassembled and rebuilt. The exceptions include a disc-brake upgrade from a later Cherokee and a multi-point fuel injection system replacing the V-8’s carburetor. Inside, JeepHeritage recreated the Levi’s interior using NOS Levi’s fabric and swapped in Moore & Giles leather for the Golden Hawk’s original vinyl. The result is a better-than-new Jeep with all of the original style and utility.

JeepHeritage specializes in full-size Jeep SUV and truck restoration and currently has several on hand that are for sale, including this Golden Hawk. We don’t know about you, but this perfectly proportioned brute has us longing for the days of full-size two-door 4x4s.




Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: Final Parking Space: 2005 MG ZT 190


    The full size 2-door Jeep Cherokees always were cool, and this rare package makes it better. A friend had a base model 2-door 1977 Cherokee with the 401 V8 that could drive through practically anything.

    Huge aluminum aftermarket radiator = “took our time restoring this one”…, I would hate to see what a rush job looks like from this shop.

    Just looked it up….$195K asking price for this Jeep. LOL, might be time to lay off the crack pipe for a week to get your head right. Or maybe put $175K in the glovebox to square up the deal.

    Rarity and restoration will result in this sort of pricing. It’s not like they just washed it and slapped a high sticker on it.

    I think you are being quite generous with your appraisal, I don’t think I would even trade in the crack pipe for this trash.

    I bought brand new Cherokee Chief of the same year, the only difference was the decals that started to peel off only a few months in. I picked it up from the dealership and on the drive home it broke down and broke down twice later that week, with in a year I had a stack of work orders the size of a phone book. Shortly after the warrant ran out, which was only 1 year, the timing chain was so loose it jumped the sprockets and destroyed the engine. Besides all the mechanical issues rust started to form where the flares attach to the body with in the year. As a young man who put all his money into such a piece of crap it was a hard pill to swallow that left a bad taste in my mouth even to this day. It mentions in the article that after the restoration that ” The result is a better-than-new Jeep” I would truly hope so because straight from the factory it could possible one of the worst 4×4’s ever made.

    There is a big following for these things! Celebrities still like to get restored examples that are more driveable like this one with the added EFI and upgraded brakes. On the other end are those that still use them for rock crawlers. Restoration is not what those guys do though! you can still get decent ones for $20K or so, but expect to do a lot of maintenance/upgrade work. Build quality wasn’t the best in the FSJ’s waning years, but it made money so Chrysler kept building them. The body dies go all the way back to 1963 when the Wagoneer was introduced, so the tooling had been paid for several times over — they didn’t have to build a lot of them to make money! You can take the plastic grille off a 1991 model and you will find the same sheet metal as the 63 model. You can put the old “rhino” grille on the late model! AMC/Jeep just spot welded some tabs on to screw the plastic grille facade to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *