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Featured Feb 18th 2020 at 8:00AM

Ball and Buck Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler restomod tames a ruffian

High luxury and CJ-8 didn't go together until now

Ball and Buck makes outdoor gear "for the sporting gentleman," the company's products mostly aimed at those who like to hunt and fish with a certain sartorial style — heavy on the handcraft and the English influence. Ball and Buck also collaborates on products, like the camo-tinged New Balance runners or the bamboo-finished record player with Sota Turntables. Automobile picked up on the outfitter's latest collaboration, a series of restored Jeep CJ-8 Scramblers built with Kyle Smith of Bird Buggy. It's a fit of favor for a pickup so far shunned by the luxury restomod love showered on the Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser, and of late, the Ford Bronco. 

Each build starts with sourcing an original Scrambler — produced from 1981 to 1986, the long-wheelbase version of the CJ-7 and the last pickup Jeep made until today's Gladiator. There's a restrained menu of choices, probably to simplify the foray and ensure the products fits visually with Ball and Buck's aesthetic. Four exterior colors include Chesapeake Gray, Coronado Sand, Everglades Green, or Sutton Black, set off by either Matte Black or Polished Stainless trim. The three engine options are either the Scrambler's original 4.2-liter AMC inline-six, a 2.8-liter Cummins turbodiesel, or GM's 6.2-liter LS3 V8. Our guess is that the LS3 entails a number of additional chassis upgrades, but Ball and Buck has kept mum on that.

Nor do we have details on the interior makeover, but from the images we can make out stitched leather seats with camo panels, stitched door cards with a camo-printed pouch, and a leather-wrapped grab handle. 

Kyle Smith built the demonstrator above. His Bird Buggy firm creates custom vehicles for bird hunters, with platforms starting at UTV-size and going up to commercial-grade ladder frames hauling gear from dog pens to water tanks and shotgun cases. 

Prices range from $65,000 for buyers who restrain their wilder impulses, to $95,000, each build taking three to six months to complete. Order books are open now.

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