The CJ-6 model was offered to appease Jeep utility owners whose only complaint about the CJ-type models was lack of storage space.
The Jeep CJ-6 features a 20-inch longer wheelbase than the CJ-5. Introduced in 1955 as a 1956 model, the CJ-6 wasn’t as popular with civilians in the United States as it was in other countries such as Sweden and South America. But, the CJ-6 Jeeps were popular with the U.S Forest Service. Around 50,172 had been made when the series went out of production completely in 1975.
The CJ-6 seen today was used for a volunteer ambulance service to transport the sick to the hospital in Troy, Michigan. The vehicle is in remarkable condition with 14,000 original miles—a truly amazing antique. It has its original tires, paint, and top.
- Original paint
- Original tires
- Original soft top
- Dispatch radio, CB radio, and AM radio
- Original PTO Ramsey winch
|Engine Options||Hurricane engine, 72 hp & 114 ft./lbs. torque
Perkins diesel, 62 hp & 143 ft./lbs. torque
Dauntless V6, 160 hp & 230 ft./lbs. torque
232 cubic inch, 100 hp & 185 ft./lbs. torque
258 cubic inch, 115-150 hp & 210-240 ft./lbs. torque
304 cubic inch, 125-150 hp & 220-245 ft./lbs. torque
|Transmission Options||T14A, T15, T18, T90C, & T98 manual transmissions|
|Transfer Case||Spicer 18, Dana 20|
|Rear Axle||Spicer 44-2, Dana 44|
|Front Axle||Spicer 25, Spicer 27, Dana 30|
|Wheelbase||101-inches from 1955-1971, 104-inches from 1972-1975|
|Curb Weight||2,413 lbs.|
A Long Jeep Story
One of the perennial requests from early Jeep owners was “more room!” In the CJ line, Jeep’s first response was the CJ-6 that debuted in August of 1955 as a 1956 model. The CJ-6 was nothing more than what it took to stretch the wheelbase of the newly introduced CJ-5 from 81 to 101 inches. Those 20 inches were added between the front seats and the rear wheel well. Depending on how you looked at it, you got 20 more inches in back for gear or cargo, or 20 more inches of legroom for rear seat passengers. A little bit of sheet metal, a longer rear driveshaft, a few more feet of wire, a little more exhaust pipe… easy-peasy!
Like the CJ-5, the CJ-6 had military roots. The idea appeared first in the CJ-4MA prototype of 1951. This rig was being developed as a frontline ambulance and was an offshoot of a program to fit the CJ with the more powerful Jeep F-head engine. This development created several “missing link” prototypes that were hybrids between the flatfender and the roundfender Jeeps. The final result of these developments were the Willys MD, which the Army called the M-38A1, and the long wheelbase MDA, which was known as the M-170 frontline ambulance. The first MDs rolled off the line in April of ’52 and the MDA started production in October of ’53. Willys intended, or should we say desired, to debut both military and civilian versions of these Jeeps simultaneously. With production being diverted for the Korean War coupled with materials shortages and rationing, the civvy product went onto the back burner until the situation improved and the CJ-3B carried the F-head torch in the interim.
Production of the CJ-6 started in August of 1956 but it can’t be said there was a sales explosion. About 2,300 were sold that first year and production hovered under 2,000 units, with a few upward blips that neared 3,000 units, until ’76 when it was no longer offered for domestic sales. The CJ-7 supplanted it at that point. Production continued for export into 1981, when the CJ-8 debuted, but there are some CJ-6s thought to have been sold here from ’76-81. Were they special orders of some kind? That would take a little research to determine.
A variation of the CJ-6 was the CJ-6A Tuxedo Park Mark IV. These were dolled up “luxury” versions of the CJ-6. A comfort oriented Tuxedo Park package had debuted for ’61 but for ’64, the “Mark IV” model was created. It got an “A” designation and a bevy of parts peculiar to that special model. From ’64 to ’67, when they were discontinued, the CJ-6A had the 8422 model prefix (the standard CJ-6 had switched from a 57748 prefix to 8405 in ’64). On the technical side, the Tuxedo Park Mark IV CJ-6A had a special soft-ride suspension, with dual-rate rear springs, a column shift transmission with a single lever transfer case shifter and duo-servo brakes (non-power but required less pedal effort). The rest of the doll-up included a plush 2/3-1/3 calf-grain vinyl seat (similar quality buckets also available), an optional rear seat to match, chrome bumpers, hinges and exterior accoutrements, the turbine style wheel covers and the special “Mark IV badges. They came in only four colors, White Cap White, Sierra Blue, President Red and Parkway Green with color keyed tops to match.
An almost forgotten variation of the long wheelbase CJ is the DJ-6. When Jeep discontinued the two-wheel drive DJ-3A Dispatcher after ’64, the DJ-5 and DJ-6 models took their place. The DJs had most of the same options available as the 4×4 CJ, and even came as Tuxedo Park models, but they were built in very small numbers and are seldom seen today. Only 2,773 are known to have been produced from ’65 through ’69.
The engine options for the CJ-6 followed the CJ-5. At first, the only engine was the venerated F-134, which came in both a low compression (6.7 or 6.9:1 depending on year) or a high compression (7.1 or 7.8:1) for high altitude use. In 1961, a 192ci, 62 hp/143 lbs-ft Perkins diesel was added to the options list. When the optional 225 ci, 160 hp/230 lbs-ft V6 debuted for the ’66 model year, it was optional in all the Universal Jeeps and made a big splash. Bigger changes came for ’72, when the AMC line of engines were added to Jeeps. At that point you had a choice of the base 232ci six, the optional 258 six or a 304 cubic inch V8. This lineup remained through 1975. The export model CJ-6s built after ’75 were only available with one of the two sixes.
In March of 1967, the Spruce Tip Green CJ-6 you see here rolled off the line, was delivered to Doc’s Jeep Land in Royal Oak, Michigan, and soon went home with a funeral home owner named Bill Price. Bill also operated an ambulance service in his community and used the CJ-6 as an off-road ambulance/rescue rig when terrain or inclement weather dictated a 4×4. A Korean War Era Marine, Bill was very civically active and performed a great number of volunteer and community service jobs over his years in the Troy, Michigan, area and when he passed away in 2010, he was sorely missed.
Jeep historian Bill Norris conducted an interview of Price in 2010, not long before he passed away, and learned a few details about how the Jeep was used. When purchased in April of 1967, Price gave the Jeep unit number 53 in his ambulance fleet. It was seldom used but when it was, it was carefully washed and stored back into a heated garage. Bill reported he had the Jeep Ziebarted on his way home from the dealer after purchase. Even after it was no longer used as an ambulance, Bill used the Jeep recreationally and still kept it stored in a climate controlled facility. Today the Jeep is showing only 14,800 miles. Only 2,295 CJ-6s were built in 1967, making for a very rare Jeep. It was acquired for the Omix-Ada Jeep Collection in 2013 and has been a cornerstone of the collection ever since. It’s pristine, original condition makes it a true time capsule that people love to see close up.