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Comanche Barn Find & Rescue


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With a LOT of help from my brother and a friend we were able to rescue a 1988 barn find Comanche that had been sitting since 1999. 


It all started when my brother and I attended an auto flea market we go to every year in June.   We parked in the car show, me in my ’88 Comanche and him in his ’87 El Camino.   A ‘60s Chevy pick up parked next to me.   As the passenger was getting out he told me he had a Comanche for parts if I was interested.   We exchanged info and met the following week.  


I did not need another Jeep but this turned out to be much more than a parts car.   It was almost complete and apart from a ‘90s JVC radio/cassette totally stock.   It’s an Eliminator (same as mine – 1 month older) and had a sports bar complete with the lights and covers so I was definitely interested.   All that's missing is the tailgate handle, the driving lights and one piece of rubber side trim.


My brother and I went up in mid July to get it rolling.   The seller was a good car guy (early Camaros) and stored it properly.  It was outside next to his barn on sandy soil and with 3 layers of plastic sheet under it ... smart move as very little moisture made its way up to the Jeep.  It did not roll so we jacked it up one wheel at a time, hammered the wheels off and cut the brakes off on 3 wheels.   It was messy but pretty straight forward.


Here are some pics to show how things went …


Cutting up the brakes on to get it rolling


The mess


Pulling it out with my LJ


Looks pretty good in the daylight.  Actually, based on the burned paint it had seen plenty of sunshine.


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A few weeks later my friend and I went up with his truck and trailer.   We’d spent a few late nights fabricating brackets, etc. and hooking up a winch to the front of the trailer.  It worked well and pulled the MJ on to the trailer easily.


We managed to maneuver the trailer so we could work in the shade.   It was HOT!



It came up on to the trailer nicely.



I started to polish it right away.



Loaded up and ready to go.



Time for some refreshments.



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I'll post some more pics as I get into this but this is definitely NOT just a parts car!






I've since cleaned this mess up.  The parts that are missing in this pic, including the grille came with it. 



The rear corner and the rear bumper are the only serious rust spots.   I can fix the fender.   Not sure if I can save the bumper yet.





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12 hours ago, HOrnbrod said:

That interior looks almost new. Nice find.

Thanks … and you're right.   It's clean, damage free and original.   It has sat for almost 20 years so it needs a good airing out. 


It's nice when cars find you!  If I hadn't driven my MJ to the flea market that day or if I arrived 10 minutes earlier or later I never would have met the vendor.


Here are some more pics ...


The bed cleaned up nicely - decent paint and NO dents.   That cross bar is for the tonneau which the vendor said he got from a dealership.   I'll look into that and post some pics of the whole thing.



Nice to get an upgraded radio that is period correct.   Hopefully it works.



I don't think the lights are original and I doubt they work.  It was nice to get the covers with the "Jeep" logo though.



I put some other wheels and tires on it because the ones that came with it wouldn't hold air.   It's starting to look better already.







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31 minutes ago, Manche757 said:

The inside looks pristine.  What was the odometer showing?

It reads 184,480 km so about 114,500 miles.   I'm the third owner, the last one having bought it in 1993 and driving it for about 6 years.   It was last licensed in 1999 and it has sat ever since.  

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23 minutes ago, WahooSteeler said:

Why did the PO park it?

That's a good question and I'm still not sure I got the story straight.  The guy I bought from was the brother-in-law of the person who actually owned it who was that guy's mother.   Are you still with me?  lol.   The good news is that they all liked it and they're happy that it's now in my name.   The final guy (the Camaro guy) seemed to be the only one who knew how to take care of it.   He simply lost interest and decided to get rid of it.   Funny thing is that he also had an early '30s Ford pickup truck next to his barn that had been there for even longer.   It literally had a tree growing up through the engine bay (no hood or engine).  

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11 minutes ago, Pete M said:

how come the stowaways on my Jeeps are always the stinging kind? :(  


nice find!  :L:  edit: the Jeep, not the frog.  but also the frog. :D  

Good one!  I think I have to paint the Jeep green … in honour of the frog!

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