A classic CJ-7 for your 1:18 collection

With a sealed diecast body, you need to ask if it is worth the expensive price tag.

Jeep Wranglers and CJ's have been near and dear to my heart for a long time. My father used to be good friends with a Jeep collector, and I used to travel with them as a child when they would haul their latest barn find back to his garage. Dad also had an '87 Wrangler for a while and my little sister's first car was an aqua '97 TJ. My first car ever was a dark blue '93 YJ Wranger, a super clean Florida car that had low mileage and a chrome grille overlay. Obviously I had to get Model Car Group's 1/18 diecast CJ-7 when it hit the market last year.

It's painted the same dark blue color as my old Wrangler, plus it rocks that same stainless steel grille and bumper combo that mine used to have too. Model Car Group is the in-house brand of Model Car World, the parent company of American Excellence here in the States. They released a few different CJ-7 Jeeps last year, one of the first 1:18's I've seen of the iconic 4x4. It is a sealed diecast model, which is always a gamble as far as details go, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally cracked this one open.

There are several parts on this Jeep that are way more detailed and intricate than they ever should be. The wiper arms and blades are straight-cut metal, and the taillight lens are so clean they look like they could be printed decals. The pad printed gauges on the dash are cleanly pressed in silver, white, and red paint.

Unfortunately, for every great detail and I can point out a flaw or disappointment too. The paint doesn't seem to hold up too well; I noticed a few too many scratches for being a brand new model. There was an oily residue under the clearcoat on the hood as well, which I tried to remove a couple of times with some wax before realizing it was there to stay. As with most sealed diecast models, the wheels are installed on solid axles that spin codependently and slide around like a Matchbox car. You can't pose them or turn the steering wheel and they appear to be way out of alignment. The mounting posts on the underbody that connect the Jeep to its baseplate are way to obvious and stand out like a sore thumb in all of the side-profile pics I took.

I do love the model, but it is not worth the $76 asking price. I got mine on sale for far less, but I am still unsure that I got a deal. If you're interested, there's Golden Eagle and Renegade livery CJ-7's on American Excellence in addition to this Laredo one. A better executed suspension and chassis would have made this Jeep close to perfect, but it serves its purpose of looking good on my shelf while I get all nostalgic over my high school days. My old Wrangler has probably been overtaken by the salty New England winters by now, but I'd love another chance to own one again.

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Comments (31)

  • I am partial to the 1:1 scale model

      6 months ago
  • Love the CJ 7... classic jeep style one of the best

      6 months ago
  • This has to be the first time I’ve seen you showcase a non performance oriented car. Great photos as always!

      6 months ago
    • I've had a few of them, but this might be the only 1:18 "regular" car in my collection right now!

        6 months ago
    • My only “regular” car is the orange Type 2 by Road Signature, and it’s great.

        6 months ago
  • What does Laredo mean?

      6 months ago
  • 4 pedals! I'm assuming the one on the far left is the parking brake?

      6 months ago