How to Identify a Jeep Golden Eagle

by David Johnston

What began as a wartime vehicle of necessity has become an American icon and a favorite among enthusiasts. Because of Jeep's rugged styling that hasn't varied greatly over time, it's not unusual to see older models still on the road or being offered for sale. The Golden Eagle is one such edition that was produced from 1976 to 1983 on the Cherokee, J-10, and CJ models. The Golden Eagle is a trim package that you can identify by checking for a few features.

Find out the year of the Jeep. If it was built before 1977 or after 1983, it won't be a Golden Eagle. Although Jeep released a trim package for the Wrangler in 2006 called Golden Eagle, this was a commemorative edition that is not considered one of the true, older Golden Eagles.

Look on the hood of the Jeep for what was possibly the most distinguishing feature of the trim package. The Golden Eagle editions had a large decal of a golden, spread-winged eagle on the hood.

Check the wheels. Golden Eagles for all models came with gold-painted spoked wheels.

Look for other specialty features not included on the base models for Jeeps of this era, including a black roll bar, wheel lip extensions (also called fender flares), tinted windows, specialty upholstery (including a denim motif), chrome front bumper, and a black grille guard. Though not every Golden Eagle had all of these features, the presence of one or more is a good indicator that it was a Golden Eagle.

About the Author

David Johnston works internationally as a freelance writer and editor in a number of professional fields. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.