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Parmley Engineering’s Jeep Replacement Body

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old News Articles • TAGS: , , , , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: Zac shared a Parmley that he inherited along with a document that shows some pricing and states it was designed for the 81″ chassis.




Originally posted in 2013, with some pic updates over the years:

As many of you know, I am very curious about the fiberglass aftermarket bodies made for the jeep.  While I’ve seen most models for sale over the years, I have yet to run across Parmley Engineering’s fiberglass body, one of the more unique ones ever created.

After wrecking his CJ-5 in the early 1970s, Californian Tom Parmley, a machinist by trade, decided to build himself a better body for his still-good chassis.  He wanted the body to legally accommodate  wider tires, a dash box with more room, a hood that was lower, and other features.  So, he built and tested his dream body with great success.  Along the way, he received so much positive feedback that he created a kit so others could easily install a Parmley body on their CJ-5 Chassis.

So far, I have only located two resources that document this body.  One is the February 1974 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine, which featured a multi-page article about the new body.  Additionally, at least two issues of Four Wheeler Magazine also have ads for the Parmley body kit.  The other resource is a June 1975 Popular Mechanics article.  The Pop-Mech article also shows off the fiberglass top he invented (at least I assume it is fiberglass).

Here are a couple publicity photos taken by Tom Parley and published in the Feb 1974 issue of Four Wheeler:

1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely1-lores 1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely2-lores 1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely3-lores

This image shows the Parmley with a top and is from Popular Mechanics.  Note the top example sports Desert Dogs …


Here is a Parmley-bodied jeep on the cover of a the May 1978 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.


This Parmley Engineering ad appeared on the back of January 1974 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine:


Bob Christy wasn’t sure what this vehicle was when he photographed it in 2008, but now we know.


This Parmely sold in 2015 and included a rare top:


This one sold in 2017:


This one sold in 2022:



13 Comments on “Parmley Engineering’s Jeep Replacement Body

  1. mike kern

    I have met the man himself (Tom Parmley) and seen his personal Parmley bodied jeep. Unfortunately he passed four years ago.

  2. Deilers


    I would be very interested to learn more about Tom and the Parmley. Any idea how many bodies were sold? What happened to his personal Parmley?

    You can email at



  3. Jack

    I have an untouched original Parmley body, had plans to buy a cj 5 but medical issues got in the way. Interested in all offers, remember, UNTOUCHED never assembled
    Jack 619-454-4220

  4. Les Hart

    I remember Tom very well. He was my best friend from 6th grade to graduation from Dominguez high school in 1965. When his father Bill pasted away of a heart attack Tom took over the machine shop. Tom converted it to making the Parmley. He tried to market it with little success. Tom later died of a bad heart like his father. I have always missed him. He was a good person. Thanks, Les Hart

  5. David Eilers

    Thanks for the heart-felt memories Les. The Parmley is one of those little know stories, so it can be hard to dig up details on it.

    – Dave

  6. Scott

    I knew Tom’s daughter in high school. She drove one. Man that thing was fast and fun to ride in. I think she still has it.

  7. David Eilers

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the comment. I made contact with his daughter years ago. We tried to set up a meeting while we were in Texas circa 2016, but couldn’t quite get a date to work.

    I’m still hoping to see on in person some day.

    – Dave

  8. Jeff

    I have a 1970 Parmley I picked up last year. all there. One owner before me. should be a fun rig. I have the top, but it’s coming off, never ti be put back on. Top is ugly!

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