Cars Of Leonard Cohen
Cars Of Leonard Cohen is a series of posts about actual automobiles owned by or associated with Leonard Cohen, metaphorical cars he employed in his songs, and his thoughts about cars. All posts in this series will be collected at Cars Of Leonard Cohen when they go online.
Leonard Cohen’s Jeep
I suspect the jeep in these photos with Leonard Cohen is the one he purchased for use during his sojourn in Franklin, Tennessee in the early 1970s:
I moved there [Franklin Tennessee]. I had a house, a jeep, a carbine, a pair of cowboy boots, a girlfriend. … A typewriter, a guitar. Everything I needed1
The vehicle in the shots with Leonard Cohen resembles the DJ series “postal jeep” (pictured directly above) that was used by the USPS. DJ’s were also, however, employed by the military and were sold to individuals.
The Jeep DJ (also known as the Dispatcher) was a two-wheel-drive variant of the four-wheel drive CJ series. Production started in 1955 by Willys, which was renamed Kaiser Jeep in 1963. In 1970, American Motors (AMC) purchased Kaiser’s money-losing Jeep operations and established AM General, a wholly owned subsidiary that built the DJ through 1983.2
The DJ series was largely recycled using leftover jeep body styles and existing technology, making these jeeps inexpensive delivery vehicles. It came with either a column shift or floor shift three-speed Borg Warner T-96 manual transmission, which was the first since the CJ-2A to have a column shift. The DJ models were offered with many different body options including a soft top, hard top, or a full van body. The DJ could also come in right-hand drive for postal delivery use.,, DJ-A thru DJ-M became the Postal/Dispatch Jeep for most of America. Rural areas still used the Jeeps through 1984… Although rare, there are reportedly still Postal Jeeps in service today in a few areas.3
Photo Credit: Arnaud Maggs / Library and Archives Canada, R7959-3101.