It’s a commonly accepted notion that Jeep “wrote the book” in the early days of four-wheel drive vehicles and it is universally accepted that Jeep’s Wagoneer model served as the inspiration for the sport utility vehicle (SUV) market segment that has driven US auto makers for the past few decades.
Introduced in November 1962 for the 1963 model year, the Wagoneer was to serve as the replacement for the venerable Willys Wagon that had been in the market since 1946. While four-wheel-drive vehicles offered by the “Big Three” car companies were very utilitarian and quite spartan in terms of amenities, the Wagoneer was a much more civilized vehicle in terms of creature comforts like automatic transmissions, power steering and optional air conditioning.
The final incarnation of the model came to the market in the 1984 model year, when then-owner American Motors abandoned names that had denoted various trim levels and adopted the Grand Wagoneer title for the full-size SJ series. For a short time, the company used the Wagoneer name on a well-optioned XJ model (the smaller sized Cherokee platform) but low sales forced the company to abandon that concept.
From 1984 through the end of production in 1991, the Grand Wagoneer had only minor styling changes. The same body-on-frame construction from the earlies models continued throughout the production run. Power was derived from an American Motors 360 cubic inch V8 engine and transmitted to the tires through a three-speed automatic transmission.
During the 1987 model year Chrysler Corporation purchased American Motors. Under the new ownership the Grand Wagoneer changed very little as Chrysler really did not have any vehicle in their existing line-up that could be considered a competitor! A few cosmetic changes came about, such as the overhead console “borrowed” from the company’s mini-van lines, but no major changes came about. Speculation was that Chrysler would replace the carbureated 360 engine with their similar-sized fuel injected powerplant but that never happened.
The 1989 to 1991 Grand Wagoneer models were considered by experts to be the gold standard in the industry for that class of vehicle in terms of fit and finish. Unfortunately, changing economic times caused gasoline prices to greatly increase and suddenly 11 MPG vehicles became very difficult for dealers to sell. Sales for the 1990 model dropped over just from 10,000 units to 6,449 and that drop continued as 4,253 Grand Wagoneers sold in the final year of production in 1991. (NOTE: While it is widely referenced that only 1,560 Grand Wagoneers were built in 1991, VIN’s and production records verify the higher number.) Further, new vehicle safety standards mandated by the federal government would have effectively forced Chrysler to completely redesign the vehicle going forward which would have required a huge capital investment. Weighing all the factors, Chrysler announced in February 1991 that the Grand Wagoneer would not be included in the 1992 model year offerings bringing a twenty-nine model year production run to an end.
The SUV market segment has evolved greatly since the last Grand Wagoneer rolled off the assembly line in 1991. Most every auto manufacturer has a range of sport utility vehicles in their line-ups with some of the more upscale units having sticker prices topping six figures. Rumors have persisted since Chrysler recently released the Jeep Gladiator truck (Chrysler stopped production of J-series pickups when they purchased the company so as not to compete with their existing line of Dodge trucks) that a new Grand Wagoneer would be introduced in the near future but at this point that has not become reality.
This 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is a great example of the vehicle that created the sport utility vehicle class! Powered by the powerful 5.9L 360 cubic inch V8 carried over from the days of AMC ownership and a well-proven Chrysler 727 three-speed automatic transmission, the presence of a factory Jeep receiver hitch indicates a factory tow package which was a popular option on these 4X4’s. Both front and rear axles are Dana 44’s. Power steering, power disc brakes, power windows and power door locks are present as well as factory air conditioning . Finished in Bright White, the paint still has a good shine and the brightwork also shines well. This is by no means a perfect car but is in exceptional condition for having been driven 64,000 miles over the course of 30 years. There are a few places where the woodgrain trim is picked on the passenger front door but again, this is an issue consistent with an original 30-year-old vehicle that has been driven and enjoyed. The Cordovan leather interior with cloth inserts is in exceptional shape and the matching carpet is also very nice. The factory turbine-style wheels are wrapped with Michelin tires. The odometer shows just over 64,000 miles and is believed to be actual but due to age the Jeep is being sold mileage-exempt in accordance with Missouri statutes.
This Jeep was purchased by the present owner in August 2016 from a private individual in Tennessee. An AutoCheck report run at the time of purchase indicated the seller was the original owner of the vehicle and the report was free of accident or damage history. Since purchased, the Jeep has been maintained in a humidity controlled static display and driven very little.
Evergreen Digital Showroom offers this low-mileage, original example of the Jeep that created the sport utility vehicle market for $40,000. As always, we are open to offers on all the vehicles we represent and can assist with transportation at the buyer’s expense. Financing options may also be available and information can be found under the Financing tab of our website, www.evergreendigitalshowroom.com. For further information or to make an offer on this vehicle, call sales manager Steve Russell at 417-532-8000.
Because of the number of vehicles we represent we cannot drive every vehicle for long distances. These vehicles have been part of static displays for long periods of time, in some cases for decades, and are subject to the flaws and imperfections consistent with that. While we do our best to disclose all issues we known about a vehicle in our advertising, these are old cars and something that has always worked in the past might not function properly today. Please check the requirements of your state regarding the licensing and registration of classic vehicles and make sure the vehicle you are looking at meets those if applicable. Unless otherwise noted, all vehicles represented by Evergreen Digital Showroom possess a clean (non-branded) title which will be provided the new buyer when purchase funds clear our financial institution. Virtually all of our vehicles are sold as mileage exempt due to their age. We do not warranty any vehicle, nor any part of the vehicle including air conditioning systems, brake systems, electrical systems and gauges, fuel systems, accessories or powertrain components.
Descriptions of vehicles represented by Evergreen Digital Showroom are intended to be informational in nature and do not in any way constitute any sort of warranty, expressed or implied. Again, these vehicles are presented “as-is, where-is” without guarantee or warranty. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1981 will likely not be included in the databases of companies such as CarFax and AutoCheck that provide vehicle history information to consumers. If you have specific questions regarding a vehicle we urge you to contact us at 417-532-8000.