One in every of the tips in the unique Preppy Handbook (1980) reads, “Never replace anything until you have exhausted all possibility of repair, restoration, or rehabilitation. No matter what it is, they don’t make it as well as they used to.” Because true goodness will all the time last; and if an appealing object is worn-looking round the edges, so be it. The shabby-chic-is-better logic can apply to distressed finish on vintage hutches as simply because it applies to non-matching paint on a ten-year-old Land Rover Discovery.
While The Preppy Handbook was written as a satire, it coated a wide range of subjects with accuracy, together with automobiles – mentioning that proudly owning at least one sport utility car is a must. “What’s the point of going to the Right Places if you don’t travel in the right style? The car is as much a key part of Prep paraphernalia as a club tie or the ubiquitous duck. If, that is, it’s the Right Car – the proper make, in an accepted color, and appropriately adorned. This type of vehicle [the SUV] is essential, according to the rationale that, of course, you live in a place where the roads are private and unpaved or covered with mud.”
The Handbook was particular about what automobiles have been The Right automobiles, and topping their record in 1980 was a Jeep Wagoneer Limited. Over three many years later, a Jeep Wagoneer from 1980 might be in stronger demand now than it was new. Judging by the place Jeep SJ Wagoneers may be spotted most often right now, The Hamptons, Martha’s Vinyard, and Greenwich, Connecticut have some pretty dangerous roads apparently.
In its unprecedented run of 29 model years from 1963 – 1991 with none physique panel changes, the Jeep “SJ body” Wagoneer / Cherokee / Grand Wagoneer appealed to a variety of consumers and automotive fanatics – not simply Preps. The Wagoneer’s design longevity is nearly unprecedented to younger generations who’ve grown up on blob-shaped automobiles and vans that have develop into increasingly more awkwardly styled and indistinguishable from each other annually.
As followers of the SJ Wagoneer, we rejoice its uniqueness and long-lasting attraction which endures at the moment. With an American upper class growing in numbers and wealth annually, 1980s Grand Wagoneers with wooden on the aspect have turn out to be an increasingly well-liked automotive accessory. Why? With Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, and other high-ticket manufacturers all celebrating report sales years, it means those beloved Vary Rovers, Mercedes G-wagens, Cadillac Escalades, and Porsche Cayennes have develop into run-of-the-mill to those who stay the preppy credo. Jeep SJ Wagoneers have character and distinctiveness – and enthusiastic consumers hope a few of that may rub off on them. Thanks to various restorers who focus on these automobiles, extra SJs are being introduced back to showroom situation. It doesn’t matter what the purpose, that’s the sort of thing we respect seeing.
(A slideshow with high resolution footage detailing all changes is at the finish of this article)
Changes from yr to yr.
Improvement of the Wagoneer passed off over three years and price $20 million. Upon its introduction on November 14, 1962, the first Wagoneers provided clients the biggest number of decisions when it came to obtainable physique varieties, suspensions, and drivetrain choices. When it came to market, Willys-Jeep was a part of the long defunct Kaiser Motors brand which would later be purchased by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1970.
What’s generally forgotten about Wagoneers is while they have been all the time out there as four-doors, consumers might also select two-door versions via 1969. Most two-doors have been built with home windows on all sides, however a budget-priced Panel Supply model had sheet metallic instead of aspect home windows.
Till April 1965, all Wagoneers have been powered by a 230 cubic inch 6-cylinder engine. Superior for its day, this 6-cylinder featured an overhead camshaft design with six cam lobes controlling the opening and closing of one intake and exhaust valve per cylinder. Named the “Tornado” engine, it featured a timing chain to drive the camshafts which stored all valves in correct synch. Since combustion chambers have been shaped hemispherically, this engine might technically be described as a “hemi”.
- Consumers might choose a 3-speed guide transmission or a Three-speed automated, each of which have been produced by Borg-Warner. Either transmission might be mated to a normal rear-wheel-drive setup, or a four-wheel-drive system with manually locking entrance hubs. When engaged, the four wheel drive format offered a inflexible, zero slippage connection between front and rear axles – a setup suitable for slippery circumstances and low-speed driving only. Carburetors on guide trans models have been a single barrel design, and people on automated transmission fashions featured two barrels.
- Early Wagoneers came with two decisions of entrance suspension. Rear-wheel-drive automobiles meant for normal passenger use featured an unbiased entrance design allowing each wheels to articulate individually of the different by way of swing axles and torsion bar springs.
Designed by Dana, entrance swing axles articulated close to their facilities and served as the decrease suspension wishbones. A strut bar was used for lateral axle management and for purposes of adjusting wheel caster angle. Higher suspension elements consisted of brief A-arms and ball joints related to the torsion bars. The unbiased entrance setup was a $160 choice on four-wheel-drive fashions, which came commonplace with heavy-duty entrance suspensions consisting of traditional strong beam axles (non-independent) with leaf springs. All rear axles featured an analogous strong beam axle and leaf spring design.
- Air con was added as a manufacturing unit choice.
- A lower-compression version of the 6-cylinder engine was provided. While it made less power, it returned higher financial system – excellent for Wagoneers used as work vans or panel supply automobiles. This lower-compression engine was phased out inside a yr.
- In April of 1965, a V-8 engine was added as a $190 choice. Sourced by American Motors, it was 327 cubic inches in displacement, got here with a 2 barrel carburetor, and featured a standard overhead valve design with hydraulic lifters.
- The V8 was out there with the 3-speed guide transmission, or with a Turbo Hydramatic 3-speed automated transmission sourced by Common Motors. 6-cylinder fashions stored the Borg-Warner automated.
- All 1965 models came with a brand new normal safety package deal that included entrance and rear seat belts, a dual-proportioned braking system, high impression window glass, padded visors, and more.
- Super Wagoneers featured a two-tone coloured part that ran along each side as well as the rear tailgate (often painted gold or silver). This model additionally got here with black padded vinyl roof, air con, V8, automated transmission, whitewall tires, mag fashion wheel covers with simulated knock-off facilities, and extra luxurious padded interiors with simulated wooden inserts.
- Most rear-wheel-drive variations of the Wagoneer that bought slowly have been dropped.
- Apart from minor changes in axle ratio availability, there have been no different vital changes.
- Changes have been minimal. A new Custom V8 luxury model was introduced on four-door Wagoneers.
- All two-door models, together with the Panel Delivery version, have been dropped half method by means of the model yr.
- Unbiased front suspensions have been discontinued, leaving only leaf springs and strong front axles on the entrance and rear of all Wagoneers.
- A 350-cubic-inch Buick engine with 2 barrel carburetor changed the American Motors 327 as the elective V-8 selection.
- The Tremendous Wagoneer model was dropped part method by way of the model yr.
- A Four-speed guide transmission turned an choice on all fashions throughout the board. The usual Three-speed guide trans now featured absolutely synchronized gears for smoother shifting. Whereas the Four-speed stick was mounted on the flooring, Three-speed manuals have been nonetheless mounted on the steering column.
- In January of 1970, American Motors purchased Kaiser-Jeep primarily because of the Jeep model’s success in the market. Mechanically, all Wagoneer models have been left as they have been for the remainder of the 1970 model yr.
- Late in the 1970 mannequin yr, a power sunroof choice ($490) debuted on the Custom Wagoneer and Wagoneer Custom Particular.
- Wagoneer script situated on the rear of 1969 fashions was gone. A revised 4WD badge id was positioned behind the entrance wheel cutout.
- A new Wooden Grain accent package deal was obtainable on the Customized Wagoneer mannequin, that includes simulated wooden grain exterior trim, a baggage rack, and different common inside luxury options.
- The 232 base overhead-camshaft 6-cylinder engine was changed midyear with an American Motors 6-cylinder engine of 258 cubic inches. The new 6-cylinder featured a less-advanced pushrod setup to operate the valves.
- American Motors V-Eight engines replaced the Buick 350 V-8 that had been used for 1969 and 1970. Consumers opting for eight cylinders had a selection of 304- or 360-cubic-inch variations.
- A low variety of 1971 “1414 X” Wagoneers have been produced for “sales promotion only”. Constructed primarily to deplete remaining Buick V8 engines that have been nonetheless in inventory, 1414X Wagoneers have been properly outfitted with Custom Wagoneer wood package deal, automated transmission, 4WD, and all luxury features that got here with the Customized Wagoneer mannequin.
- The Customized Special model was dropped, leaving only base and Custom Wagoneer versions.
- Entrance bucket seats turned an choice on each fashions.
- Changes have been in any other case minimal, with a quieter Saginaw energy steering pump and a larger 9-inch rearview mirror rounding out the improvements.
- Jeep’s Quadra-Trac full-time 4 wheel drive system debuted as normal gear on Wagoneers. This refined system had entrance and rear differentials that adjusted the energy and velocity of the wheels they managed. A refined limited-slip middle differential allowed slippage between entrance and rear axles, making for clean energy delivery on and off the street.
- The smaller 304 V-8 engine was not out there for 1973, and the 360 V-Eight was now obtainable with a 4 barrel carburetor that made 195 horsepower compared to 175 for the 2 barrel setup.
- As either a dealer-installed or manufacturing unit choice on 4WD models, a low vary gearing meeting was fitted to the middle transfer case at the finish of the transmission fundamental shaft. A knob on the sprint to the right of the steering column managed the change between the low 2.75:1 gearing and regular driving 1:1 ratio.
- 3-speed guide gear shift levers have been moved from the steering column to the flooring this yr.
- Dashboard design was modernized, with a three-section cluster housing the speedometer and other gauges. All control knobs have been of a more luxurious “soft feel” texture, and steering wheels have been revised.
- Clutch linkages for the guide transmission models have been redesigned for smoother gear shift operation, and front axles have been beefed up together with four wheel drive propeller shafts for longer life.
- With the Wagoneer turning into increasingly well-liked among well-heeled consumers, Jeep sought to move it further upmarket with extra content material and better sticker prices. In order not to lose consumers in the lower cost vary who cross shopped Ford Broncos and Chevrolet Blazers, Jeep created the Cherokee model – principally a down market, two-door version of the Wagoneer. Aside from variety of doors, body panels have been the similar on each fashions.
The standard Wagoneer engine was not a 6-cylinder, but a 360 cubic inch V-8 with two barrel carburetor (175 horsepower). Cherokees had the 6-cylinder commonplace, however might choice up to the Wagoneer normal V-Eight. Each fashions might choose further for a 4-barrel version of the 360 (195 hp), or a 401 cubic inch V-Eight with 4-barrel carb (215 hp). Wagoneers acquired freer-flowing exhaust methods to help gasoline financial system.
- 15-inch aluminum wheels turned out there for both Wagoneer and Cherokee.
The new Cherokee was provided in two versions, the base model and S (Sport) model. Base Cherokees had black window moldings, painted bumpers, dog dish middle hub caps, rubber flooring mats, and bench seats. Cherokee S models came with fancier aspect body and decrease tape striping, vibrant window moldings, chrome bumpers, aluminum wheels, roof rack, and more interior options normal.
- Larger bumpers have been fitted across the board in order to adjust to U.S. authorities laws specifying no injury on impacts up to 5 mph. Whereas they are visibly larger, the difference to the eye is a delicate one.
- Disc brakes had by no means been provided earlier than on any Jeeps, however this yr Wagoneers have been upgraded to commonplace front disc brakes. Whereas Cherokees nonetheless had Four wheel drum brakes normal, front discs might be had for an additional $65.
- Four-wheel-drive Wagoneers and Cherokees have been fitted with 6-bolt wheels as an alternative of 5-bolt wheels. Wheel diameter remained at 15 inches, as it had been since 1963.
- All Wagoneer and Cherokee engines obtained new electronic ignition techniques that lowered gasoline consumption.
- Redesigned 5-leaf springs have been featured on all fashions. To enhance experience high quality, rear springs had a brand new progressive-rate design with longer shock absorbers mounted in a staggered place.
Customized Wagoneers have been obtainable with a wider part of simulated wooden trim on the sides and rear. While this larger wooden design only lasted one mannequin yr, it will return during 1978 with a barely totally different grain. It’s fascinating to observe how much the wood grain patterns improved over the years.
A new “Cherokee Chief” package deal on the Sport model turned out there. To add a rugged look, exterior trim consisted of low-gloss black tape and decals, with black plastic wheel opening molding pieces. Tires have been larger and beefier, and rear wheel openings on the Chief have been extra minimize out and uncovered than they have been on different Cherokees and Wagoneers.
- A new “wide wheel and tire package” package deal for the Cherokee Chief included flared fenders around the wheel openings as well as 10-inch broad wheels and 3.54:1 axle ratio.
- The exterior wood trim on Custom Wagoneer models reverted back to its smaller, extra conservative pre-1975 type this yr.
- All Wagoneer and Cherokee models acquired beefed up frames with stronger cross members and boxed aspect rail development. New heavy-duty springs have been provided on both fashions for many who ventured further off street.
- All Cherokees acquired normal bucket seats as an alternative of a bench. Chief models obtained front disc brakes, energy steering, and gasoline tank skid plate as commonplace gear.
- A four-door Cherokee model was launched for 1977, with body panels similar to Wagoneers. Whereas a Sport Package deal was provided on the four-door, the Cherokee Chief remained as a package deal for two-doors only.
- As an alternative of base and Customized Wagoneers, only one mannequin of the Wagoneer was out there for 1977. Whereas it was unlabeled, it mirrored the larger luxury content material of the earlier yr’s Customized mannequin.
- Base model Cherokees acquired energy front disc brakes as commonplace gear, and the single barrel carburetor on the base 6-cylinder Cherokee engine was changed by a regular 2-barrel unit.
- Spare tires on Wagoneers and Cherokees have been switched from a horizontal place underneath the rear of the car to being vertically mounted inside the rear storage area.
- The Wagoneer’s normal 360-cubic-inch V-Eight engine now featured the Four-barrel carburetor commonplace instead of the 2-barrel.
A new Wagoneer “Limited” luxury was introduced halfway by way of the model yr. In accordance to Jeep literature, the Limited was “A cut above excellence…built for the man who demands the ultimate in four-wheel-drive performance without compromising on luxury”. Priced 40 % greater than the major Wagoneer mannequin, the Limited got here with every conceivable luxury choice.
- Apparently, the wider exterior wood trim that made a quick appearance on 1975 Customized Wagoneers made a return on the Limited, providing a most trendy look that may stay intact by means of 1991. Wagoneer Limited featured distinctive aluminum wheels with ten small round holes which would be used for 1979 additionally.
- Neither the 401 cubic inch V-Eight or 360 Four-barrel V-Eight engines have been provided for 1979. Focusing on gasoline financial system, the prime engine was now the 360 2-barrel which made a lowered 155 horsepower. This was commonplace on Wagoneers and non-compulsory on Cherokees.
- Wagoneer models acquired one-piece aluminum bumpers to further improve mileage by weight discount.
- Aside from the changes referenced above, Wagoneer Restricted models remained unchanged from 1978.
Cherokee two- and four-door fashions have been carried over from 1978. Cherokee two-doors with the extensive wheel and tire flared fender package deal might select a brand new “Golden Eagle” trim choice. Similarly outfitted as the Cherokee Chief trim choice, the Golden Eagle differed only in exterior colours and decals.
Wagoneer Limited fashions featured a new design of cast aluminum wheels with a turbine fin design that turned the norm by means of mid-1987.
After the second gasoline disaster of the decade hit throughout the summer time of 1979, Jeep product planners targeted even additional on fuel mileage. While the 360 V8 was carried over as normal on the Wagoneer, consumers might also delete that in lieu of the inline 6-cylinder engine which had been round for a decade. This is able to be the first time since 1973 that a Wagoneer might be had with six cylinders.
- Changing both the Three-speed Borg-Warner guide transmission and the optionally available 4-speed guide was a brand new Tremec Four-speed guide designed with a weight-saving aluminum housing. While this transmission was naturally normal on Cherokee models, it was also obtainable with the 6-cylinder engine in Wagoneers if a purchaser needed it.
- This yr, Wagoneers might now also be ordered with a part-time 4-wheel-drive system – a primary since the QuadraTrac full-time system debuted on 1974 fashions. This provided a achieve in gasoline financial system in contrast to full-time four wheel drive.
- An up to date QuadraTrac full-time four wheel drive system featured a restricted slip differential that used a viscous fluid coupling as an alternative of the cone-clutch system used by means of 1979. This provided decreased put on and smoother operation. This technique could possibly be ordered on Cherokees and Wagoneers.
- This yr, a lighter “Torque Flite” 3-speed automated transmission sourced by Chrysler changed the earlier Basic Motors automated. This might be retained by means of the end of SJ body production in 1991.
- Cherokee two-doors with the large wheel and tire flared fender package deal might choose a new “Laredo” trim choice. Similarly outfitted as Cherokee Chief and Golden Eagle packages, the Laredo differed primarily in exterior colors and decals.
- Wagoneer Limited fashions featured a new design of cast aluminum wheels with a turbine fin design that turned the norm by means of mid-1987. Wheels on Wagoneer Customized and Brougham fashions (shown here) have been borrowed from the CJ-7 for 1980-82.
The 1981 Wagoneer line was expanded to embrace three ranges: Custom, Brougham, and Limited. Customized and Brougham models featured less wood, if any, whereas the Restricted maintained its established order.
- This yr, the 360 V-8 truly turned an choice for all Wagoneers as a result of the official base engine was now the 6-cylinder throughout the board. The six had seen quite a few improvements together with a weight reduction of 90 pounds by means of aluminum elements and removing of mass from the engine block.
To further enhance gasoline financial system, a entrance airdam was fitted under the entrance bumper of all Wagoneers and Cherokees to scale back wind resistance beneath. Redesigned front and rear springs lowered experience peak to scale back wind resistance overhead. New, drag-free brake calipers retracted back in additional so no brake pad rub would occur when brakes weren’t being utilized.
- The Chrysler-sourced Three-speed automated transmission was now outfitted with a lockup torque converter – eliminating slippage as soon as the car reached a gentle velocity.
- To scale back engine rpms, all Wagoneer and Cherokee models were given more relaxed remaining gearing in axle ratios and in the first gear of guide transmissions.
A new Chief package deal was introduced on four-door Cherokees. The truth is, all four-door Cherokees have been now badged as Chief fashions. The Chief package deal was non-compulsory on the base two-door and broad wheel package deal two-door.
- Steering wheels and dashboards have been up to date for 1982.
- An optionally available Tremec 5-speed guide transmission with overdrive was new this yr, out there on Cherokees and Wagoneer Custom fashions with part-time 4WD solely. Wagoneer Brougham and Restricted models now had the Three-speed automated commonplace.
- A new “Selec-Trac” part time 2wd/four wheel drive system was introduced as commonplace on Wagoneers and non-compulsory on Cherokees. Selec-Trac low range was engaged solely when the car was in 4WD since a sequential lockout system within the transfer case prevented low vary operation in 2wd mode. A floor-mounted lever controlled engagement in and out of Low range, which was executed only when the car was stopped.
- The 258-cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine’s compression ratio was bumped back up this yr for extra energy, and a gasoline suggestions system and knock sensor have been added to enhance performance and efficiency. This was still the commonplace engine on all Cherokee and Wagoneer models.
- The Wagoneer line was decreased to Brougham (no exterior wooden trim) and Restricted (wooden trim) fashions. All Wagoneers came solely with the Three-speed automated now, and this is able to proceed on Grand Wagoneers via 1991.
- This was the last mannequin yr that Cherokees have been Wagoneer clones, as they have been redesigned on a smaller unibody chassis for 1984. A new “Pioneer” package deal was commonplace on the four-door and non-compulsory on the two-door. Cherokee Chief and Laredo packages continued, however have been only provided on widewheel two-doors only.
With Cherokee and Wagoneer models being moved onto a new smaller platform, the previous SJ physique fashion continued on in one offering which was renamed the “Grand Wagoneer”. In worth and content material, it was equal to the Wagoneer Restricted and included nearly each luxury choice.
Grand Wagoneer tail lights have been not like the Wagoneer ones which had all the time wrapped round the rear corners. Like the Cherokee tail lights, they have been slender and vertical on the tailgate panel solely.
- 1984 Grand Wagoneer sales reached 19,081 – a quantity that nearly tied 1983 model Wagoneer gross sales of 19,155.
- A Grand Wagoneer without wood trim was provided for 1984. Due to sluggish gross sales, it didn’t survive into 1985.
- The Selec-Trac four wheel drive system now provided shift on the fly functionality.
- 15” x 7” normal cast aluminum wheels now featured gold paint between every fin. These gold wheels would final by way of 1986.
- New for 1985 was a moveable middle armrest that retracted so three adults might sit throughout entrance bucket seats, and headrests have been adjustable.
- Grand Wagoneers all acquired a brand new stand-up hood ornament.
- Dashboards and interiors have been redesigned with a extra trendy look that included integrated controls for the air conditioner and heater/defrost methods. This interior look would stay by means of 1991.
- Chryler purchased AMC/Jeep in March of 1987 however left the Grand Wagoneer principally because it was because the revenue margin per car was a good $5,000 to $6,000.
- The outside featured revised woodgrained sides in English Walnut with new nameplates and V8 badges. On the inside have been new tan or cordovan trims that changed the honey and garnet colors, whereas the inside help pulls on the door panels have been removed.
- A new electric sunroof featured a built-in air deflector and venting functionality. Otherwise, changes have been minimal.
1989 via 1991
- Chrysler oversaw a basic enchancment in fit and finish on Grand Wagoneers throughout these years. An inside overhead console, borrowed from Chrysler’s personal minivans, was additionally added for 1989. This practical console featured a lot brighter map lights, an outdoor temperature sensor, compass, and an infrared distant keyless entry system.
- These final three mannequin years also featured new paint colors that included the uncommon and favored Hunter Green metallic that turned obtainable for 1991. Of interest, Hunter Inexperienced is the colour of the 1991 Grand Wagoneer in the Chrysler museum, as well as the shade of the very last Grand Wagoneer ever made (produced June 21, 1991) that’s on show at the Nationwide Vehicle Museum.
Whereas Wagoneer manufacturing by way of the 1980-1990 mannequin years tended to run from 10okay to 20okay models yearly, just one,560 Grand Wagoneers have been produced for the remaining 1991 mannequin yr. House owners had the choice of getting a “Final Edition Jeep Grand Wagoneer” badge on the dashboard.