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Junkyard Gem: 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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Not many (non-military) mass-produced autos have ever stayed in manufacturing in kind of the identical type for higher than a quarter-century. There’s the Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle, after all, in addition to the Peugeot 504, Hindustan Ambassador, Austin Mini, second-generation Suzuki Cultus, second-generation Volkswagen Passat, and … properly, many others that stretch the definitions of “more or less the same form.” It will get even more durable to seek out an American car that meets that commonplace; even the Ford Mannequin T— which was hilariously obsolete when Henry the First grudgingly permitted manufacturing to stop in 1927— did not even make it to twenty mannequin years. The SJ Jeep Wagoneer is a type of uncommon machines, constructed by three totally different corporations over a interval of 29 mannequin years, and the ones built when George H.W. Bush was president have been basically the identical autos as the ones built when John F. Kennedy was president.

This is a late Grand Wagoneer, present in a self-service yard in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The SJ Wagoneer is the conceptual ancestor of each new luxurious SUV you should buy right this moment, first unveiled when the concept of a genuinely comfy truck appeared ridiculous to most. Launched by Kaiser Jeep as a Brooks Stevens-designed alternative for the jouncy, combat-grade Willys Station Wagon, Wagoneer manufacturing was taken over in 1970 by the American Motors Company after that firm purchased Kaiser-Jeep. AMC constructed Wagoneers and — beginning within the 1984 mannequin yr — Grand Wagoneers till Lee Iacocca’s Chrysler wolfed up the corporate in 1987. Iacocca was extra within the profitable Jeep model itself than within the getting old Grand Wagoneer by that point, however Chrysler continued to construct the SJ throughout 1991.

When the Jeep XJ Cherokee was launched by AMC for 1984, the Wagoneer title grew to become the title for a Cherokee trim stage and the Brooks Stevens truck grew to become the Grand Wagoneer. Now the Grand Wagoneer is back, weighing about two tons greater than this 4,470-pound ’89 and packing 327 to 366 further horses below the hood.

That is proper, this Jeep had a mere 144 horsepower when new, although the torque was an sufficient 280 pound-feet. The engine is the good old American Motors 360, which was launched to the world in 1970 in such Kenosha-made machines as the Rebel and AMX.

The AMC 360 (later often called the Jeep 5.9) nonetheless causes loads of confusion amongst parts-counter workers to at the present time, as a result of Chrysler also built a V8 called the 360, which was utterly unrelated to the AMC engine. Positive, the AMC 360 has a front-mounted distributor whereas the Chrysler 360’s is within the again, and the SJ Wagoneer by no means had a factory-installed Chrysler engine, but it surely does not matter — simply the similarity in designation has been sufficient to trigger decade after decade of elements mixups.

All Jeep SJ Wagoneers had four-wheel-drive (and 4 doorways) after the late Sixties, although you could possibly purchase an SJ-based Cherokee with rear-wheel-drive and/or two doorways afterward.

This one does not look too tough, except for some sun-fading and elements yanked off by junkyard consumers.

Simply 186,816 miles on the clock. The sticker beneath the speedometer appears to point that upkeep service was carried out in 2004, when the mileage complete was 182,760. It is exhausting to think about a working car driving simply 4,000 miles throughout 18 years in sparsely-populated Wyoming (the place the residents habitually drive 150 miles simply to seize a fast lunch), so I think that this truck broke one thing mechanical and obtained parked for good fairly some time again.

The SJ Wagoneer was inbuilt Iran through the Shah’s time, because the Simorgh and Ahoo, and there are nonetheless some on the market on Iranian roads right this moment.

I could not discover a TV industrial for the ’89 Grand Wagoneer, however this ’73 advert is shut sufficient.


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