The Jeep Wagoneer was Jeep’s first luxury go anywhere vehicle. The Jeep Wagoneer was introduced in 1962 by Willys Jeep prior to the American Motors years and was still produced well into the Chrysler ownership.Things were changing rapidly during the early 1960’s for Jeep and not soon after the first Wagoneers came out the company changed it’s name to Kaiser Jeep.

jeep grand wagoneer
1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The Jeep Wagoneer Production Years

The first Jeep Wagoneer was named a 1963 model and the line lasted until 1991 and was succeeded by the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Production stopped about mid-year in 1991 on the Wagoneers. With production ending so soon in 1991, these models became quickly collectible because of the relatively low number built, some 1,560 units.

The Jeep Utility is the vehicle many think of when remembering the Jeep brand. Jeep Utility Wagons were brought out right after the end of World War Two. The Jeep Wagons stayed with the same design for years and was the basis for the first Wagoneer.

1986 grand wagoneer
86 Jeep Grand Wagoneer showing wood grain side panels

The 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The automobile featured in this article is the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The “Grand” in Grand Wagoneer was added in 1984 when the Cherokee moved to the downsized XJ platform taking the regular Wagoneer name with it. The automobile as marketed and sold as a station wagon. The 1986 Grand Wagoneer was a luxurious vehicle with a leather interior, power everything, a comfortable ride and with 4 wheel drive.

Starting in the 1986 model year, the Grand Wagoneer received a new four part front grille and a stand-up hood ornament. The interior of these models were changed significantly. The instrument panel gauges were made square along with wood grain overlays. The vehicle was also given a stand-up hood ornament and the 1986 Grand Wagoneers offered a power sunroof as a factory option.

Fuel economy as we know it today was not the 1986 Wagoneer’s strong suit. According to mileage was rated as 10 MPG city and 12 MPG highway. This was for an eight cylinder 5.9 liter engine with a three speed automatic transmission.

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Specifications

As mentioned above the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer came out with a 5.9 liter 360 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 140 horsepower. Also mentioned above was the fact that fuel efficiency wasn’t terrific at 12 MPG highway. Nevertheless, the engine did produce good power.

Another 1986 engine was the 4.2 liter 260 cubic inch V-8 delivering 112 horsepower. Mileage ratings on this vehicle were 15 city and 17 highway.

Transmission was a Chrysler TorqueFlite A727 three speed automatic.

Wheelbase for the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer was 108.7 inches with an overall outside length of 186.4 inches. Width was 74.8 inches and height 66.4 inches. Curb weight was about 4,510 lbs.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The 1950 Willys Station Wagon

A Great Looking 1936 Ford Woodie Wagon

The Willys Military MBPatrick Foster

Two good reads regarding Jeep and the Wagoneer include…Jeep Wagoneer 1963-91 Performance Portfolio by R.M. Clarke and The Story of Jeep by author Patrick Foster.

jeep grand wagoneer station wagon
1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer station wagon

Jeep Grand Wagoneer / A Classic That May Have A Bright Future

It’s our belief that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer could have a good future as a collector automobile. As it stands today, the car is a collector automobile and it’s popularity could grow as time goes by. Remember, the Wagoneer was the precursor of the Jeep Cherokee.

Many people assume it’s a 1970’s vintage vehicle based on the wood panels and the styling. The fact of the matter is the model was launched in the early 1960s and was built into the 1990’s.

The common engines in the latter years were the Chrysler 340 and 360 cubic-inch engines. The 360 cubic inch was the last carbureted engine offered in North America.

Fortune Magazine in a 2012 article named the Jeep Grand Wagoneer among the ten classic cars worth reviving. Jeep’s owner, AMC, created a Grand Wagoneer by making the original Jeep design more car-like and adding luxury features like artificial wood trim and a new grille to the old body-on-frame platform. With the automobile’s primitive engineering, the Grand Wagoneer is a luxury sport utility vehicle for people who can’t afford — or don’t want to be seen in — a Cadillac Escalade.

jeep wagoneer
Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a classic automobile

Regarding current asking prices for Jeep Grand Wagoneers, the range is wide. As of this writing the range for a 1989 Grand Wagoneer can vary from $10,000 to $29,000 depending on condition and restoration. The higher figure represents a Grand Wagoneer with a rebuilt engine, brakes and suspension. The car has about 57,000 miles.

We also see a low mileage (48,000) 1988 Grand Wagoneer being offered for $49,000 and a 1988 Grand Wagoneer with 83,000 miles with a price tag of $27,900 as well as a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with 104,000 miles with an asking price of $12,750. This model has dual Exhaust with Hedman Hedders, Magnaflow performance exhaust, and an Edelbrock 4-bbl carburetor.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)