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Junkyard Gem: 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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Not many (non-military) mass-produced automobiles have ever stayed in manufacturing in kind of the identical kind 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 … effectively, many others that stretch the definitions of “more or less the same form.” It will get even more durable to search out an American car that meets that normal; 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 firms over a interval of 29 mannequin years, and the ones built when George H.W. Bush was president had been basically the identical automobiles 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 at the moment, first unveiled when the concept of a genuinely snug 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 12 months — 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 growing older Grand Wagoneer by that point, however Chrysler continued to construct the SJ right through 1991.

When the Jeep XJ Cherokee was launched by AMC for 1984, the Wagoneer identify grew to become the identify 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 beneath 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 referred to as the Jeep 5.9) nonetheless causes loads of confusion amongst parts-counter staff 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 would not matter — simply the similarity in designation has been sufficient to trigger decade after decade of components mixups.

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

This one would not look too tough, apart from some sun-fading and components yanked off by junkyard customers.

Simply 186,816 miles on the clock. The sticker under the speedometer appears to point that upkeep service was carried out in 2004, when the mileage whole was 182,760. It is laborious to think about a operating 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 bought parked for good fairly some time again.

The SJ Wagoneer was in-built Iran in the course of the Shah’s time, because the Simorgh and Ahoo, and there are nonetheless some on the market on Iranian roads at the moment.

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

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