Most folks don’t give Jeep a second thought in terms of vintage examples but we think this two- door Cherokee is an oldie but a goodie. The model was developed by Renault (!) which partnered/controlled/owned American Motors from the late 1970’s until it sold to Chrysler in ’87. AMC, by the way, had bought Jeep from Kaiser in 1970; Kaiser had merged with Jeep’s Willys-Overland parent in 1953. Yes, there WILL be a quiz.
This one recalls Ike and Tina Turner’s version of “Proud Mary” wherein the former Mrs. Turner explains she likes things “nice and rough.” That mini steer horn hood ornament and the door dent seem to fill the “rough” bill. It’s difficult to determine model years of these since these were offered from 1984 – 2001 with few changes differentiating one from another. We noted that the tail light lenses (see detail) are marked ’83XJ’ — 83 being the year and XJ the internal code for this model. Maybe they made the lenses in advance?
Let’s go back a decade for an ancestor that was styled by Brooks Stevens, the Wisconsin-based industrial designer, when Jeep was Kaiser-owned. The idea that a utility vehicle — the term ‘sport’ wasn’t yet in play — could have some creature comforts was revolutionary when it was introduced in the ’63 model year. Advance 11 years and you have this splendid “nice and easy” specimen parked on a yuppified street in Berkeley, CA.
These two vehicles are at the root of the SUV revolution but don’t blame the good folks at Willys-Kaiser-AMC-Renault-Chrysler for what ensued after they were created. Today, shopping center parking lots are crammed full of all-wheel drive behemoths, stuffed with leather seats and flat screens in the back to keep the kids occupied. This kind of unintended use of purpose-built vehicles like these wasn’t really part of the plan. As when fraternity brothers discover a dead body the day after the big kegger, things just seem to have gotten out of hand over the past 50 years.
Kaiser touted Wagoneer’s overhead valve motor back in this early commercial.
Cherokee was an instant sensation with the off road set as touted here.
They want a whopping $54,000 for this low mileage ’91 Grand Wagoneer and we just don’t see the “utility” in that. Click and gasp.
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