5 Facts About the Original Jeep Grand Wagoneer
When you’re looking for a Jeep in Miami, one vehicle you won’t find is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It was one of Jeep’s masterpieces that stopped being made in 1993, but today, it’s something of a find for car enthusiasts. This vehicle has much more to do with Jeep’s making than you think—and even more with modern SUVs than you might think!
Check out these five facts about the original Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
The First SUV
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was technically the first SUV! That’s right, sport utility vehicles didn’t exist before the Wagoneer came along in the 1960s. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was actually designed to replace the station wagon, and indeed, it was actually bigger than the conventional station wagon! It was also designed to incorporate power steering along with an automatic transmission into a vehicle that could be used by people wanting something better than a station wagon.
It’s only natural that Jeep would be the brand to create the first SUV—after all, they feature only SUVs and some crossovers now and their vehicles are revered as one-of-a-kind off-roading machines. Although the current Jeeps combine luxury with some of their models, the Wagoneer wasn’t exactly about luxury, but it led to being the forefather of some amazing SUVs by Jeep.
Meet the Cherokee’s Forefather
That’s right, while the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was designed to replace the station wagon, the Wagoneer was also the predecessor of the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee. So in a way, you could say that the Cherokee was the ultimate replacement for the station wagon. The Cherokee impressed with its popularity and versatile design!
The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee both have helped shape Jeep into the hugely successful SUV company that it is today, and it all wouldn’t be possible without the success of the Wagoneer. In fact, the Wagoneer stuck around in production until 1993, when it was finally outshined and officially replaced by the Jeep Cherokee. And so it was, the Cherokee replaced the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which was meant to replace the station wagon, but sort of ended up trumping it.
The First Automatic Transmission Combined with 4WD
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer wasn’t just meant to be an innovative and versatile vehicle. It was also the first automatic transmission combined with 4WD. This gave drivers the option to not have to drive a manual transmission just to get the 4WD option. Although the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was also offered in a 2WD option as well.
The Wagoneer was also offered in a compact version in 1984 and was very popular, although the Cherokee was smaller, lighter, and slowly, becoming more popular.
The Wagoneer also had independent front suspension and a six-cylinder engine. Although it did have somewhat of a lack of suspension and an unbalanced body, which led to a feeling of weight transferring that never really let the driver have some fun in the Wagoneer. Its design wasn’t refined by a long shot, but this didn’t stop it from being wildly popular among consumers.
The Vehicle that Inspired Jeep’s Outdoorsmen
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the vehicle that inspired Jeep to become a brand marketed to outdoorsmen that want—and need—their SUVs to be capable of just about anything. The Wagoneer played a huge role in this, and was very popular among people who wanted and needed their SUV to be anything and everything.
The Wagoneer was very popular in the construction industry on account of its size and ability to carry nearly anything. It was also popular with farmers and even people in the military—the refined exterior look and yet the 4WD and tackle-any-terrain nature made the Jeep Grand Wagoneer a hit with people who wanted to take it on adventures.
The Wagoneer was an expert hauler and become insanely popular when it came to outdoor sports. People found that it held all their equipment they needed and yet could be versatile on different terrains. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer sparked a never-ending generation of people who found the Wagoneer to be exquisite and versatile.
Jeep’s culture today reflects what the Wagoneer brought to the table—people who love the outdoors and want their vehicles to go just about anywhere they can!
It’s Now Revered
Many Jeep lovers mourn the loss of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. There are many people who specialize in collecting Wagoneers and restoring them to their former glory. Some even specialize in creating a better Jeep Grand Wagoneer, with a more efficient drivetrain and an updated interior.
The Wagoneer has become a past thing for Jeep, but Jeep fans haven’t forgotten about it. Seeing a Jeep Grand Wagoneer on the road today is rare, and seeing a restored one is even rarer than that. Although the restored Jeep Wagoneers are going for a pretty penny these days, and are more expensive than even the newer luxurious models that Jeep has to offer for 2016.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is now revered for its timeless design, space, and plush interior. However, people are restoring them to be more powerful and more equipped to handle modern driving. After all, vehicles have come a long way from when they stopped making the Wagoneer in 1993!
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is a historical Jeep that was many things. It was the first sport utility vehicle, effectively ending a generation of station wagons while simultaneously giving birth to a new generation of SUVs and future station wagons. It was the cornerstone on which the Cherokee and Jeep’s new and most-loved SUVs have been created. It was also a unique drivetrain for that time—automatic and 4WD.
It was the vehicle that inspired an entire culture of Jeep lovers who are passionate about not sacrificing on-road commuting with the best of off-roading capabilities. Today, this vehicle is revered as a classic and people spend crazy amounts of time and money restoring them. Although the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is gone, it’s certainly not forgotten!