Wagoneers through the Years

History
The first Jeep ever produced came from my father’s hometown, Butler PA, and Jeep Wagoneers have been a part of the Kerr family business since the 60’s. Grand Wagoneer by Classic Gentleman continues to honor the Kerr family tradition.

1984 – 1991

We receive many calls from prospective buyers near and far-including every continent- often searching for a “Grand” in a particular color, or mileage requirement or possibly a particular year of production.

The Grand Wagoneer was only produced for eight years, from 1984 thru 1991. The final years saw the lowest production numbers and it was no longer viable to keep the Grand Wagoneer assembly lines humming… making an ancient artifact from a different era.

The principal architecture or a Grand Wagoneer itself dates from 1962 when the Jeep Wagoneer was first produced. Upgrades and improvements over the years culminated in the 1991 final production year but those changes are best described as an evolution of the original design, not a revolution. It is because of the careful and relatively minor changes over the years that you can lift the front grill frame off of a 1991 Grand Wagoneer and behind it you will still see the cut out holes for the 4 round headlamps from the 1962 introductory year model Jeep Wagoneer.

You can decide for yourself if, over the decades, the minor model year to year changes of the Wagoneer were a testament to the designer’s desire to stay true to the classic engineering or down to the fact that the makers of Jeep were always narrowing their losses to avoid bankruptcy. Either way, we are left with a design birthed in the early 60’s that continued being produced into the 90s… Remarkable indeed. And speaking of the 60’s, have a look at the black & white image here.

Here below is a highlight reel of the 1984 to 1991 model years, and their differences.

Click on each year for individual model year description & images:

1984

This was the first year that AMC/JEEP used the Grand Wagoneer nameplate,
The 1984 model dashboards featured the traditional round gauge layout with factory standard air conditioning installed as a separate unit, affixed along the bottom of the dash. When these dashboards were first designed, Jeep never thought that the factory would offer the expensive luxury option of air conditioning as a standard feature one day. That is why the heat and a/c systems in this Wagoneer run totally independent of each other, indeed you can run them both the a/c and the heat at the same time, if you have a mind too. This was also the only year Grand Wagoneers did not have headrests for the front seat occupants.

Interior color choices Nutmeg or Almond

The exterior wood trim is referred to as “open”, signifying the wood sticker on the Grand Wagoneers sides being unbroken by vertical wood trim.

Here is an example of a 1984 Nordic Green Grand Wagoneer we restored for a California collector, a twin to the one his Grandfather, former CEO & Chairman of AMC/Jeep, had once owned.

1985

Final year for the Grand Wagoneer lower profile 1 piece front grill set up that Jeep had been using since 1979 on their Wagoneers. Also the final full year for the “open” wood trim exterior treatment.

Inside, this was the last year for the traditional round gauge dash display and the first year that Grand Wagoneer used the larger silhouette driver’s and passenger’s front seats with headrests.

Interior color choices Honey & Garnet

Here is an example of a 1985 Dark Honey Metallic Grand Wagoneer we sold with only 24,086 miles

1986

The most significant model year change to date for the Grand Wagoneer nameplate.

These changes would stay with the Jeep till their final 1991 production run including a complete cosmetic redesign of the front grill along with the headlamps, the stand up hood ornament first appeared on the Grand Wagoneer and “enclosed” wood trim came into use.

The interior dash and gauge layout was completely new, along with the steering wheel and various instrument controls. The a/c & heat systems and controls were combined into a typical modern layout.

Interior color choices were Honey or Garnet

Have a look at our beautiful restoration of this 1986 example, we professionally color converted her into the ever popular and seldom seen Hunter Green.

1987

There are very little differences between the 1987 & 1988 model years. Perhaps that is due, in part, to AMC selling the Jeep brand to Chrysler during 1987 and Chrysler was just beginning to work out any enhancements they would offer on future Grands.

All of what first appeared in 1986 continued in ’87 & ’88 except the 6 cylinder engine was no longer offered, as the only power plant choice from 1987 forward was the tried and true 360ci V8. (Even though the 360ci V8 motor was an option in previous model years, most buyers chose them over the standard 6 cylinder engine that was stock from 1986 and backwards).

Interior choice were either Tan or Cordovan

Here is a handsome Charcoal Metallic 1987 restoration.

1988

There are very little differences between the 1987 & 1988 model years. Perhaps that is due, in part, to AMC selling the Jeep brand to Chrysler during 1987 and Chrysler was just beginning to work out any enhancements they would offer on future Grands.

All of what first appeared in 1986 continued in ’87 & ’88 except the 6 cylinder engine was no longer offered, as the only power plant choice from 1987 forward was the tried and true 360ci V8. (Even though the 360ci V8 motor was an option in previous model years, most buyers chose them over the standard 6 cylinder engine that was stock from 1986 and backwards).

Interior choice were either Tan or Cordovan

Have a look at our 1988 low 39,313 original mile example in Baltic Blue Metallic.

1989

During the final years three years of the Grand Wagoneer production run only limited numbers of these Grands were made, as more modern competitors appeared on the stage that cut into Grand Wagoneers buyer’s pool. They are the most rare, because the fewest of them were sold comparatively speaking to earlier production years.

Buyers often ask us if these are the best model years to own, because they were the last Grands produced. Our advice is, whilst a ’91 will command a higher dollar because of low production volume, as you have read on this page previously, the DNA of these Grands is buried deep into the 60’s and the Grand Wagoneer run itself changed little from 1984 thru 1991. Most buyers will find the differences between the model years, regarding reliability, comfort and drivability, as very subjective with most having difficulty developing a preference of one model year over another.

A curious artifact of the initial Chrysler changes included the lifting of the overhead console from their minivans and fitting them in the Grand Wagoneer. It displayed the exterior temperature along with a compass reading, and map lights.

Interior colors were Sand for ’89 & ’90, Dark Sand for ’91 or Cordovan for all 3 years.

Here is Hilary Duff’s 34,065 mile Spinnaker Blue we restored for her wedding day.

1990

During the final years three years of the Grand Wagoneer production run only limited numbers of these Grands were made, as more modern competitors appeared on the stage that cut into Grand Wagoneers buyer’s pool. They are the most rare, because the fewest of them were sold comparatively speaking to earlier production years.

Buyers often ask us if these are the best model years to own, because they were the last Grands produced. Our advice is, whilst a ’91 will command a higher dollar because of low production volume, as you have read on this page previously, the DNA of these Grands is buried deep into the 60’s and the Grand Wagoneer run itself changed little from 1984 thru 1991. Most buyers will find the differences between the model years, regarding reliability, comfort and drivability, as very subjective with most having difficulty developing a preference of one model year over another.

A curious artifact of the initial Chrysler changes included the lifting of the overhead console from their minivans and fitting them in the Grand Wagoneer. It displayed the exterior temperature along with a compass reading, and map lights.

Interior colors were Sand for ’89 & ’90, Dark Sand for ’91 or Cordovan for all 3 years.

A Dover Grey example with a full cosmetic and mechanical restoration happily in Nantucket.

1991

During the final years three years of the Grand Wagoneer production run only limited numbers of these Grands were made, as more modern competitors appeared on the stage that cut into Grand Wagoneers buyer’s pool. They are the most rare, because the fewest of them were sold comparatively speaking to earlier production years.

Buyers often ask us if these are the best model years to own, because they were the last Grands produced. Our advice is, whilst a ’91 will command a higher dollar because of low production volume, as you have read on this page previously, the DNA of these Grands is buried deep into the 60’s and the Grand Wagoneer run itself changed little from 1984 thru 1991. Most buyers will find the differences between the model years, regarding reliability, comfort and drivability, as very subjective with most having difficulty developing a preference of one model year over another.

A curious artifact of the initial Chrysler changes included the lifting of the overhead console from their minivans and fitting them in the Grand Wagoneer. It displayed the exterior temperature along with a compass reading, and map lights.

We restored this runway supermodel of Grand Wagoneers for the past President of Liz Claiborne.