This vintage SUV won’t set you back nearly as much as the one sold recently at auction

Pick of the Day is a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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pick jeep

You may have watched the sale on television or read recently about the 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that sold at Barrett-Jackson for an astounding $110,000. While vintage sport utility vehicles have become popular with collectors of late, that 6-figure price paid was the exception, not the rule.

It was the exception because the ’89 model on the block at Barrett-Jackson not only was a 1-owner vehicle, not only still had its original paint but had been driven only 8,000 miles by that owner, and still had its factory-installed tool kit in place — and the original trailer wiring kit was still in its delivery bag.

The Pick of the Day is another Grand Wagoneer from the same generation. In this case, a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Lebanon, Missouri, for a seemingly more reasonable asking price of $49,900.

“From 1984 through the end of production in 1991, the Grand Wagoneer had only minor styling changes,” the dealer notes in the advertisement.  “The same body-on-frame construction from the earliest models continued throughout the production run.  

“Power was derived from an American Motors 360 cubic inch V8 engine and transmitted to the tires through a three-speed automatic transmission.”

Chrysler purchased American Motors in 1987 but didn’t make any major changes since the Grand Wagoneer was a vehicle without a direct competitor, the dealer adds.

“A few cosmetic changes came about, such as the overhead console ‘borrowed’ from the company’s mini-van lines, but no major changes came about.  Speculation was that Chrysler would replace the carbureted 360 engine with their similar-sized fuel-injected powerplant, but that never happened.”

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The dealer notes that, “The 1989 to 1991 Grand Wagoneer models were considered by experts to be the gold standard in the industry for that class of vehicle in terms of fit and finish.  Unfortunately, changing economic times caused gasoline prices to greatly increase and suddenly 11 mpg vehicles became very difficult for dealers to sell.  

“Sales for the 1990 model dropped over just from 10,000 units to 6,449 and that drop continued as 4,253 Grand Wagoneers sold in the final year of production in 1991.

“Further, new vehicle safety standards mandated by the federal government would have effectively forced Chrysler to completely redesign the vehicle going forward which would have required a huge capital investment.  Weighing all the factors, Chrysler announced in February 1991 that the Grand Wagoneer would not be included in the 1992 model year offerings bringing a twenty-nine-model-year production run to an end.”

The SUV on offer comes with the V8 engine, 3-speed automatic transmission, front and rear Dana 44 axles, power steering, disc brakes, windows and locks as well as factory air conditioning and a factory hitch receiver.

Like the one at Barrett-Jackson, it wears Bright White paint and wood-grain trim.

The odometer shows slightly more than 64,000 miles and the dealer believes that figure to be accurate. The vehicle has had only two owners, the first keeping the car from new until the summer of 2016.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

9 COMMENTS

  1. That Wagoneer was a true unicorn. Many times low mileage examples were not properly stored and sometimes garage queens have dents from years of open doors by stable mates and scratches from being used as a shelf. This example was incredible in every way. The stainless had its original plastic protective film still in place and it took 2 days to remove. There was still plastic on many parts of the interior and all features worked as new including the clock. I am glad it was appreciated and went to a good home. I will miss it and I knew there most likely would not be an equal when I sold it. That is why it brought that kind of money at auction.

  2. I also had three of these Lemons ( bad on me for the last two). When they worked 100% they were wonderful but you never knew when that would be. Dealer was less than than helpful. All purchased new and never again.

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