This was mid-'60s luxury by any standard. The Super Wagoneer stood alone in this regard am
The Wagoneer debuted after a long development process by what then was Kaiser Jeep. It offered the comfort and convenience of a mid-trim-level American station wagon combined with the hauling and towing capabilities of a 1/2-ton truck and the dirt-road or inclement-weather capability of a 4x4. It was an instant hit and knockoffs soon ensued.
The original Wagoneer heralded several new innovations. The first was a potent overhead-cam six that cranked out 140 hp. Next on the unique list was the option of an independent front suspension. With that, it became the first non-military American 4x4 to offer this now familiar feature. Combined with an automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, plus air conditioning, the Wagoneer instantly became the most cultured four-wheeler on the planet. It was offered in two- or four-door configurations, and a panel and 4x2 versions were available in all body styles. The four-door 4x4 models ultimately won the day saleswise and by 1968, the other types were dropped.
In 1965, the Wagoneers upgraded to an optional V-8, a two-barrel 327ci Rambler engine and the OHC six was dropped in favor of Rambler's new 232ci OHV six. The BorgWarner automatic was deleted in favor of the new GM-built Turbo-Hydramatic TH-400 automatic. When the venerable Rambler V-8 was discontinued in 1967, a Buick 350 was used.
The Wagoneer debuted in November 1962 as a '63 model, setting a new comfort standard for f
In an era where overhead-cam engines were reserved only for a few expensive sports cars, J
The early Wagoneers had an interior that was equivalent to that of a mid-level car of the
Even more luxury was offered in the limited-production Super Wagoneer, built in small numbers from late 1965 to 1969. Along with snazzy upgrades to the exterior, it had a plush leather interior with contoured bucket seats, a special console-mounted shifter for the Turbo-Hydramatic, four-speaker AM/FM stereo system with an available eight-track, a high-output four-barrel version of the Rambler 327, "big" 8.45-15 tires and a host of other mechanical refinements designed to make it more carlike.
After the AMC purchase of Jeep from Kaiser in 1970, the Super Custom 1414X soon took over as the top-gun luxury rig. The '71 Super was the last year for the Buick V-8 and thereafter all Wagoneers used AMC powerplants, either the 258ci six, or 304-, 360- or 401ci V-8s. In 1974, AMC introduced another industry-leading option into the Wagoneer: Quadra-Trac. This full-time system introduced user-friendly four-wheel drive to the SUV world.
The '66 Super Wagoneer was the first purpose-built luxury SUV in the world. It was intende
By the time this '70 Wagoneer Custom was built, the standard line had moved upmarket, but
The Wagoneer's less expensive and more adventurous cousins were in the '74-'83 Cherokee li
By early 1979, the Wagoneer had acquired its signature woodgrain sides and was firmly in the upmarket category. Selling well, it remained largely unchanged through the transition of Jeep into the Chrysler organization. In 1984, the upstart Cherokee XJ compact line, introduced in 1974, began challenging the oldtimer, to the point of pilfering the Wagoneer name for the top-line XJ model and even using the trademark woodgrain side panels.
Chrysler rationalized Jeep production as well as drastically improving quality control. It's said that the final series Grand Wagoneers, built from 1989 into 1991, were the best of the bunch. The '89 model year was the last time the model line received any significant improvements.
Remaining production records are incomplete, but the best available numbers show some 450,000 big Wagoneers built from 1962 through 1991. This includes two- and four-door models, 4x2s and 4x4s, but not the panel delivery. Some 3,900 of those were Super Wagoneers. There were an additional 200,000 big Cherokees built from 1974 to 1983.