When it first arrived in 1962 as a 1963 model, the Jeep® Wagoneer (SJ) was known as a rough and tumble SUV that proved to be a highly capable off-road and tow vehicle. However, it didn’t take long for the Wagoneer to adopt a more luxury tone in the 1970s, becoming the first-ever luxury-oriented SUV.
In 1984 the SJ was reimagined to become the first-ever luxury SUV with the Grand Wagoneer. The Grand Wagoneer would give buyers an unheard combination of standard features like leather seating, air conditioning, AM/FM/CB stereo radios, sound insulation for a quieter cabin, and a handsome faux wood-grain exterior trim. Growing up in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, you would be hard-pressed not to see a successful family in a movie or television who did not drive one of the iconic Grand Wagoneers.
After a 29-year production run, the Chrysler Corporation who had recently purchased the rights of the Jeep brand through its acquisition of the failing American Motors Corporation (AMC), decided to end the production of the SJ. The last Grand Wagoneer SJ, which was painted Hunter Green Metallic, rolled off the Toledo Assembly Plant line on June 21st, 1991.
Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increased demand for the legendary SJ models. Several companies like Wagonmaster and Vigilante have restored and/or built resto-mod versions of the SJ, causing Jeep to resurrect the nameplate on its latest lineup of full-size SUV models. But while the new models are some of the most premium vehicle offerings on the market today, nothing beats the experience of the original.
This particular 1986 model, has undergone a 2-year, comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration. It has been brought back to its original specifications and looks just like the day it left the dealer. Under the hood is a 5.9-liter (360 cubic-inch) V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor setup that is good for 144 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. The 5.9-liter was mated to a 3-speed automatic and was capable of a 0 to 60 mph time of a lackluster 14.7 seconds.
While the power of the 5.9-liter is underwhelming compared to today’s standards, the Grand Wagoneer is full of comfort and luxury options. Inside there is a beautiful tan interior with leather and cloth upholstered seats, “Jeep” embroidered floor mats, and stunning looking dashboard and door panels. The interior offers air conditioning, power windows, power locks, and power seats and with its restoration, no detail has been overlooked. While the factory AM/FM/Cassette radio is still there, it has been updated with Bluetooth connectivity for a modern touch without disrupting the originality.
Even the frame has been powder coated to help withstand today’s harsh weather. There is even a set of the factory-correct aluminum wheels with gold highlights wrapped in white-letter Uniroyal tires. This Grand Wagoneer is a prime example of any diehard Jeep collector’s wishlist.
Mecum expects that this Grand Wagoneer will fetch in the neighborhood of $120,000 to $130,000 USD. Understanding how much restored models are going for in today’s market, we believe that is a solid estimate for the brand-new-looking SJ.
This SJ is scheduled to cross the auction block on Thursday, January 13th, 2022 at the Mecum Kissimmee event. If you are interested in seeing more of this Grand Wagoneer or other Wagoneers going across the block in Florida, visit the Mecum website.
1986 Jeep® Grand Wagoneer (SJ) Image Gallery: