Jeep in the Early Nineties

In the late Eighties and early Nineties, Jeep's big Wagoneer would continue with incremental advances, such as an improved suspension and "shift-on-the-fly" Selec-Trac (1985), a new instrument panel (1986), a return to standard V-8 power (1987), and added convenience features.

Though it was near the end of the line, the 1990 Jeep Wagoneer continued to impress.
Though it was near the end of the line, the 1990
Jeep Wagoneer continued to impress.

Despite advancing age -- by 1987 it had been on the market for 25 years -- it continued to thrill buyers and road testers.

That year, Road & Track called Grand Wagoneer "one of the most capable off-roaders going," said interior appointments "are truly grand," and summed it up as "a first-rate off-roader and incle­ment weather vehicle AMC has honed close to perfection." How many other 25-year-old designs could have earned such praise?

Wagoneer officially reached the end of the road in 1991. Having crawled back up a bit in the early Eighties after the 1979 gas crisis, sales had fallen off gradually over the next few years. Chrysler Corp­­­oration -- Jeep's parent since its purchase of AMC in mid 1987 -- planned to end Grand Wagoneer production at the end of the model year.

How­ever, some things are hard to let go of, and it seems that a small number of 1992 Grand Wag­oneers were built. One enthusiast claims to have documented four 1992s, and reports that perhaps as many as 300 were built.

Why the factory would build such a small run is a challenging question. It may have been that some last-minute orders needed to be filled, or perhaps it was an effort to use up leftover parts -- or maybe it was a combination of those things.

There was a sort of Grand Wagoneer revival in 1993, a loaded, wood-grained version of the all-new Grand Cherokee, but it didn't sell very well. After all, over the prior three decades, veteran Wag­oneer owners had become accustomed to having nothing but the best. How could they settle for an imitation?

Want to learn more about the classic Jeep Wagoneer? See the next page to find selected mechanical, vehicle, and engine specifications for the 1965 Jeep Wagoneer 4×4.

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