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1946-1986 Jeep CJ

1987 Jeep Wrangler Design

Jeep CJ fans waited with bated breath for the release of the 1987 Jeep Wrangler. They weren't disappointed.

jeep cj-5 renegade
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1987 Jeep Wrangler drew design inspiration from classic Jeeps such as the CJ-5.

Initially, the 1987 Jeep Wrangler was offered in three trim levels: base, Sport Decor, and Laredo. The last came only with a rigid hardtop that was optional for the other two, which had a factory-installed folding soft top.

Common to all was a brand-new dash sporting full instrumentation, with speedometer, tachometer, and warning lamp cluster positioned directly ahead of the driver. Also new was an integrated heat/vent/air conditioning system with lever control.

Standard equipment included metal half-doors, fuel tank skid plate, a padded roll bar connected to the top of the windshield frame by outboard side bars, swing-out tailgate, high-back front bucket seats, a foldable rear bench seat, tinted windshield, and P215/75R15 radial tires.

The Sport Decor Group added P215/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler "all terrain" tires, AM/FM monaural radio, extra carpeting, "Wrangler" hood decals, and bodyside tape stripes.

If you ordered the Laredo you got full carpeting, sound insulation package, "Buffalo-grain" vinyl trim, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, center console, and carpeted door panels with map pockets, plus color-keyed wheel flares, full-length mud guards with cut-out side steps, chrome grille and bumpers, and 15 x 7-inch five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels.

As for options, the Jeep Wrangler picked up where the CJ left off. On the comfort/convenience side were tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, cruise control, electronically tuned stereo radios with or without cassette player, an electric rear window defroster for hardtops, and various trim items.

Among the more functional extras were power steering, halogen foglamps, "Trac-Lok" rear differential, and an Off-Road Package with 255mm tires and gas-filled heavy-duty shocks.

With all this, the Jeep Wrangler (which was to be sold in Canada as the Jeep YJ) was essentially the tried-and-true Jeep CJ formula updated for the 1980s. Most Jeepers hoped it would prove as tough as their old favorite. And with its lighter, more modern design, it was bound to be more comfortable in everyday on-road use, yet just as rugged offroad.

But you just don't forget a faithful friend that easily, let alone one you've known for over 40 years. And that's why the Jeep CJ, old soldier that it is, will never die . . . nor even fade away.

Check out 1987 Jeep Wrangler specifications next.

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