Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Grand Wagoneer, A Family Classic

larsd4larsd4 Posts: 2
edited March 6 in Jeep
Just got my '88 GW fixed so it nearly gets into double figures mileage-wise. My two boys 4 and 8 fight over who gets to sit in the front middle seat. They've never seen a bench seat before. People stare at me as I drive through town, thinking I'm really smart or really dumb (can't tell). Americana at its finest. I feel like Ward Cleaver. Hope storing it winters will keep the rust away.


  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,398
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    yeah, really lars, no sense saving it. There's a lot of metal in that beast, it'll take a long, long time to rust away.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    ...if it's something he wants to hold onto forever and keep, I don't see a problem with it. My uncle had a '76 Jeep pickup...Honcho, I think they called it. Same design as the Wagoneer. Rust got ahold of that thing really bad. They may be tough and rugged, but they'll turn into rustbuckets fast if you let 'em.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    You mean like a hobby...yeah, sure I can see that.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,398
    from that standpoint they're lousy winter vehicles. I always thought of the as Cadillacs. for the horsey set.

    The GMC/Chevy Suburban replaced it in that role.
    Although I live next to a horse farm I haven't seen any Escalades.
  • corsicachevycorsicachevy Posts: 316
    Lars - definitely put that thing away in the winter. After a few years of salt, ice and snow the only thing remaining will be a pile of brownish, powdery residue and an apology note from Mother Nature.

    Preserve that thing - it is a precious and non-renewable commodity.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    ...on my uncle's Honcho was so rusty, that he just pulled the whole thing off and built a new one out of wood! The front-end clip and the cab weren't too bad though, except someone had put trailer mirrors on it at one time, and it had rust holes where the mirror used to mount.
  • I think their only saving grace is that most of them will get crushed and the remaining ones will achieve an oddity status. One of the ugliest vehicles ever built. And they must have the imitation wood on the side!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Just like the full-size station wagons from GM and Ford; most of them will also get crushed, right?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I thought only Disney made Family Classics.
  • Save a few for a museum and a documentary film, "When Designers Go Bad." The Grand Wagoneer is more meretricious than many others.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I like their simple, sturdy, rugged look.

    Far cry from the pansy-mobile SUV's that get pushed on us nowadays :-P

    I'll admit some of 'em were a bit contrived though. The early ones looked like they tried to graft a Jaguar front-end on there, and some of the later ones looked to the coffin-nose Matador for inspiration.

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    It seems people always had a love/hate thing with these vehicles, and you can see the same thing here with the posts we've seen. They did not enjoy a very good reputation, and as a consequence today are not worth very much, but they were sort of a pioneer in the luxury SUV idea--unfortunately not as well executed as the Range Rover which, for a time, took control of the high end SUV market. Probably the awkward styling and the rather obsolete technology kept the Grand Wagoneer from ever gaining much respect.

    I think of them more as rather oddball time capsules than "classic", since true classics are supposed to embody a trend-setting excitement (for their time) , styling advances and engineering superiority. Applying those criteria to a Grand Wagoneer would be a stretch for the true blue auto historian.

    We in the old car biz have a term for inexpensive old cars that aren't destined to be collectible but are lovable to their owners...we call them "ice cream cars", meaning that's what you take the kids in on Sundays for a treat.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    So the Grand Wagoneer was never really that well-executed, in terms of quality?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Well you have to look at the Grand Wagoneer in relation to the times in which it was built (1980s). No American car was striving for quality at that time. It was a real low point in American auto manufacturing, so I don't think you can single out Jeep alone for shabby assembly or multiple defects.

    It was just a bad time all around for domestic cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    ...the Wagoneer by the '80's was in roughly the same spot as the Dart/Valiant in the '70's, or the Chrysler M-body by the '80's. It was designed in a totally different time, and things had changed a lot since then. However, not all of that change was for the better, so in some respects it was a draw.

    For instance, by the '80's, I think the AMC 360 was the only engine still available. These things were tough. Not exactly fuel efficient, and probably down to pathetic hp ratings toward the end, but they'd keep going long after your typical Ford or Chevy smallblock bit the dust. Also, I'd imagine most of 'em had Chrysler torqueflite trannies.

    On the downside, AMC really didn't have a lot of money, so these things were probably slapped together as quickly and cheaply as possible. They'd start squeaking and rattling and rusting before their Chevy and Ford counterparts, but those latter two would catch up pretty quickly!

    Also, that crudeness and outdatedness tends to pay off with age, as technology breaks and fails, and becomes cost-prohibitive with time. And that thinner sheetmetal and other components, originally designed to inflate the EPA ratings by one or two MPG, suddenly works against long life, as things rust, crack, and break more quickly.

    BTW, didn't they start building whatever became the Grand Wagoneer around 1964?
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    The Grand Wagoneer was first introduced in 1963 as just simply Wagoneer.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    I think Grand Wagoneer appears in 1984, which is the model the original poster owns.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    I don't know if you can say the Wagoneer was that bad, take a look at AMC's automobile line for 1976 - sad to say the Pacer was one of their better products.

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Can you say 'ugly, uglier, ugliest and even uglier than that'?

    My aunt had a '75 or '76 Hornet sedan, in lovely baby blue with matching plaid interior. Before that, I think she had several Ramblers, so she was a loyal customer. Ultimately, I think AMC was killed due to their ugliness more than anything. I don't think they were particularly bad cars in their era, considering the competition. I know they had durable engines.

    Check this out:

    Please tell me that interior belongs in a vehicle that probably cost $25-30k in 1989. It has the a/c vents mounted under the dash, a la 1960.

This discussion has been closed.