The 2018 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is on its way, but this is definitely not the first model of the iconic Jeep series. In fact, Jeep was the first company that made SUVs commercially available, and they still make the best ones in the market. Our pick for the Automobile of the Week section is the Wagoneer, and we will be writing about its history in a gist.
Early Years of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer
In the late 1950s, SUVs were being built, but most of them were being used for the military. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the first SUV that combined luxury and utility. All other SUVs manufactured before that were quite hard to drive.
The first model of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was released in 1962 as a 1963 model. It had the biggest boot space and could even accommodate 7 foot ladders, by sliding them horizontally into the car, under the seats. The first Wagoneer had a 6-cylinder engine which was called the ‘Tornado’.
One feature in the Wagoneer set it apart from its competitors. It had indicator lights that informed the driver of the transfer case status. There were special indicators that highlighted whether the transmission was in 2 wheel, 4 wheel, or in neutral mode.
AMC Gets the Jeep Grand Wagoneer
In 1970, Jeep was getting bigger. As the normal business strategy goes, a bigger company was waiting to acquire jeep. AMC was the winner. After the acquisition the Jeep Grand Wagoneer just got better. It came with a new body, better packages, and underwent a lot of modifications.
In 1974, a two-door version of the Wagoneer called the Jeep Cherokee was manufactured. The 1975 Wagoneer underwent some major modifications, and the sides of the body were replaced with wooden panels. This made it stand out, and easily identifiable. AMC added V8 engines to the Wagoneer, and hence the performance was also maxed out.
Into the 1980s
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer made its entry into the 1980s as one of the most undisputable SUVs in the world. Most of these models can be found in the movies that appeared in those dates. From this year, Jeep concentrated more on the luxury segment and another version of the XJ Wagoneer was introduced in 1984.
Expanding into the 1990s
In the 1990s, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the best luxury SUV. There were many competitors coming up, but the Jeep Grand Wagoneer still went on strong. They got bigger and better, with many new features added every year.
A Short Break
But Jeep had to concentrate on its other models to withstand the competition. Hence, the Wagoneer had to be stopped for a while. But the good news is that it is getting a comeback. The new model will be quite modern, but it is expected to maintain similar design characteristics of the previous Wagoneer models.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was indeed one of the best models in its time. It is a legend, which was a combination of utility and luxury, and Jeep was one of the first companies to help SUVs grow commercially.
The idea of bringing in a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer is great, and we are waiting for it. Though it might not have the essence of the classic models, there are quite a lot of people waiting to get one. Follow us for more updates.