Jeep Wagoneer (XJ model)
The Jeep Wagoneer was the first true American SUV, produced under
varying marques from 1963 to 1991. It was noteworthy for being in
production for more than 28 years with only minor mechanical changes.
Wagoneer was also the name of a more luxurious version of the Jeep
Cherokee, introduced in 1984, after which the original Wagoneer remained
in production as the Grand Wagoneer.
Conceived in the early 1960s while Jeep was owned by Kaiser
Industries (better known as Kaiser Jeep), the vehicle remainded in
production through subsequent ownership by American Motors Corporation (AMC)
and Chrysler Corporation (now part of DaimlerChrysler). The vehicle was
designed by industrial designer Brooks Stevens. The name of the vehicle
is sometimes confused with Studebaker Wagonaire, which was a
retractable-roof station wagon also designed by Stevens and introduced
in the 1963 model year.
The original SJ Wagoneer was a full-size body-on-frame vehicle which
shared its architecture with the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck. A special
Super Wagoneer appeared from 1966-1969 with a large V8 engine.
The Wagoneer was updated in 1971 and produced until 1983 when it was
renamed Jeep Grand Wagoneer. A 2-door version was introduced in 1974 as
the Cherokee Chief.
The Wagoneer and Cherokee names were reapplied to the unibody XJ
platform in 1984. However, the SJ was renamed Jeep Grand Wagoneer and
marketed as a more luxurious SUV, though mechanically unchanged; it was
one of the very last vehicles sold in North America with a carburetor.
The final year of commercial production was the 1991 model year, though
four individual vehicles were produced as 1992 models.
The Wagoneer was occasionally used in rallying, mainly in the
United States. Wagoneers placed first and second in the first ever
running of the Sno*Drift rally in 1973.