The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Grand Wagoneer calls it “unmolested” in the ad, and it does seem to be all original, right down to the factory paint. Let’s see if its price tag is just as original or if it feels old hat.
The first recording of the song Time Is On My Side wasn’t, as many may think, the 1964 edition by the Rolling Stones. In fact, a year earlier the song was recorded by jazz trombonist Kai Winding and his orchestra. That edition featured spare, smoky vocals by the Gospelaires, the trio of Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, and Cissy Houston. As such, this is my preferred version of the classic slow rocker.
It’s safe to say that time was not on the side of last Friday’s 1973 Datsun 240Z project car. The two-seat sports car was claimed to be a runner, but its copious rust and the steadily-growing impound fees for its storage conspired to make its current situation untenable. That led to the seller asking a rock-bottom $1,750 for the car, with the fair warning that the new owner would have to also pay a $510 storage fee to actually collect the car from the lot. Was that a fair deal? Well, for 54 percent of you, it was not. That was the result of the vote, which dunned the car, and the price, to a No Dice loss.
There seems to be more time to take in today’s 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and to ponder while these big, inefficient SUVs have gained such a cult-like following. Now, we should note that such reverential status is not confined to big Jeeps. You see the same strange fervor directed to VW Busses and Ed Sheeran. Still, the Grand Wagoneer does seem to have an oddly strong fanbase, and that has driven prices on excellent condition editions well up the five-figure ladder.
This one isn’t in excellent condition, and while it’s described as “unmolested” in the ad, there are a couple of cautions to keep in mind while considering its valuation and desirability. We’ll get to those in a minute, but first, let’s just take this big wagon all in. After all, there’s a lot to see.
American Motors debuted the Grand Wagoneer nameplate on the SJ platform in 1984. That was part of a shuffling of model names the company undertook as part of the ZJ lineup introduction. As the name implies, the woodgrain and leather-clad Grand Wagoneer was intended as the platform’s ultimate expression. Part of that expression was that wonderful wood paneling on the flanks and tailgate. Like almost any “Woody” from the 1960s forward, the paneling on the Jeep is petrochemical-based and photo-textured. That’s fine because nobody likes termites shivering their timbers.
There is some wear evident on this one’s wood, but it’s not too bad and is exceeded by the wear in the clear coat atop the Midnight Blue Metallic base. That’s pretty bad across all the wagon’s horizontal surfaces. On the plus side, all of the chrome appears straight and bright, and the factory alloy wheels look to be totally up to the task.
The interior features Dark Sand upholstery and, showing its age, has an A/C system that blows on passengers’ shins and looks totally second thought. With one notable exception (that we’ll get to in a minute) everything in the cabin seems serviceable and complete.
Powering the Wagoneer is an AMC 360 CID V8. When new, this engine made a mere 140 horsepower. More notably, however, it offered 280 lb-ft of torque. That’s mated to a Chrysler-sourced 727 Torqueflite 3-speed automatic and Selec-Trac four-wheel drive. Dana 44 axles do the final work at both ends.
Per the ad, the wagon comes with almost every consumable replaced. It also comes with 100,500 miles on its rolled-over odometer and clean title.
Okay, now to those two issues. The first is the headliner, which the ad notes and the pictures reinforce, is not there. That will need to be replaced if a new owner doesn’t want to feel like they are driving around in a shanty town mobile abode. The other issue is mostly for folks in California or any of the other states that follow its emissions testing process. According to a throw-away line in the ad, the Jeep needs a smog test. That may seem like no big deal, but if it can’t pass the test, the title can’t be transferred. Again, that’s only an issue in an area that requires such testing. That’s a gamble if it is.
To take that gamble, someone will need to front $13,750 for the honor, as that’s the asking price. What do you say, is that a fair deal for the wagon as it sits? Or, is that price a few grand too high for this Grand Wagoneer?
H/T to Peter Ruth for the hookup!
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