One side of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Grand Wagoneer looks pretty decent, while the other side has a patina of age masking a couple of decent-sized dents. Let’s see if overall it’s worth putting a dent in your wallet.
Seeing the Buick 231 sitting under the bonnet of yesterday’s 1976 Triumph TR7 was like having a reliable friend show up to help you move a couch down two flights of stairs — you just know it’s going to be alright. At only $2,750, that Triumph’s price tag was seen as alright too, earning the plucky Brit a respectable 80 percent Nice Dice win.
The United States houses about 8 percent of the world’s forestland, an area of approximately 304 million hectares. About half of that area is in private hands, while the rest is under the auspices of tribal, state, or federal management. Remarkably, not a single one of the millions upon millions of trees within our nation’s borders has anything to do with the woodgrain siding on today’s 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Not even a splinter!
Like almost any “Woody” from the 1960s forward, the paneling on this Jeep is petrochemical-based and photo-textured. That’s fine because nobody likes termites in their timbers.
According to the ad, this Grand Wagoneer is 100 percent stock and has a rust-free body and chassis. The seller claims to have bought the big 4X4 from an older couple that had used it primarily as a campsite get-around, towed behind their RV. The ad notes that the tow bar and bumper brackets are included in the sale in case that’s also the new owner’s desire.
The truck’s sand-color paint is accented by copious quantities of chrome trim all around, and by that wood grain paneling on the sides and fold-down tailgate. The fake wood looks pretty good on the passenger side but is worn significantly down the length of the driver’s side, with only the bottom half still showing any grain. There are a couple of sizable dents in the driver’s door too, giving it a wonky fit from the pull handle down to the rocker. All of the issues appear solely aesthetic and shouldn’t hamper the truck’s use. The seller calls it a “nice patina” which is sort of like saying having a second head is really an added opportunity for accessorizing.
Moving inside, the cabin looks to be in very nice shape with no ripping or significant wear on any of the seating surfaces or any of the tactile elements. The beige color scheme is one of the most desirable in these and you get even more fake wood in here on the dash and door cards. The over-stuffed front seats look like they offer all the support of a half-filled inflatable mattress but at least there’s a sizable armrest in the middle to lean on.
Power comes from an AMC 360 CID V8 that the ad claims runs great. That’s received a tune-up and fluid change and someone even wrote the date on the new fuel filter when they changed it, which is a helpful touch. When new, this engine made 140 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It gets 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.
On the downside, there’s a crack in the windshield that will probably need addressing at some point. There’s also that “patina” if you’re serious about keeping the Jeep for any length of time. That’s seemingly not an issue for the present owner who claims to be moving and hence needs to move the Jeep to a new owner. The ad even shows the truck up on a trailer, probably from when the present owner took possession. We don’t get to see the license plates, so it’s impossible to tell if it carries current tags. The ad claims the title to be clear, though and lists an odometer reading of 999999. That may either indicate a broken gauge or the seller’s inability to admit to not being able to read an odometer.
With an asking price of $15,500, this Grand Wagoneer is well under what you might expect these desirable beasts to go for these days. That may raise some red flags for you — as might the pics of the truck on a trailer, never a good sign — but that’s what we have to work with. With that in mind, you all need to now get to work.
What’s your take on this Grand Wagoneer and that $15,500 price? Does that seem like a fair deal to get into a classic Jeep? Or, is the patina too off-putting for that big a price tag?
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