For $4,250, Could This 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoner Be Investment Grade?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Ain’t life grand? Well, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Jeep certainly is, as in Grand Wagoneer. Let’s find out if this plain jane Jeep is priced so as to also make it a grand bargain.

Yesterday we looked at a 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme that had been turned into a wide-fendered crazoid. It also had a blown L67, a Getrag five-speed, and the need for some finishing here and there. One of the things that 57% of you thought needed addressing was the price, as the car fell in a Crack Pipe loss. Wow, crazy.


Hey, when it comes to certain cars and/or trucks are there basic rules by which you think they need to abide? I mean things like Audis being AWD or Lincolns only being piloted by people over the age of 60? When it comes to classic Jeep Grand Wagoneers, does that standard extend to woodgrain siding?

This 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer eschews the faux flora going instead for a cleaner, if somewhat institutional look. It may not have wood, but it’s clean and that might just give you wood. Sorry ladies.

Before that happens though, let’s chat a little bit about the Grand Wagoner. Come on in, make yourselves comfortable. The SJ model is noteworthy for its longevity, having been in series production for almost 30 years. That’s longer than the 901 Porsche or how long it felt that time your dad told you where babies come from.


Over those years the Jeep Grand Wagoner was sold under multiple parents, beginning in 1962 under Kaiser, and then AMC followed by Renault, and finally Chrysler. Along the way the wagon received numerous minor changes and updates, but remained substantially the same.


That of course, makes determination of model year on any Grand Wagoneer a task almost as hard as trying to walk backwards in flip flops. This one is an ’87, making it one of the last of the AMC-developed models. That was also the 25th anniversary of the Brooke Stevens Grand Wagoner design so pop a cork.

The design has held up well, and if you track prices on these models with any regularity you’ll know that they present a range wider than the track of yesterday’s Oldsmobile. The finest examples ask upwards of fifty grand while many like this tidy but imperfect model attempt far less.


What’s up with this one? Well, the ad notes that it “runs great” and has been used as a daily driver for the past two years. The mechanicals are fairly standard—nothing funky on this one—and include a V8 (more about that in a sec), three-speed slusher, and 4WD. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a Jeep.


The ad also says the engine is an AMC 401 however that wasn’t a factory option in ’87, as I’m pretty sure that the 360 was the only V8 option that year. That engine was good for 144-bhp/280 lb-ft of torque so if this is a 401 that would certainly be an upgrade. The ad also claims $5,000 in work over the past two years, including the addition of a lot of new/rebuilt parts.


All the old parts have 115,000 miles on them, and over all the Jeep looks to have led a reasonably cushy life. There’s no apparent rust evident anywhere, nor any major boogers in the bodywork. No, it doesn’t have wood panelling, and the white paint is none too exciting, but who says it has to stay that way?

On the inside things are equally serviceable, with leather/velour thrones that seem to be intact and all the knobs and levers in place. Despite all that, the seller says this is an “excellent project to finish.” What’s left? He doesn’t say, but seeing as he’s been driving it for two years I’d guess whatever it is can wait ’til tomorrow.


What can’t wait is your vote on this Jeep’s $4,250 price. Usually for that kind of cash these Jeeps express some major flaw or caution. This one seems to have none. And as we noted, well maintained examples can go for ten times that, so it might make for a good investment. What’s your take, does this Grand Wagoner seem capable of pulling in $4,250? Or, is it just not Grand enough?

You decide!


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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.