Once again the day is nigh that the populace shall be blessed by the birth of a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer as FCA has finally released images of its new luxury SUV to be sold starting sometime next year. (Hopefully we will get one to check out for a week here at CC). Of course most of us fondly remember the Grand Wagoneer of yore and generally prefer to think that famed name was put to rest in 1991. Less fondly remembered, if at all, is that there was in fact another Grand Wagoneer since then, but it was only offered for one year, 1993. That’s what we have here, so let’s take a gander.
Of course the new (first ever!) Grand Cherokee was released back in 1992 as an early 1993 model and while available in several trims, the Grand Wagoneer was introduced as a separate model and as before was intended as the pinnacle of the Jeep lineup, except now it would be the most up to date and modern vehicle rather than the most antique one. It was only offered for 1993 and while Jeep seems to indicate it was sort of a tribute to the outgoing real deal, surely they would have kept it around if it had seen a significant amount of takers.
Befitting its position, it pretty much came fully loaded, with the 5.2liter “Magnum” V8 and QuadraTrac full-time 4WD system as standard and very few other available options. Naturally the sides were slathered in fake wood that in this one has a serious case of the peels on the raised plastic “surrounds”, curiously making it look even more similar (albeit unintentionally) to the look that graces the original Grand Wagoneer which also had lighter colored surrounds. As opposed to the Grand Cherokee, these did NOT have the plastic lower body moldings although this particular one seems to have had some sort of integrated running boards.
From the front the Grand Wagoneer looked the same as the Grand Cherokee. Looking back, the wood sides are kind of endearing but I think I recall at the time wondering what the hell they were thinking putting that crap on their most modern and forward-thinking model. Did they want to see the future or just be stuck in the past? Now, of course, I’d love me one of these as opposed to a regular 1993 Grand Cherokee, but still would rather have the original.
Magnum. Whether P.I. or a decadent Ice Cream treat slathered in chocolate or as a V8 engine, the name sounds good. This one’s had some people rooting around in it already, either before it got here or since, although it was very fresh. It’s amazing how many brand new air filters I see on junkyard cars, that seems to be the go-to if a car is starting to have trouble – Hey, let’s change the air filter, maybe that’ll fix it! Wishful thinking, although I suppose I don’t see all the cars where perhaps it DID work…Either way, this 5.2liter V8 put out a respectable 220hp at 4800rpm and 285 lb-ft of torque at 3600rpm.
It seems a trifle odd that the windows aren’t tinted on this one, looking up other examples seems to indicate that this was the norm whereas the GC seems to usually have tinted windows, nowadays especially it’s only the absolute base model SUVs that seem to have clear glass around the back half.
This one’s a local judging by the quite faded Colorado Springs Jeep/Eagle dealer sticker. The sticker price for this one (barring any options such as the running boards etc) would have started at $29,966 – which is equivalent to $53,731 today.
Someone took the spare, these came with a full size wheel attached to the left side of the cargo area and covered by that vinyl shroud that is now laying on the back carpet. That’s not a particularly large area in the first place, with a full size spare in there for the last 27 years it seems like that would get aggravating. No headrests for the back seat passengers, nothing like paying top dollar for the top of the line model and basic safety items aren’t available.
Rounding the corner shows off the special snowflake wheels and an extremely long mudflap as well as a very interesting feature that reveals an astounding level of attention to detail for Detroit…
The Jeep is silver, but the fuel filler lid is bronze to blend in with the wood trim. On the other side of it (the normally visible side when closed) there is a layer of wood-grain that goes to the edge but doesn’t wrap around the way it does into the body cavity itself. I presume this was painted this way so it would not stick out as a halo of color, very interesting and something I’ve never even thought about on other Di-Noc’d cars.
This has held up quite well, all things considered. Leather seats were standard as was more faux-wood trim, now on the inside. While full-time AWD, there was still a low-range that it could be shifted into. This beige interior was the only color offered while various exterior hues were of course available.
These seats sort of remind me of George Costanza’s puffy coat but they look hugely comfortable (as did George’s coat). The headrests look comfortable as well, I’ll bet that leather pushed a few buyers over the edge to sign the old four-square. It’s held up at least, I’ll give it that.
Someone took the audio system, early 90’s dashboard design was still pretty square, just like on the Explorer. It’d be a few more years until this all got kind of softer and organic looking in most domestic offerings.
208,213 miles. Quite respectable for the day, although the base 4.0 I-6 will often exceed that, I wonder what broke on this one. I’ll bet seeing that fuel gauge pegged at full was a rare sight with that 318 though with it rated at 12 City and 17 Highway with a 14 Average.
Built at Jefferson North in Detroit, MI, I can’t figure out when the Grand Wagoneer was first built, although all the sources seem to indicate it wasn’t available right at the beginning of ZJ production (which was April 1992), they all seem to say “starting in early 1993” along with when the V8 was first introduced as an option so I’m guessing this was a fairly early one of the bunch.
Plastic Chrome on Plastic Wood. Does it get any better? Don’t answer that. The wood grain doesn’t seem to line up from the fender to the door here which seems odd as well. It’s like that on all the panels, close but not quite. Oh well, from what I’ve seen there won’t even be woodgrain on the new one which is too bad (or maybe not?). Either way, Grand Wagoneer is arguably the most iconic name in American large SUV-dom and it’ll be good to see it back again, likely positioned as FCA’s flagship when it debuts for the 2022 model year. Until then, we can look at this, the most recent one and debate whether it or the upcoming one (below) is more worthy of the name…