Awesome ’80s-era Jeep Grand Wagoneer Is One Serious Bargain

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1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

Wagoneer crossed the block at auction for $11,000. And we’ve got a feeling that this will seem like a bargain in just a few years. 

In the ’60s, 70s, and ’80s, America didn’t have a Cadillac Escalade, or a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, or even a Range Rover (at least not in the U.S.). If you wanted a luxury 4×4 in the second half of the 20th century, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the only game in town. From 1963 to 1991, if you were a New England preppie, or a Texas oil man, or a gentleman farmer on the West Coast, Jeep’s opulent truck was the ride for you.

But time is usually a democratizer when it comes to old cars and trucks. And recently, we’ve seen old Wagoneers range from rock crawlers to custom rides to Concours-level restorations. While prices may still be all over the board, one thing is clear: The Wagoneer is fast becoming one of the most collectible Jeeps ever built. And after one look at this impressively clean 1986 model offered by Mecum, we can see why.

One impressive Jeep

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

This Wagoneer crossed the block at Mecum’s Houston auction in April for just $11,000. And while that kind of money is nothing to sneeze at, we’ve got a feeling that this will seem like a bargain in just a few years. According to BringaTrailer, the average price for a clean Wagoneer is already in the $15,000-to-$35,000 range.

What’s more, 1986 is a highly collectible year for the Wagoneer. It was the first year of the final-generation’s grille and hood ornament. It received a significant interior refresh. And it was also the first year of the desirable aluminum wheels with gold inlays.

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

This Jeep has all that and more. With just 84,000 on the clock, there’s plenty of life left in its 360 cubic inch AMC V8 and four-speed automatic transmission. It’s received a number of recent maintenance, including new shocks, updated air conditioning, a fluid flush, and brake pads and shoes. A previous owner also refreshed the interior, making it look like it rolled straight out of 1986.

Outside, its white paint looks good, and its dark woodgrain trim looks to be free of blemishes or fading. Since it was sold in Houston and has Texas plates, it’s spent at least some of its life down south. That explains the clean bodywork.

As any SJ Jeep owner knows, whether it’s a loaded Grand Wagoneer or a stripped-down Cherokee, these Jeeps can take a beating and go just about anywhere. For this Jeep, we’ve got a feeling that it’s going to live a relatively pampered life. We hope that its new owner puts plenty of miles on it. And when it’s time to move on, they’ll still probably still be able to sell it for a tidy profit.

James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

Sapienza can be reached at [email protected]

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