BF Auction: 1975 Jeep Cherokee S

Sold for $12,000View Result

  • Seller: Luther P owell
  • Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • Mileage: 62,941 Shown
  • Chassis #: J5A17MP031242
  • Title Status: Clean

Do you hear that? You do? That, my friends, is the unmistakable call of the wild. Mother Nature is emerging from her winter slumber and beckoning those with a sense of adventure to head out to enjoy all she has to offer. The question is always how to get there, and we may have the ideal answer. This 1975 Jeep Cherokee S is an exceptionally tidy survivor featuring a powerful V8 under the hood. Recent work by the current owner ensures it is in sound mechanical health and ready to transport the lucky buyer wherever their heart desires. If you are sorely tempted, we could be your one-stop shop because the owner has listed this gem exclusively with us at Barn Finds Auctions.

Jeep introduced the Cherokee to its model lineup in 1974, with the new offering’s Sales Brochures among the first to quote the term “Sport Utility Vehicle.” It offered several variants, with our feature Cherokee S, the range-topping version. It presents exceptionally well in Copper Metallic and contrasting Alpine White. It retains a healthy shine for a vehicle of this type and age; any nicks and scratches are minor. They would be a prime candidate for isolated touch-up work. However, the overall presentation of the vehicle is so good that it would probably command more respect and attention if the winning bidder preserves the Jeep as an original survivor. It is the same story with the panels, which have accumulated only a few isolated and minor bumps and bruises. I would probably leave this classic untouched if it were in my workshop, but a cosmetic refresh would be a straightforward and inexpensive way of making this beauty “pop.” The heavy-duty front bumper is a wise investment because it will help the Jeep carve a path through the undergrowth and would be an excellent spot to bolt a winch for added security. The remaining trim is original and in good order, and the new windshield and remaining glass are crystal clear. The final puzzle piece is the larger wheels and tires, which should accentuate the Cherokee’s already excellent off-road capabilities.

Lifting this Jeep’s hood reveals more positive news. The engine bay houses a 360ci AMC V8, producing 195hp and 295 ft/lbs of torque. Shifting duties fall to a four-speed manual transmission that feeds the power to the wheels via a dual-range Dana 20 transfer case. Maneuvering in tight situations can be challenging for some, but the power assistance for this Cherokee’s steering and brakes should make it a breeze. The strength of the AMC V8 in this guise isn’t its outright power but the mountain of torque it delivers below 2000rpm. That makes these vehicles extraordinarily tractable and capable of climbing daunting obstacles with the engine barely ticking over. The owner recently invested considerably in this classic’s drivetrain, replacing the clutch, starter, belts, plugs, wires, and oil. He rebuilt the carburetor and brakes, but the results justified the cost and effort. He reports no fluid leaks, and the 360 doesn’t burn oil or blow smoke. It is worth noting that the Jeep’s drivetrain components are notoriously bulletproof, and with a genuine 62,941 miles on the clock, this survivor should provide years of reliable motoring fun. The vehicle runs and drives perfectly, and it is a turnkey proposition where the winning bidder can fly in and drive it home.

This Jeep has made a positive impression, and its interior continues that trend. There is little there to criticize and an awful lot to like. The front seats are new, trimmed in Brown vinyl that matches the back seat and door trims. There is no appreciable wear on any surfaces, and the Black carpet is impressive for a vehicle of this type and age. It doesn’t look tired or stained, reinforcing my belief that this Jeep has always been treated respectfully. The dash is spotless, while the pad and plastic haven’t suffered UV damage. It isn’t loaded with modern-day luxuries, but the tilt wheel will allow the driver to tailor their seating position, and the AM radio provides entertainment on long journeys. Retro-fitting an aftermarket stereo would be straightforward for those unconcerned about originality.

A person intent on delving into The Great Outdoors could easily slip through their local Jeep dealership door and drive away in a shiny new Cherokee. That would be easy, but sometimes, what appears to be the easiest solution isn’t always the best. That approach will lighten their wallet by over $47,000, and there are two further factors to consider: Depreciation and potential damage. History shows that a new SUV will typically devalue by around 30% during the first three years, although some suffer more than others. That means buying a new Cherokee will cost $14,000 in depreciation alone in that time, and running costs will push that figure higher. That also presupposes that charging into the wilderness doesn’t inflict any panel or paint damage. If it does, it’s a whole new ballgame. That seems like a recipe for heartbreak and financial misery that could be avoided by ignoring a new Jeep and submitting a bid on this 1975 Cherokee S. It makes sound initial financial sense, and with values climbing steadily in the classic market, it could also be a long-term winner. That makes this beauty worth a closer look.

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $12,000
Register To Bid
Ended: Apr 16, 2024 12:02pm MDT
Winner: AC72
  • AC72 bid $12,000.00  2024-04-16 11:58:06
  • Wayne
    bid $8,600.00  2024-04-16 09:59:44
  • AC72 bid $8,300.00  2024-04-16 09:52:52
  • Wayne bid $8,050.00  2024-04-16 09:44:52
  • Pipeman
    bid $7,800.00  2024-04-16 07:19:05
  • Mookman 703 bid $5,001.00  2024-04-16 07:00:08
  • Volvoman9 bid $4,751.00  2024-04-15 08:53:54
  • EBWard8
    bid $4,501.00  2024-04-14 11:35:56
  • Paul bid $4,200.00  2024-04-11 17:40:27
  • Makoman bid $3,900.00  2024-04-11 09:56:43
  • Volvoman9
    bid $3,000.00  2024-04-10 19:51:52
  • AC72 bid $2,400.00  2024-04-10 14:07:07
  • Boathouse bid $2,150.00  2024-04-10 11:02:16
  • MikeMack46
    bid $1,500.00  2024-04-10 09:18:36
  • yeapea bid $1,000.00  2024-04-10 08:36:52
  • Charles bid $100.00  2024-04-09 16:22:01

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Van Mo.

    Love it! Never see these beauties anymore, brings back some great memories of owning one in college, man we took that thing everywhere thick and thin it would go. Nice find and a great looking rig ;-)

    Like 11
    • Luther P

      Hagerty and classic car value these Cherokee Jeeps equipped like mine at $20,000 in “good” condition which I’d say this one is definitely better than “good”. That being said my reserve is way less than that so someone is going to get an amazing deal here!

      Like 3
  2. Marques Dean

    I used to see these everywhere living in Illinois. Most of the ones I saw were the Cherokee Chief trim level(especially in Flame Red). Very nicely maintained and the manual transmission is icing on the cake. This one is guaranteed to ignite a bidding war near the end.

    Like 9
  3. JustPassinThru

    OMG. Cd’A is just a couple hours from me.

    And this is a personal favorite of mine – the truck, the original Willys J Series wagon (what the series was called, back then) was part of my childhood. A Wagoneer, pre-AMC.

    And the story of it, of Jeep, of AMC, is fascinating. Didja all know: the 1974 Cherokee was not, repeat NOT a new model. No, it was a returned model, aimed at a new market.

    When Willys (which would rename itself Kaiser-Jeep the following year) released the Wagoneer and Gladiator, it also offered a few variants. One was the J-100 panel truck, with a tailgate or side-hinged doors. Behind the front doors was an unbroken metal panel.

    Another variant was the two-door Wagoneer. Both of the two-door models were discontinued in 1966.

    AMC, having killed the Jeepster-later-Commando, wanted a two-door Blazer-style trucklet to compete with Chevrolet, Dodge, and soon, the bigger new Bronco. However the thought process went, someone probably noticed that while the Blazer’s fiberglass roof was removable, almost no buyers ever removed it.

    Soooo…why not just dust off the tooling for parts for the discontinued panel truck, and in the metal panel section, punch a hole for inserted side glass, to mimic the Blazer window. Paint the roof and side behind the driver’s door, white. And then cut back on the dash padding a bit – the J/SJs all got a deeply padded dash in 1973; but the SJ Cherokee had a padding layer reminiscent of the 1966-72 Kaiser-designed dash. The round Hornet gauges stayed, but the rest of it was to display the toughness of the metal-based dash.

    None of this is to demean the model, and certainly not this truck. I have a lot of thinking to do, regarding it…should I bid, and how hard the market for it is going to be.

    Like 8
  4. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    Let’s see,
    A real Jeep? Check
    A V8? Check
    A 2 door? Check.
    My dream.

    Like 9
    • yeapeaMember

      Same here 🤩

      Like 4
  5. HoA HoAMember

    What? Oh yeah, my previous views on the SJ, it was no Wagoneer, keeping in mind, many of the problems were rust related, and as sketchy a view I have with these, it’s still a Jeep. I do declare, I’ve never seen one with a 4 speed, clearly added at a later time( see column shifter removed) as most were automatics with the Quadra-Trac, a funky unit,( don’t put lockouts on the front, it won’t move) and I much would have preferred this. It’s a great find, your local gas station owner will be putting a new level on their house thanks to you, as 10mpg tops, less in the snow, but at the time, it was groundbreaking, and popularity hasn’t waned, as more than 3 million Cherokees have been sold so far. That’s mighty impressive.
    Oh yeah, needs a headlight,,, :)

    Like 4
  6. Nelson C

    Not common when new. This one has all the numbers. Two doors, 3 pedals, 4 speeds and 8 cylinders. Sure looks nice. Someone should find this to be just what they’re looking for.

    Like 6
  7. RWRulison

    What a gem. Someone please educate me here…I thought all Cherokees had quadratrac, and were therefore basically full time 4wd. This clearly has a transfer case to disengage the 4Wd.

    Is this original? Or added at some point to make highway driving more accessible?


    Like 1
    • JustPassinThru

      No, Quadratrac was an option, and in the first years, in limited supply. It was only available with an automatic transmission – at least partly because the whole of the driveline took power off a chain.

      Enclosed in the Quadratrac unit, which bolted onto the transmission tail, was a sprocket for a drive-chain to move power over to the right. There, was a viscous-coupling limited-slip power differential, putting power to both forward and rear output shafts. The rear driveshaft was moved far to the right, just as the forward shaft would be in all SJ models.

      It wasn’t used in manual-transmission models because of concerns of the chain, when in hard use behind a manual box. Surely it could have been beefed up, but the original Quadratrac’s production life turned out to be short. Fuel economy suddenly became important, and patched-in conversions to conventional RWD came into the aftermarket. A new Quadratrac that functioned more like a traditional transfer – with an OFF option – came out, the difference being, engaged, it could be used on dry roads. It kept the center diff but gave a disconnect for the front driveline. Since much of the loss in fuel economy came from the convoluted driveline, that is, chain over, then center diff…I wonder if the later models made much difference.

      Like 8
      • RWRulison

        Wow….excellent explainer! I’ve have long lusted after the Cherokee SJ but the thought of a heavy, 360 laden rig dragging all 4 powered wheels all over the place was a bit off-putting. This one seems to be perfect, at least from that point of view.

        And of course, with today’s youth being uneducated in proper driving, the manual makes it nearly theft proof!

        Like 4
    • Michael Abate

      The fact that this is not Quadratrac is a positive! It is very problematic, and almost impossible to find USA parts. The offshore parts are junk. But, this Jeep is not 60k original. The cluster has been replaced.

      Like 2
      • RMac

        I have never seen one with a 4 speed manual and have not seen one not completely rusted out in 10 years or more
        Love it but until i finish the projects I have going the wife says no more vehicles 🙄

        Like 0
    • Pete

      I bought a 79 new and it had a three speed
      Quadratracks were only with automatics

      Like 1
  8. Richard Gugenberger

    I had 2 of these back in the day , Great vehicles , go any where , got me to work when nothing else would ( upstate NY) snow plow driver , would love another one !

    Like 4
  9. Rufus

    Another blast from the past. In the mid to late 80’s I operated a special interest and collectible auto sales operation in Dallas. While my driver changed from day to day (whatever I chose off of the lot) I found myself looking for the perfect tow truck for retrieving the old cars, motorcycles and boats I dug out of the barns, lean-to’s, sheds, derelict houses, out houses and hen houses around Texas and Oklahoma. I went thru every iteration of vehicle from the basic pick-up truck to vans to 4WD pick-ups to SUV’s before I found the 2WD drive Blazer that lived with me for the next 20 years. During that time, I found a Cherokee exactly like the one above. What a great truck! Comfortable, roomy, easy to look at, and the power was way above what I needed. I drove to Dalhart with an empty trailer, loaded a 57 Buick Roadmaster, and pulled it back to Dallas at 70 miles an hour and the Jeep never even breathed hard. However, it did yell loud everytime we got within a mile of a gas station. Seems like the fuel mileage was 4-6 MPG. If you can afford the fuel, these are GREAT trucks.

    Like 3
  10. RWRulison

    So I’m not real familiar with the online auction rules here. Is this where we ask specific questions?

    Mine are: Does this have AC?
    Are those enormous side mirrors original?
    Has anything been done with the steering? These are notorious for ending up with very sloppy steering.
    Does the rear window go up and down as it should?


    Like 1
    • Luther P

      The mirrors are not the original side mirrors however we do have the driver original side mirror if you prefer – The steering is tight with no play or vibration in the wheel – The rear window rolls up and down very easily – the vehicle is not equipped with a/c.

      Like 4
  11. Michael Abate

    Gauge cluster has been replaced. Cherokees didn’t have woodgrain inlay, and the font of the gauge cluster was more classic looking. This cluster, considering it has a later font, and the Kph is from 77 to 82.

    Like 2
    • ThemJeepGuys

      Actually my father’s ’75 Cherokee cluster was exactly the same. Bought his brand new, and handed it down to my brother that scoundrel, who turned it into a mountain trail and hunting rig.

      Like 0
      • Michael Abate

        All due respect, that is impossible. The Font was different on all AMCs.

        Like 1
      • Michael Abate

        Here is a link supporting the fact. KpH wasn’t on clusters until 77.

        Like 1
  12. Lincoln BMember

    Was it originally three on the tree and if so can the trans and linkage be included?

    Like 1
  13. Scott Sunderland

    Most manuals were the three-speed floor shifter, I think a four speed was an option, possibly with a granny low first. I know the later ones, ’82-’83 had a four-speed standard with a five-speed optional to help with gas mileage. The auto only came with Quadra Trac, later named select trac when you could disengage it for better mileage, same years as the 4 and 5 speed. Something has been done to this dash, either missing a cowl, but I don’t know about the screws on either side of the steering column. It has been 40 years since I got rid of my red and white ’77. This vehicle takes me back to the ’80’s, I loved that truck!

    Like 0
    • Luther P.

      Hello Scott, yes this first gear i would denote probably like a granny gear as you can comfortably start her out in 2nd. That being said she goes at highway speeds very comfortably and not super high rpm which is nice. Not sure what your speaking of the dash, it is original but i know it had some older lights and a winch at one point that maybe those buttons were removed. All in all super clean solid excellent driver that starts/stops/and runs beautifully.

      Like 3
  14. Nelson C

    Now that you bring it up, it wouldn’t have been a 3-speed manual. A tilt column wouldn’t accommodate a manual shift.

    Like 2
  15. Luther P

    I am the second owner of this excellent driving jeep. I purchased it from the original owner who had a jeep dealer install the 4 speed manual transmission. The tilt column was also added by the previous owner. The shifting is tight and crisp, the clutch is new and it drives like new.

    Like 3
    • Lincoln BMember

      Thank you for your reply Luther, so it was an auto with tilt and the original owner had it converted to a 4 spd by a dealer. Correct?

      Like 0
  16. chuck

    The interior color is called Cinnamon…. I worked at a place that made interior trim parts…. was the sole supplier of sunvisors for AMC starting 74 model year…

    Like 0
  17. Big Loop

    If this were on the East coast I would have already bid, though if here it likely wouldn’t be in as good a condition.

    Like 1
    • Van Mo.

      Same here, but ive already looked into shipping, its pretty tempting. Looking whats out there comparitively every one of these are north of $25k. Gotta be a ton of sleeper bids waiting in the wings cuz seller states his reserve is less than $20k- Gonna be a fun down to the wire watch for sure.

      Like 0
  18. Mike H

    I like the find. Challenging however, what appears heavy home worked bondo to the rear quarters around the wheel wells as well as the liftgate. Please let me know if I have this wrong. Thank you

    Like 1

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