BF Auction: 1978 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Sold for $1,500View Result

There are many ways to commence an adventure, and if it involves communing with Mother Nature, transportation choices seem endless. However, if the whole family wishes to get to that destination comfortably, few vehicles are better than a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. This 1978 model is complete and features the range-topping V8 under the hood. It is begging for love, but with parts readily available, it is a prime candidate for a DIY project. The owner admits he will never tackle the build, so he has listed it exclusively at Barn Finds Auctions with No Reserve.

The Jeep would have turned heads in its prime courtesy of a combination of Autumn Red and Alpine White paint. The alloy wheels would have added to the classy impression, as would the splashes of chrome and the practical roof rack. Time has taken a toll on this beauty, but it is complete and unmolested. The panels are straight, but there is rust for the winning bidder to tackle. It is structurally sound, meaning the work is essentially cosmetic. The Grand Wagoneer requires new rear quarter panels and rockers, although areas like the tailgate might be patchable. A brief online search uncovered complete rockers for around $125 per side, with quarter panels and doglegs retailing for about $165 per side. That would make this Jeep virtually rust-free for under $600 plus the time required for cutting and welding in a home workshop. However, mine was a brief search, and a more thorough investigation could reduce the figure considerably. Most trim pieces and the wheels should respond positively to polish, but the buyer must replace the badly cracked windshield.

The original owner went to the top of the class when ordering this Jeep, specifying the 401ci V8 that produced 210hp and 305 ft/lbs of torque. They teamed this V8 with a three-speed automatic transmission and the company’s legendary Quadra-Trac system. Although straight-line performance wasn’t the primary focus, a ¼-mile ET of 17.8 seconds was respectable for an off-roader tipping the scales at 4,370 lbs. The vehicle was undeniably versatile, with its V8 engine, automatic transmission, and power steering making light work of heavy going. Once the adventure ended, hitting the highway to cruise at 70mph was realistic and effortless. The owner indicates this Jeep’s V8 has a blown head gasket, requiring a total engine rebuild. This will add to the restoration cost but should be viewed as a one-off investment that shouldn’t need a repeat performance for decades.

Opening the Jeep’s doors reveals an interior trimmed in a combination of Butterscotch leather and cloth. The leather sports the character wrinkles commonly seen with this material, and it looks slightly dry in spots. However, a deep clean and a liberal application of a high-quality conditioner should make a world of difference. The dash and pad have avoided the rigors of age and UV exposure, but the winning bidder needs to invest in a replacement carpet set to lift the presentation. The impression is it will take more time than money to whip this aspect of the Grand Wagoneer into shape. It has some excellent comfort and convenience features, with the winning bidder receiving air conditioning, an upgraded radio, a tilt wheel, and a remote driver’s mirror. However, sinking back into that leather upholstery is luxury itself and would satisfy many owners.

The owner rightly points out that once this 1978 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is returned to its former glory, the winning bidder could own a classic off-roader worth over $13,000 when they put down the tools for the final time. If the buyer is hands-on, they will complete the build for significantly less than that figure. They will also feel the satisfaction of stepping back and admiring their creation with a sense of accomplishment. I can’t think of anything negative in that scenario. Can you?

  • Location: East Point, Georgia
  • Mileage: TMU
  • Engine: 401ci V8
  • Transmission: 3-Speed Automatic
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $1,500
Register To Bid
Ended: May 22, 2023 11:00am MDT
Winner: Jeepbuyer
  • Avatar photo
    Jeepbuyer bid $1,500.00  2023-05-19 07:46:07
  • Avatar photo
    bid $750.00  2023-05-18 08:29:40
  • Avatar photo
    Eric M bid $550.00  2023-05-16 19:28:51
  • Avatar photo
    Toneloc55 bid $400.00  2023-05-15 23:15:29
  • Avatar photo
    bid $200.00  2023-05-14 11:20:39


  1. Avatar photo Maggy

    Rot bucket.No thanks.The metal you’re going to attach new Chinese garbage metal to is most likely on it’s way out too.Find a solid one and save time and resources.I Put After market chinese rockers on a 80 k5 long ago and they were rotted in 2 years.Just my opinion.

    Like 10
  2. Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

    Not a “Grand” Wagoneer. In 78 this could have been a Limited Wagoneer or it could have been a Wagoneer

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo JustPassinThru

      And it’s had a lot of spare-parts rebuilding.

      The tailgate is missing the brushed-chrome panel that runs from reverse-light to reverse-light…suggesting that a lesser-trim Cherokee tailgate wound up there. The front side lights are off a 1970-73 Wagoneer. Since the holes are drilled in different positions, the suggestion is, fenders are replaced.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo wally Sabourin

    Now if I could get it registered as a pre 1975 in commiefornia and then swap an LS and 4 speed OD trans into it ….might be worth the xtra $2000 for transport ……not

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Patrick Farmer

      If you do get it, I want the 401!

      Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Frog Man

    Ive had 2 of these, not restored just bangers but i came too conclusion there just not worth it anymore. My buddy scored a 66 that resided on Nellis AFB for years it was fire chief rig he got it for 7k 6cylinder ran good w 34xxx now that was worth it.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Robert Holt

    I remember one Christmas many years ago some friends invited my family to a weekend getaway on a local ski resort, and it was indeed a white Christmas, with generous helpings of snow blanketing our lovely mountain county. We eventually made it up to the resort after much slippin and sliding, and they had a nicely appointed one of these waiting to take us way further up the mountain to our cabin. Same white wrapper, but this one had the classic faux wood panels, and rode like a Cadillac, effortlessly negotiating the mile or so up the steep, winding trail in at least a foot of the white stuff. We felt like royalty in that thing, all toasty warm and comfy, thru the winter wonderland. Good memories, and I can’t think of too many vehicles that offer that level of comfort in that nasty of weather, at that price range anyway. A commuter it is not, though, I’m sure the beast got at least 5 or 6 mpg …glwts y’all! I agree with Maggy on the garbage Chinese metal, you’d be better off replacing the rusty stuff with some good American made diamond plate…

    Like 2

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