Buy One, Get One Free: 1980 Jeep Wagoneers

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We don’t have a lot to go by with this pair of wood grained SUV’s, but we’ll pass along what we can. They are located in New Britain, Connecticut and are listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is opening at $1,200 but there is a reserve.

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I’ve always had a soft spot for these big early SUV’s. It appears that the blue one on the left has significantly less rust than the white one. If both could be resurrected, that could work out very well for someone in a state with miserable weather in the winter; use the white one as a beater/parts car and keep the blue one as the “nice” one for better weather.

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The blue one is also the upscale Limited model that eventually became the Grand Wagoneer later in the model’s life. You can see the rust progression on the white one in this picture as well. Unfortunately, we don’t have any more pictures, and the only information on power trains states they are both V8s with four wheel drive. From what I can tell, at one point in time that could either be a 360 or 401 AMC V8, but I think by 1980 only the 360 was available (please correct me if you know differently). I’m still thinking this could end up being a neat pair to have, especially if you are in the area. According to the auction, both have clear titles, so let us know if you are interested in the buy one, get one free sale!

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Comments

  1. Rick

    What’s neat about the Wagoneer is if you pull the grille and headlight assemblies off, the original ’63 front sheetmetal is underneath and you can install the early grille and headlights (to give it that retro look) which is much more pleasing IMHO

    • Claus Graf

      Yep!
      That’s my plan whenever I get a Wagoneer or a pickup.

  2. Rob

    They are both limitless, both 360, both727 trans, 4wd can go a couple different ways, either Selec-Trac part time or quadra-Trac full time

  3. Chebby

    The only thing better than getting one of them free is not getting either of them!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Chebby, hey, I know, let’s go for the most thumbs down, new game. You couldn’t give me either one, as well.. I had terrible luck with a ’78 Cherokee Chief. Not a bad concept, went great in the snow, so-so heater, awful gas mileage ( and it was a 6) and something broke every week I used it. Back window, gas gauge, driver’s door window fell, and on and on. These aren’t half the trucks Willy’s and Kaiser’s were. Let the down thumbing begin.

      • Chebby

        Haha, I gave you a thumbs up!

  4. Rustowner

    1979 was the last year for the 401 in the SJ line of Jeeps. These will be a good deal if the price stays in the low $2000ish range. These are quirky, but nice to work on and drive. Be sure to check the frame condition by the gas tank carefully as they are prone to rusting badly in these models.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rustowner, tell me about it. What ultimately killed my ’78, was the rear spring hanger rusted off the frame ( not that unusual for any make) and the spring went through the body, right about the same time #5 cylinder decided to give up. It was not my best vehicle.

  5. 68 custom

    This guy buy them restores them then sells them for lots of cash! http://www.wagonmaster.com/inventory/
    and yes they do get awful gas mileage.

    • Roger

      Thanks, as soon as I saw these two I was trying to remember this site. Just as the first time I checked out that site, I still think what these are selling for is truly silly. I do get all the work and man hours out into them to make ” as new ” but still. Maybe I’d feel differently if I had $60k to drop on an 80’so 4×4 lol. Love these trucks, but not quite that much!

  6. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I’ve owned more than a dozen of these in different incarnations…J-Trucks, Grand Waggys, Cherokees…this pair is a crap shoot at this price. They scrap at $200 each (these are 2-1/4 tons of steel each) In the NE, they could have substantial rust issues in the floors, in the frame (especially the frame above the skid plate as was mentioned) They could have rusted out springpacks even.

    No mention of engine worthiness but I can tell you 100K – 130K these get ‘sloppy’ in the upper end and could use a refresh.

    Gas mileage? Forget it…that’s not why you buy these. 10mpg city and highway, rain or shine. All day every day.

    Now…these are also THE best snow vehicles/off-road vehicles. Period. A turning circle better than most cars; relatively short wheel base, great clearance; buttlet proof NP229’s; loads of comfort…I’ve pulled many a vehicle out of bad situations with them. You love them and you hate them…some times in the same hour!

    But as I’ve always said, you don’t buy these for miles per gallon. You buy them for smiles per gallon.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi wuz, and another thing. With the Quadratrac, don’t even think of putting lockouts on the front axle. I tried that in an effort to get better mileage, and the truck wouldn’t move(???)

  7. John

    And only ten miles from my house. And me needing a plow vehicle.

  8. scott

    My dad had one that burned gas like there was no tomorrow and the vacuum lines were a nightmare. Big style, but big problems also.

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Yep! I used to jonke (half joke /: ) that I never ever passed a gas station. You could squeeze 16 gallons into one of these but that’s only 160 miles after all…

      And some days it seemed like there was a mile of vac lines. Worse was the CTO valves in them but that’s how they dealt with Fed mandates.

      AMC was a company that was being squeezed hard from both side. Flat arze broke with a 25 year old design and a rampant EPA platform that was demanding MPGs from cars. For good reason but still…AMC paid the ultimate price.

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