Cheap Jeep: 1989 Jeep Comanche SporTruck

Since it’s my birthday today (Friday), I thought I’d be shamelessly-selfish and write about vehicles that I would personally love to have. On the list would be another small pickup like this 1989 Jeep Comanche SporTruck. This one can be found here on Craigslist in the beautiful King County Washington state area and the seller has a $3,000 asking price listed. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

Ok, I admit to being shamelessly-selfish the other 364 days out of every year, too. I also admit to liking and/or loving every vehicle that I write about here at Barn Finds so today isn’t really that special, other than finally turning 40 (cough) (wheeze) (kidding). This Comanche looks like another nice, honest, small pickup which is quickly becoming my favorite genre. I was heavily into vintage Japanese vehicles the last few years but after having owned quite a few of them on my list, my sights are turning towards small pickups and what more cool and unusual way to indulge in that than with a Jeep Comanche?

The Comanche was made for the 1986 through 1992 model years by AMC and then Chrysler after they purchased Renault’s share of AMC stock, and the rest, in 1987. Being a post-1987 Comanche this one came under Chrysler’s watch. It looks rugged enough and is certainly not in perfect condition but they are pretty unusual to see on the streets. This is a rear-wheel-drive model and the sellers “bought this truck a few years ago to haul materials for a home remodel – it has been extremely reliable and fun to drive!”

The interior looks great in this SporTruck. This would have been the base model in 1989 but with a fabric seat and 5-speed manual transmission, that’s all I would need. This truck has 171,473 miles on it and there are a couple of issues, like the driver’s door not sealing and the dent in the upper edge of the left-front fender.

This engine is AMC’s 4.0L inline-six which should have about 175 hp. They say that it “is still healthy and running strong” and also that there are “No mechanical issues / smoke / strange noises. Some very light oil and coolant leaks, but nothing abnormal for this type of Jeep.” I recently saw almost this exact Comanche in a parking ramp and talked with the owner who had just found it for $2,500 – it was almost perfect. He wasn’t interested in selling it for $3,000. Have any of you owned a Comanche pickup?

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Comments

  1. El Burrito

    A belated happy birthday to you, Scotty!

    Like 8
  2. CK2050

    I have a 1988 that’s a 4×4 that I found this summer with 52k miles from Cape Cod. It’s in almost perfect condition. It’s fun to drive and perfect for living in rural Vermont.

    Like 1
  3. whmracer99

    Had an Eliminator version of this truck. Towed anything I wanted, went anywhere I needed to go, and handled loads with ease. Great truck but it’s a real truck, not a “truck” in today’s sense of the word. Rough riding, noisy, short on power and creature comforts (by today’s standards) but a great reliable piece of equipment. Liked it but didn’t miss it when it was gone. The 4wd versions are highly sought by the off-road crowd so prices have stabilized and started rising on decent condition trucks like this.

    Like 4
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      A truck that behaves like a truck – what a novel idea! This one looks like a pretty nice example. If it wasn’t for the fact that I live on the other side of the planet, I’d be tempted…

      Happy belated birthday, Scotty, and a Merry Christmas to all and your respective families from your humble bedouin-type motoring historian. :-D

      Like 5
  4. Rocco B.

    If I was going to drive something with a politically incorrect name Scotty, it would have to be a 1937 Studebaker Dictator coupe.
    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Like 7
  5. PDXBryan

    Happy birthday to you, hope life’s good to you, laugh and grow older, what else can you do? (sung to the tune of The Birthday Song)

    …..oh yeah, cool Jeep!

    Like 3
  6. Mountainwoodie

    Geez……..40 is practically a teenager these days :) You’re just getting started! Love your writing and eye for the iron. Thanks and Happy Birthday!

    Like 4
    • Bud nelson

      Had a 92 4wd, 4 speed version. 262,000 trouble free miles on the original clutch. Great truck.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, thanks, all! I’m actually closer to 60 than 40, but mentally I’m still a teenager. My birthday wish/goal for this year is fewer typos and mistakes where I know better, but somehow my fingers just keep typing. Thanks to you all for your info and corrections over the years. Hopefully, you know that I’m not an auto scholar and think that I should know absolutely everything about every vehicle ever made.

      Happy Holidays to you all if you celebrate and, actually, even if you don’t!

      Like 5
      • Lee M.

        Stay that teenager. I am 57 and still that young guy from way back too.

        Like 1
  7. Jshay

    Happy Birthday! Picked up a 1989 4×4 Comanche with 62k original miles last year for my son and I to work on as it will be his first vehicle!

  8. PDXBryan

    And a Festivus to the fest of us!

    Like 3
  9. TC

    Had an ‘86 with a weezer 2.8/5 spd. No radio. Tailgate rusted away looong before body did. I had put one of those Gator-nets on it instead (widely acceptable in the late 80’s) Black w/ red interior. First dated my now wife in it.

    Like 1
  10. mark

    I have owned 2 of the these. Bought an 86 base model new. 4 speed and 4 cylinder. Great basic truck that I owned for 6 or 7 years. Bought the second one in 2002. It was an 87 with an automatic with the 4.0 straight 6, automatic and air conditioning. Paid $1200 bucks for it and drove it for 8 years or so. Chrysler quit making these because they competed with their own Dodge Dakota. They made the Dakota look like crap. Big mistake when the Comanche went away.

    Like 2
  11. AMXBrian

    I had an 87 SporTruck that we dragged back from Augusta, ME. It was pretty nice and I was going to use it as a daily driver until I pulled back the carpet. Since I already have the AMX as a project vehicle, I sold it on to someone else who is hopefully restoring it right now. I ended up buying a Ranger for a daily and although it’s not as cool as the MJ, the parts availability with Rangers is ridiculous. I’m not used to it as an AMC guy haha

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