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Elderly Owned YJ: 46K-Mile 1990 Jeep Wrangler

Finding a highly preserved Jeep Wrangler of any generation can be a challenge, mainly because these highly-capable (and cheap) rigs were meant to withstand heaps of abuse on a daily basis. I suspect the collector market has woken up to this, as the YJ market as of late is turning up some highly original survivors with big price tags attached to them, a perfect storm of scarcity and desirability as younger collectors start to snatch up the vehicles from their youth. This 1990 Jeep Wrangler is a low-mileage, elderly-owned survivor with just 46,000 original miles and the slow but reliable four-cylinder engine. Find it here on craigslist with an asking price of $13,500.

The four-cylinder Wrangler is certainly not the preferred setup for the ultimate survivor Wrangler, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with it from a daily driver standpoint. Poky it will be, but the six-cylinder Wrangler isn’t exactly a sports car, either. The Desert Storm paint job with matching top has the very distinctive effect of looking like it rolled off the battlefield, and not an elderly owner’s California garage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one gone in the next few days, as the price seems quite reasonable for a minty YJ with only 46,000 original miles and hailing from a part of the country where rust-free cars abound.

The interior is likewise in mint condition, with a mixture of beige and tan seating surfaces and plastics, and all of it looking far cleaner than I’d expect to find in a Wrangler. This color scheme makes me suspect that the original owner never intended to take this truck off-road, as anyone who did would likely want a black or gray interior. The seller reports it has never been painted or ever abused and has been serviced at the local Jeep dealer since new. All of this seems to shake out in the pictures, which make the Wrangler look like any other barely used Camry or LeSabre found in a retiree’s garage after their passing.

The engine bay retains factory paint and warning stickers, and the black plastics and hoses all present as new. Finding a dealer-maintained Jeep of any vintage is a find in and of itself considering how many Wrangler owners pride themselves on their DIY abilities, and this is likely one of the few YJs to hit the market recently with a deep paper trail of maintenance records. The four-cylinder may not represent the ultimate spec, but the colors and condition more than make up for it. I suspect the seller could easily get $15,000 for this Wrangler, so at the current asking price, I don’t expect it to last long. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find.


  1. Gunner

    Gone…….understandably. A like new Jeep for a fraction of the price.

    Like 6
  2. Harry

    Wow nice one. I was selling these new back then and the asking price was about sticker price back then. Worth every penny seller is asking though.

    Like 4
  3. Little_Cars

    Ugh. That dashboard. Anything but utilitarian. Did these also get the rectangular headlights that so many purists abhorred?

    Like 0
  4. DonS

    I don’t like tan much. Man is this tan. All Tan. Super nice tan. Dang, do I like this Jeep.

    Like 4
  5. rich

    Jeeps now days weigh as much as my GMC Sierra

    Like 1
  6. danny

    Wow ! that’s a city jeep or a tow car, way over price, not the book price, my 1983 CJ 7 all original with 56000 miles at high book price 3900.00, Jeep’s come cheep, seems like some one want’s to make some money, nice looking city Jeep but not worth the money!

    Like 0
  7. David ulrey

    The 2.5 in these is a very good engine. Certainly not overpowered but competent. This one has stayed so nice for so long, it probably won’t get beat up by the new owner. With a manual transmission the 4cyl is fine. The reality is that due to the short wheelbase and somewhat narrow track, they really aren’t a 90 mph vehicle no matter which engine you have in it. I’ve owned the next generation, the TJ Wrangler and it had a 4cyl. People need to realize that any short wheelbase 4×4 isn’t designed for high speeds or ultimate handling through the corners. That’s what gets you killed.

    Like 4
  8. Doug

    “Finding a highly preserved Jeep Wrangler of any generation can be a challenge, mainly because these highly-capable (and cheap) rigs were meant to withstand heaps of abuse on a daily basis.”

    Cheap? Wow. Have you seen the price of these overpriced Dodges lately? PLENTY of durable 4X4s out there made to go well past the 200K mark.

    I’m a former Dodge service advisor. Yes, oddly, they’re a little better under Fiat. But this vintage, junk. But if you disagree I have a similar Dodge Caravan, with the same 4 pot mill. ‘Only’ $23,000, crusty PBG under the rear bench seats, no additional charge…

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      Pabst Blue Ribbon? Peanut Butter & Jelly? I think the Notorious Crusty PBG might just be a popular rapper on the music scene today. Kidding, of course.

      Like 0

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