Fancy Jeep: 1985 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

If you were a yuppie in the 1980s you probably either had a BMW, which you incorrectly called a Beamer instead of a Bimmer, or a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Or, both. This 1985 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is on Craigslist in Washburn, Wisconsin for $3,400. I have no doubt that retro yuppies will return since everything now is retro and we have to be getting “back to the 1980s” again, eventually. Judging by current young male hair styles, we’re hovering somewhere in the early to mid-1970s at the moment. Every young male looks like a pre-perm Peter Brady to me. After the 1980s come and go, again, we can relive the early-90s and grunge after that! (crickets)

And, of course, not all BMW or Grand Wagoneer owners were yuppies in the 1980s. Now, back to this retro Jeep! This Grand Wagoneer looks pretty crisp and clean, but you can see the peeling and/or faded woodgrain trim. Luckily, replacement material is available if a person were thinking of restoring it. The next owner may want to do a little rust repair first and worry about the finishing touches after things are sound and tight again. This truck has 125,000 miles on it and it was originally from Washington state. Whether that means that it should have less rust on it than it would if it were from another part of the country is debatable. I’m assuming that a Midwest or Northeast vehicle would have more rust on it than one from other parts of the country would, due to road salt, but that usually opens up a Pandora’s Box of other rust-scenarios for each region of the country.

The seller mentions that some interior work is needed as well as a bit of bodywork. It looks pretty good inside and I’m guessing that this vehicle isn’t one that would undergo a full restoration anyway, it will most likely just be maintained and driven, probably as a winter vehicle. The back seat looks good as does the rear compartment. This Jeep has a 360 V8 which, supposedly, has the distinction of being the last V8 made by AMC and it was, again, supposedly, the last carbureted engine used in an American-built vehicle. This one runs great, by the way. Have any of you owned a Grand Wagoneer? Or a BMW? Or, both? And, most importantly: were you a yuppie in the 1980s?!

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  1. Motoring mo

    Going to look at it later today for mom!

    • jdjonesdr

      Let us know your comments afterwards, if it’s not too much trouble.

  2. Rock On

    Very appropriate Scotty to post a big family hauler on Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of our BarnFinds Mothers!

  3. GliveCo

    I own a 1986 variant. Yes they are the last NORTH AMERICAN produced carbureted vehicle. And yes this would be the last V8 produced by AMC and would be continued to be used even under the Chrysler years from 1987 to 1991 despite the fact that Chrysler would have fitted one of their fuel injected engines in it.

  4. Rx7turboII

    Wow, right down the road from me…Nice Jeep!

  5. Matt

    I’ve owned two of these beasts, and if it were close I’d take a look.
    Martha’s Vineyard has a ton of these Jeeps, some with incredible low miles that have spent their whole lives on the island.

    • Chris

      I used to see them parked at the airport there for their owners to use on weekends or during trips to MV. There are probably a couple out there now.

  6. XMA0891

    ’85 is my favorite year for the GW – last year for the “old style” dash amongst other touches. Nice truck – be a shame to rot it to oblivion using it a winter beater.

  7. BarnfindyCollins

    I got a three year old one at the age of 16. Drove it enthusiastically for 16 years. It was probably the best vehicle I’ve ever had. I ended up also buying ’64 and ’87 models from neighbors after selling the ’83. I can’t think of a vehicle that has such charm and utility as this. Like old friends, you miss them when their gone.

  8. Gibroni!

    Begging to become an Icon Derelict.

  9. Scott

    My dad had one back in the nineties and it got crappy mileage. There were so many vacuum hoses, it was difficult to keep starting reliably. Not for me, but lots of style.

    • Chris

      Nine or ten MPG on the highway, as I remember.

  10. That AMC guy

    The instrument cluster on these look like they came out of an AMC Hornet. Not sure if they actually interchange or not.

  11. Chris

    Just finished putting fuel injection on my wife’s blue 1988. She gets a lot of comments about her car all the time.

  12. DEWFPO

    My 1985 Ford F-150 had a carbureted engine in it as well. I don’t know if the later 351W’s had a 4 bbl carb on it as an option.


    Bimmer? That’s a new one!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

      Ha, I know! A Bimmer is a BMW car and a Beamer is a BMW motorcycle. It’s as rare as world peace to hear anyone refer to a BMW car as a Bimmer outside of those circles, Ken.

  14. seth karpen

    My 1985 dodge ramcharger with a 318 also had a carburetor

  15. Greg

    I had a ’78 Wagoneer, drove it for 5 years only needing regular maintenance, and sold it for more than I paid. Loved that truck! Not all the options of the Grand Wagoneer, but solid and fun. I live in California so it was rust-free and stayed that way. I still see it around now and then. I’ve been itching for a GW.

  16. Damon Lucas

    My 87 has a carburetor. Only 74k miles and is a weekend driver.

  17. Oil Slick

    I owned both. A 635csi and an 87 Waggy. Loved em both so I bought a 79 Golden Eagle and am looking for a 89 CSI

  18. Guggie 13

    Had one loved it , traded it for a Ramcharger loved that more !!

  19. Greg

    That’s ironic! I had a 78 Wagoneer followed by a 78 Ramcharger (actually Plymouth Trailduster Sport). Both were great trucks and neither gave me any problems.

  20. Bob

    What About Bob ?

  21. T.R.Von

    I was a very young yuppie in the 1980s and loved my parent’s Grand Wagoneer that was identical to this one. Many good memories- and many many trips to the Jeep dealer to have the door pulls tightened because at the time they used a then-proprietary octagonal or decahedral shaped (cant remember exact shape) screw to hold the door pull to the inside of the door.

  22. Guggie 13

    I had an 1975 Cherokee Chief 360 v8 Quadra trac lost that in a divorce , bought a1978 waggoneer 360 v8 Quadra trac also both had high miles 100k + , then got a 1987 Dodge Ramcharger missed the 4 door ,otherwise loved it all were Great vehicles and none were Volkswagons when it came to mpg , Ramcharger had barff injection ,never a problem , drove that vehicle for 9 years finally the tin worm got it , A big part of my job was to drive the snowplow for the state never missed a storm due to vehicle problems , all of my vehicles had plows and were used to pull a camper trailer and boats , retired now after 30 yrs and have a 08 Dodge nitro and a kobata tractor for plowing ( cab and Heat ) love both of them ! regular oil changes and upkeep and they will run for a long time !

  23. Tom

    Must look worse in person to still be available after 7 days at that price?

  24. Mike H

    It’s delightful to hear from all you guys about the carbureted V8’s you had from the later 1980’s, but I think you may have missed the author’s point:

    The SJ Grand Wagoneer was produced until 1991 and featured a 360 in³ carbureted engine as the standard and only available engine from 1984 onward. In 1991, the last year of regular production for the SJ Grand Wagoneer, it was the ONLY North American built vehicle still on offer with a carburetor as all other domestic production had switched to fuel injection.

    Isuzu would become the last brand to sell a new car or truck in the USDM with a carburetor in 1994 on their pickup truck. From our friends at Wikipedia:

    “This truck (Isuzu TF series, which appeared in 1987 as simply the “Isuzu Pickup”) holds the distinction of becoming the last carbureted passenger vehicle sold new in the United States (1994 model year).”

    So, while it’s super to hear that the 19XX Whatevermobile Truck/Car you had still had a carburetor, the point to THIS story is that the SJ was the LAST domestically produced carbureted vehicle manufactured in North America, and that is literally undisputed.

    • Mike H

      Correction: Standard and only available engine from 1988 onward. The 4.2L was still available all the way through 1987, which is when they were acquired by Chrysler.


  25. buffer78

    I don’t think its the last american made car with a v8 and a carb. In 87′ & 88″ you could still get a Monte Carlo SS with a v8 and a carb.


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