Do Real Cowboys Eat Beef? 1976 Jeep Wagoneer

We’ll get to the post title in a moment. Meanwhile, this neat looking, oozing with the p-word Jeep Wagoneer is listed for sale here on eBay, with bidding starting at $5,000 and a buy it now being set at $7,500. It’s located in dry Las Cruces, New Mexico, which had me hoping at first for a lack of rust. Oh well, so much for hoping.

A quick look at the rocker panel will end any thoughts you might have of no rust. The seller describes lower body rust which unfortunately on these vehicles may mean a lot of issues under the body. Only a good inspection would tell you for sure.

Ok, you’ve waited long enough. According to the bumper sticker, “Real Cowboys Eat Beef.” I guess vegetarians aren’t welcome to buy it? Personally, I wouldn’t let it stop me! The seller tells us that they are selling the vehicle for a retired friend, and that it has 71,000 miles on it. They also state that the headliner is damaged, the seats have wear and the tires are somewhat dry rotted.

Considering the age and the sun in New Mexico, I’m actually pretty pleased with the looks of the interior, including the dashboard. The seller shows the air conditioner and that the big Jeep has power steering, power brakes and still has the factory radio. The truck has been sitting for a while, but does start and drive.

Here’s the factory 360 V8, which has plenty of power to pull even this heavy vehicle around. Personally, I like the styling of these earlier, clean-sided Wagoneers as opposed to the wood grained later ones (although they have some excellent points in their favor as well).

In 1976, Jeep described the Wagoneer as the “ultimate 4-wheel drive experience.” How do you feel about that statement? Is this your ultimate 4WD SUV?

Fast Finds


  1. Howard A Member

    Oh, Jamie, must we do this so early in the week? I know, we go back and forth, best vehicle, worst vehicle. For me, it was the latter. I had a ’78 Cherokee Chief, and while the concept was great, it was the worst POS I ever owned, and I’ve owned a lot. Everything that could go wrong, did, except the drivetrain, and even the 258/6 , the best engine ever, suffered a burned valve.( in all fairness, many of the problems were directly related to the massive rusting) The 6 cylinder got dismal gas mileage, I can only think, the 360 would be in the “gallons per mile” range, especially pulling something, which these were made for. Some like these, and had good luck with them, but the Kaiser Wagoneer was 10 times the truck this was. I wouldn’t touch this if they were giving it away. Far as I’m concerned, it was the worst thing with an AMC badge ever, and probably the most popular,,,go figure.

    • Howard A Member

      Replaced it with a 1980 full size Bronco, was a breath of fresh air!

      • AMXSTEVE

        Howard we’ve heard your sob story before. Its to bad you got a lemon but I have owned a waggy and 2 CHIEFs and currently own one now and have no such problems. They are tough durable vehicles that can go thru the worst conditions and out pull their chevy and ford counterparts. So sad you are such a hater.

    • Dave Wright

      Were the worst at least until they got to the current Fiat garbage……..that is a new low in quality and design.

    • jwinters

      Dang, Howard did you forget to take your medication today?

      • Howard A Member

        Ha, ha, yeah, medication, good one. Seriously, I apologize for ripping on peoples beloved rides. It’s like saying you have an ugly daughter. I’m not going to praise a vehicle where everything, and I’m not going down the list again, went wrong, or broke. The dismal mileage I could live with, the Bronco wasn’t any better, but I’ve had most other brands, and the Cherokee was the worst. If you think AMC quality was on par with the other makers in the late 70’s, well, I just had much better luck with the other 3.( GM, Ford, IH) The Cherokee was such a disappointment after my “flat-fendered” Willys. ( It’s why I bought the Cherokee in the 1st place because I figured it would be a modern Willys, which it wasn’t) The Bronco, on the other hand, was unstoppable, much better truck.. Again, sorry to be so negative, I’ll watch it in the future.
        Now, where the heck is my dang medication?

    • Jake

      I’d say the Chrysler built Jeeps were the worst. I was in one once, not even ten years old, it was in a minor fender bender. As we pulled away we revealed, no exaggeration, a 1/4 inch thick layer of rust on the road. It was like a photocopy of the underpinnings in rust.

  2. Blyndgesser

    These were pretty popular in rural northern Mexico 30+ years ago. That’s a harsh environment for even a truck based SUV. No sissy crossovers need apply.

  3. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Narrow track 4 door dirty old rusty Waggy. Much as I love them (sorry, Howard ;) ) this isn’t worth what the lister is asking. Half of it MAYBE…but this is not a 5K FSJ

    That engine just looks tired, and in these an uncared for engine can have all kinds of leaks, air and fluid. About the only thing it’s got going for it is the manual crank rear window and the Quadra-Trac (I know…let the QT wars begin…haha).


      Better check your pricing. If the mileage is true and its rust free its worth at least the asking price.

      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        Not rust free. Rust in the rockers, rust in the passenger side dog leg, rust starting in rear 1/4’s. Wouldn’t surprise me if there was rust in the floors and door bottoms. I would bet dollars to donuts that the rms leaks after sitting so long. That would be just the start

  4. Dave Wright

    I too have owned several of these……..the biggest problem was fuel economy….then power, the small cab and narrow track. I always wanted to warm up to them but in the long run they were sold and replaced by a Suburban or a Travelall. The IHC and Chevies were built stronger, got sometimes twice the fuel economy, had better brakes, could comfortably seat 3 across and ran in the normal ruts in the road instead of bouncing in and out of them because you were so narrow. Mine were commonly used as tow vehicles. Then there was the full time 4 wheel drive……..

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      I’ve owned a battleship’s weight of these! haha A dozen or so Wagoneers, a couple Chiefs (I’m wondering if I didn’t sell AMX Steve one of them many years ago for the 401 engine that was in it…it was a Steve, who owned AMX’s and lived up in WY), a bunch of trucks J style and Gladiator.

      These were VERY capable off-roaders and were virtually unstoppable in snow. Were they quirky? Heck yeah they were but for those that loved(hated) them, that was part of their charm. I would still take one of these over any other similar vintage SUV/4WD vehicle if I were in the market…but been there, done that and all that.

      The Wagoneer was an innovative vehicle when it was introduced, for so many reasons. There was nothing on the road (or off) that was like it. The Quadra-Trac when it was introduced was, again, innovative in the world of 4WD. But…like a lot of things AMC…they started the trend and the others steamrolled them.

      • Dave Wright

        So… never owned a good vehicle?………like a IHC travelall or 3/4 ton suburban? Too bad you never experianced that………even my lowly scouts are selling for more than jeeps these days. I have owned maby 70 jeep products, with the exception of the M715, they were light built weak vehicles compared to a Travelall with a 392……..that got the same or better fuel economy.

      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        Well, I can’t say I’ve owned a ‘Burb…but I have pulled one out of a snow bank with a Wagoneer once ;)

        This isn’t a “my dog is better than your dog” thing. I enjoyed my FSJ’s…some folks didn’t like theirs. That’s why Baskin-Robbins makes 31 flavors

      • Dave Wright

        I have pulled many big 3 (or 4?) vehicles out of the ditch with my M715’s too….. but that is anecdotal……..most times has more to do with skill and experiance. I always laugh at hot rod 4X4’s, they are stuck so much that they quit asking the guys with things like M715’s on there trail runs…..the hot rod would dive into a mud bog, spin the wheels and be stuck. The 715 guy would idle up behind him, and pull him out.


      yeah I see the rust now. I doubt the mileage claims also

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I drove these Chiefs when I was working for the Ohio EPA with the “fish kickers”, a team of guys that drove shock boats all over the state shocking streams to sample fish populations.

    Let me tell you these trucks would go absolutely anywhere, and would pull a loaded johnboat straight up a muddy hill without hesitation. One bad-ass truck in my experience. That said, you couldn’t adjust the radio without the knob breaking off in your hand!

  6. Bruce Fischer

    I owned 4 of them over the years and LOVE all of them. I repainted them all metallic blue with new wood grain sides. Yes the gas mileage was rough and their weak point were if you got one with a working gas gage you were real lucky. Mine all drove like you were riding on a cloud.I also loved the dist. up in front of the motor on the v-8s. Bruce.

  7. Bruce Fischer

    P.S. On that 1971 Cutlass Vista cruiser station wagon{that was for sale on here about 2 weeks ago} even I had to walk away from it. The rust was the only thing holding it together.Bruce.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.