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Retired Early: 1989 Jeep Comanche


We don’t normally see vehicles made in the last 20 years qualify as barn finds, but the seller of this 1989 Jeep Comanche here on craigslist is fairly certain its survivor status makes it worthy of the title. That, and the fact it’s been stuck in a barn since the 1990s under the care of the original family owners – which might explain why those ’80s body graphics still look so good. 


Personally, I think these are the types of barn finds we’re most likely to stumble upon by accident: an ordinary workhorse vehicle, put away when some minor maintenance issue sidelined it. Of course, it becomes less ordinary when it’s a truck like the Comanche, which was one heck of a working man’s vehicle. Unfortunately, that also means many of them have been beaten into retirement with the battle scars to prove it.


Usually, the tell-tale signs of an abused truck include scraped paint on the fender arches. Here, you can see a few blemishes but they’re still far cleaner than many rigs of this vintage. In addition, the bed liner looks nearly new and the latches along the perimeter of the bed indicate a tonneau cover may have at one time kept cargo clean and dry.


These pick-up versions of the Jeep Cherokee are based on the classic XJ platform, one of the most reliable and durable trucks of the last 20 years. These Jeeps featured the terrific combination of “Quadra-Link” suspension with the venerable Jeep 4.0 inline six motor, replacing the previous year’s Chevy V6. Overall, this Comanche will likely take you where you need to go, reliably and cheaply. The seller offers no price – what do you think it should be?


  1. Mike D

    for one, if I were to buy it, I wouldn’t use it as a work truck , if it is as nice as the pics proclaim possibly a show truck , I think that is just a rubber mat in the bed, as nice as the rest of the bed looks I would look underneath it for any rust nice find!

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  2. OhU8one2

    So nice to see something out of the norm. Honestly when I think about truck’s this one never crosses my mind. But, when I see one such as this,I would buy one. I don’t care for the color or graphics. But hey,that’s what they had. The inline 4.0 litre is a torquey motor,but valve cover is prone to leaks. Stay on the maintence schedule and you’ll be good to go. Like I said,GREAT Truck.

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  3. MountainMan

    I have had one of these and wouldn’t mind another. Hard to say on the real value but my guess is somebody will pay $4,000-$5,000 for this little gem. It sure is clean and straight as can be. These are great work trucks so its refreshing to see one with so little and apparently gentle use. If it were me I wouldn’t be too rough on it but would surely use it as a truck is intended

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  4. Alan (Michigan)

    How did this truck get to nearly 136 K miles, and still look this good? In central Indiana?

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    • Mike D

      eagle eyes! I missed the “1” that means a lot of miles in a very short time

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  5. Rob

    I paid $1800 for one with 140k. In almost as good cond. lol – I’d go $2400 on this one. Hoses etc will all likely need replacing. Full tune up. New tires etc.

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  6. Blindmarc

    I owned a 4 cyl. Version, and the 4.0 sport trick version. There was no small truck in the mid to late 80’s that could beat it. My black 88′ sport truck with a 4 speed was one of the best vehicles I’ve ever owned.

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  7. David

    I owned one of these in 89. The truck had the 4.0,4×4 ,5sp tranny. The truck came to me with 120000 road miles. It served me well until winter of 04 when a good nasty accident did her in. With 190tho+ miles, the engine now lives on in a 88 Jeep 4×4,still uses no oil . If you take care of the engines they would not fail you. The engines have been used since the mid 50’s when Rambler used the same basic design. The jeep engine was built with special chrome lined cyls making them very hard to wear out.

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  8. Mark S

    Very comparable to the ford ranger with the V6 2.9 port injection. These jeeps were tough little trucks and that in line 6 was a tough little motor, i would have no problem owning and driving one of these jeep trucks. It’s to bad they were dropped, I guess that they were a casualty of AMC’s demise when rolled into the Chrysler corporate fold.

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  9. mark

    I have owned 2 of these. An 86, 4 cylinder, 4 speed and an 87 6 cylinder automatic. Both great vehicles. Whoever purchases this one will not regret it.

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  10. Tom S.

    Aside from the forty+ tonneau cover snaps to bark your knuckles on every time you get close to it, I like this truck.

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  11. Rick

    nothing early about its retirement with 135K miles – its run out, will need everything

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    • Rob


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  12. Howard A Member

    This is a pretty nice truck (clearly much better than it’s predecessor). Personally, I never cared for the front suspension, which, when worn,( which I’m sure this is) was extremely prone to the Jeep “death wobble”. The engine was probably the best i6 ever,( Ford 300 too) but didn’t give the best mileage, if that’s a concern. The body looks a little too nice for that kind of mileage, and I’m sure had a respray. Still a nice ride. Be nice if they put the price and drivetrain pics. Just don’t get why people don’t do that.

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