Brief History of the Jeep Wagoneer
Most recently, the Jeep brand announced the imminent return of the Jeep Wagoneer, three decades after what marked the end of the original Grand Wagoneer. The full-size SUV, which captured the minds of an entire generation, now evokes nostalgia for the golden era of the American Dream in North America. The new model has been named the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept and will incorporate many of the key elements of the original lineup while modernizing it.
Galt Chrysler, your Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Fiat dealer in Cambridge, introduces you to the history of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
A Pioneer of Its Time
While it's now widespread to drive either compact or full-size SUVs, the time when these vehicles didn't exist is not so far away. In fact, it goes back exactly to the creation of the Jeep Wagoneer, which was a real forerunner in its class, and the first SUV as we know it today.
From the very first Wagoneer models, four-wheel-drive vehicles and automatic transmission revolutionized the automotive industry. In addition, high-powered engines were added at the time, notably the 250-horsepower V8, which entered the vehicle in 1965. The model also revolutionized driving thanks to the Quadra-Trac system, the first intelligent, non-manual all-wheel drive system. This made it the perfect vehicle to get off the beaten track, to drive off-road in total control, and it was a favourite with all outdoor enthusiasts.
In 1966, the Super Wagoneer model was introduced. It was one of the most luxurious models available; so luxurious, in fact, that the price was unattainable for most consumers. After AMC bought Jeep in 1970, the model was replaced by a more family-oriented vehicle, which was more successful. The 1970s also saw the introduction of the iconic exterior wood typical of the era, one that has remained etched in the collective American memory.
The 1980s having been a rather difficult time of crisis for American manufacturers, the Wagoneer became a version of the Jeep Cherokee in 1984. That's when the Grand Wagoneer came into play, featuring several modern features, including better control of the air conditioning and headrests. This more comfortable model, mainly intended for families, would go on to enjoy excellent sales until the end of production a decade later.
AMC was acquired by Chrysler in 1987, and the decade was particularly prolific for the Grand Wagoneer, which was in its prime. However, the Grand Wagoneer died in 1991, the last model year, and is widely remembered as an innovative vehicle that revolutionized the SUV. The end of the decade was marked by a wave of vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz, which put more emphasis on the spacious interior, something consumers were looking for more than off-road capabilities.
It was only goodbye for the SUV, however, which is back in full force for 2021. With the rising popularity of all-terrain vehicles, this is a good time for Jeep. The innovation the model demonstrated in its time is still a watchword: not only will the vehicle be powerful and solid, it will be futuristic. While incorporating classic elements of the Grand Wagoneer, the new vehicle will feature state-of-the-art technology and a bold look.
As a result, Jeep's iconic vehicle, which has passed through the hands of many different drivers, has remained intact in the memories of families across Canada and the United States. A true emblem of an entire era, and an important precursor to the SUV as we know it, the Wagoneer still symbolizes freedom, luxury and family.
Best SUVs at Galt Chrysler
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