This 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer looks largely stock from the outside, the only real clue that it has been modified are the upgraded 17″ alloy wheels in place of the original 15″ units.
Once you open the hood and see the 330 bhp 5.7 liter Hemi V8 it becomes clear that this Wagoneer has had a lot of work done under the surface, it now produces twice as much power as it did when new and the suspension, brakes, transmission, and axles have been upgraded to match.
Fast Facts – A Jeep Grand Wagoneer Sleeper
- The Wagoneer model family was released by Kaiser Jeep back in 1962, many have pointed to it as the first true “luxury” SUV and there can be little doubt that it’s one of the most influential 4x4s in history.
- The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was released in 1984 as the top of the line Wagoneer model, it was called the “the gold standard of the SUV market” and it remained in production until the 1991 model year.
- A slew of standard options were offered on the Grand Wagoneer including alloy wheels, air conditioning, dual front power bucket seats, power windows and power door locks, a power rear hatch window, faux wood body side vinyl wood appliques, a leather-wrapped two-spoke steering wheel, and plenty more.
- The Grand Wagoneer you see here has been significantly modified, it’s now powered by a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, upgraded suspension and brakes, and axles from a 2007 Jeep Commander.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The original Wagoneer was first released in 1962, it was designed by Brooks Stevens to be a luxurious (by the standards of the era) full-sized four wheel drive with all the comforts of a standard family station wagon.
In the years since the release of the Wagoneer many have pointed to it as being the original “modern” SUV – one of thew most popular vehicle genres of the modern world.
This wasn’t the first time Jeep had broken new ground, the WWII-era Jeeps had been one of the most important vehicles of the war on either side of the conflict, and it introduced an entire generation of young men to the capabilities of four-wheel drive vehicles.
After the war the Jeep design was civilianized, becoming the Jeep CJ, and helping to spur on the adoption of 4x4s with the wider American market. In 1946, just a year after WWII ended the Willys Jeep Station Wagon was released, a hardtop station wagon four-wheel drive that was arguably one of the first production SUVs in history.
With the arrival of competitors like the International Harvester Travelall 4×4 and the Chevrolet Suburban 4×4 in the 1950s Jeep needed to release something new, and so the project to develop the next-generation Jeep Station Wagon was launched.
The project was led by industrial and automotive designer Brooks Stevens, a founding member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, and the designer of the 1949 Hydra-Glide Harley-Davidson, the Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, the Miller Brewing logo, and interestingly, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
Stevens developed a large station wagon design based on a steel ladder frame chassis with a 4×4 drivetrain. The new vehicle, named the Wagoneer, had all the comforts of a normal road going family station wagon with the added benefit of genuine off-road capability.
The extraordinary success of the design would see it stay in production, largely unchanged, for 29 years from 1963 to 1991 making it the 3rd longest-produced single-generation car in American automotive history.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was released in 1984 as the top of the line Wagoneer model, it came with a slew of formerly optional luxury items as standard, and it was a period competitor for that other famous luxury SUV – the Range Rover.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Sleeper Shown Here
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer you see here has been carefully modified to retain all of its original Brooks Stevens charm. Once you look under the hood however it becomes quickly apparently that a lot of work has gone into getting it to perform much better than it ever could have in stock trim.
The original V8 has been replaced with a 330 bhp 5.7 liter Hemi V8 with 375 lb ft of torque that was sourced from a 2007 Jeep Commander along with the 5-speed automatic transmission. A replacement fuel tank sourced from a 1992 Jeep Cherokee has also been installed.
Uprated suspension, disc brakes, and axle components were also sourced from the same Jeep Commander, along with Moog adjustable upper ball joints.
The fitment of modern dis brakes meant that there wasn’t clearance to run the original 15″ wheels, so a new 17″ set was made by Augment Wheel Company in a similar style to the originals.
The completed vehicle now presents in good condition throughout and it’s being offered for sale on Bring A Trailer out of Ontario, Canada. If you’d like to read more about it or place a bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Bring A Trailer
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.