Sunday, June 29, 2014
With the large weight saving gains in 1981, the jeep lineup for the following year was largely unchanged. There were a few details here and there including the addition of a tilt steering option for the Wagoneer and Cherokee, but they mainly soldiered on. Big changes were to come later in the decade as we all know with the demise of the CJ and new owners by the end of the 1980’s. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about them, but perhaps as we should have back in the day, let’s just appreciate these classics while we had them. Enjoy the brochures (click here to be taken to the full album...) and come back next week when I’ll finish out 1982. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Its 1981 and as the caption on the brochure states, “The Legend Lives On...” In a time that gas prices were reaching near record highs, the jeep, that forty year old soldier was still moving along and selling. The sales figures were down from the prior year by nearly 15,000 units, their market share went up by 21% as they became the go to brand for a four wheel drive SUV whether you were in the market for a spartan CJ or a top of the line Wagoneer Limited that sold for the kingly sum of $15,164! It included among other appointments bucket seats with leather trip, extra thick carpeting, leather wrapped steering wheel, wood grain trim inside and out, Quadra-Trac, AC, power windows and locks and even power seats! Pretty plush for a jeep but AMC had taken the jeep line far beyond anything that anyone could have imagined back in the Willys Overland days and as well helped push the jeep along its evolutionary line.
Helping out sales was the newly redesigned straight six 258 that in 1981 was 90 pounds lighter thanks in part to the substantial use of aluminum. It became the standard engine choice in the CJ, trucks and Wagoneer and Cherokee lineup. The engine block itself was made 30 pounds lighter by miscellaneous reductions in wall thickness and flange reductions. A new cam also found its way into the 258 giving it a lower idle speed and increased low speed torque. The 1980 six weighed in at 535 pounds and the new 258 was just 445 pounds. Thats quite a bit. And it was important as gas topped around $1.35 a gallon that year. Adjusting to today’s prices that was around $3 per gallon- something that we are all too sadly used to by now.
No one, of course, knew it at the time, but the CJ was nearing its long run. But in the meantime it was still a spartan ride. As standard equipment the CJ was equipped with free wheeling hubs, a 42 amp alternator, ashtray and cigarette lighter, steering damper, glovebox, gauges for oil pressure, temp, amp and fuel level, single note horn, rearview mirror, exterior mirrors, dual sun visors and a swing away spare tire carrier that was available only on the CJ-7 as opposed to the CJ-5s fixed rear carrier. There’s more, but its fun reading what considered a bit of luxury just 30 years ago.
There’s lots more from 1982 up next week and probably continuing into the following week so come back for the best of the jeep since 1940! In the meanwhile click on any of the thumbnails above to be taken to the full albums of images. And I included a couple of spare ads from 1980 as well. I absolutely love the red Gladiator ad!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Ah, the 1980’s... they seemed to be a continuation of previous decades in many ways, but in reality they were a wolf in sheep’s clothing, changing the landscape and subtly altering everything that went before them. Ronald Reagan, the end of the oil crisis, the Iran hostages, the Cold War, a time when everything seemed to be teetering on the brink. Jeep was slowly but surely evolving into the forms that we associate with the modern day jeep. Maybe it has to do with me being a teenager in the 1980’s, but the jeeps of the 1980’s seem to be the modern jeeps with everything before them a sort of older ‘vintage’ jeep. Maybe I consider the technology to be the apex of the jeep, maybe to me these were the vehicles that adults drove when I was becoming a young adult.
In any case the 80’s were a time of technological changes for many of the jeep models. The 4 cylinder “Iron Duke” was offered for the first time after the concerns of oil shortages. The CJ became the first conventional four wheel drive to break the 20 mpg barrier with an estimated 21 mpg/ 25 mpg highway. The emphasis on the pickups was also to make them more fuel efficient. Alot of it came in the form of weight savings along with the introduction of Chrysler’s new TorqueFlite automatic, the substantial use of aluminum in the components and for the first time the use of New Process (the wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler...) gear boxes.
The Wagoneer and Cherokees received the same weight slimming treatment. The 3 and 4 speed Borg-Warner cast iron cases were replaced with a new syncromesh 4 speed T-176 with an aluminum case that were mated to the New Process 208 that replaced the Dana 20. The TorqueFlite was also available in the Waggy and Cherrys, but apparently not without some grumbling, but it was a lighter design.
This brochure is a gem of info as well as some beautiful photography. It seems to more than likely be a European sales model. Check out the Cherokee in front of the Arc de Triomphe! You can view the whole album here. Keep coming back for more. I have some things to share with you that will take us through the end of the 1980’s. Enjoy your summer and enjoy your jeep and don’t forget your dad today!
Sunday, June 8, 2014
The last of the 1970’s brochures is a brochure for the Wagoneer dating from 1979 and coming from Germany. Sorry, its all in German, obviously, but at least its visual enough to enjoy! And speaking of the visual, 1979 marked the year that brought a bit of a visual change for the front end of both the Wagoneer and the Cherokee in the form of a new single piece grille with horizontal bars and a swap to square headlights as well as a new more substantial aluminum bumper.
Couldn’t find a ton more of interest as regards this year so here’s a few option package prices. I always enjoy being reminded of how different they are from 35 years ago to what you could expect today.
The Cherokee S Package- $699
Cherokee Chief Package- $624
Cherokee Golden Eagle Package- $970
360 V-8 in the Cherokee- $274
A Turbo Hydramatic/ QuadraTrac for the Cherokee- between $396 and $549
Free Wheeling Front Hubs (Cherokee)- $105
Limited Slip Rear Diff (Cherokee)- $85
Bucket Seats With Armrests (Cherokee again)- $48
Convenience Group (Included remote control left exterior rearview mirror, electric clock, lights-on buzzer and intermittent windshield wipers...)- $83
Air Conditioning- $586 (!)
Power Steering- $226
Tinted Glass- $51
Roof Rack- $100
Tilt Steering Wheel- $76
Cruise Control- $105
AM/FM Stereo Radio- $241 (!!)
AM/FM/CB Stereo Radio with Tape Player- $367 (Wow! No 8 track?)
Sunday, June 1, 2014
When AMC acquired Jeep in February 1970, the jeep had already evolved while under Kaiser ownership, but this shift in ownership pushed the jeep out of the radical change 1960’s and into a more stable position as a tough go anywhere leisure and work vehicle. They also saw the introduction of the transitionary Cherokee Chief and such packages as the Levi’s and Golden Eagle editions as well as the Honcho package for the J-10. The Honcho brought with it front disc brakes, power steering, dual horns and a chrome bumper, special paint and trim and a Levi’s fabric bench seat.
These ads today found at the auto enthusiasts website, a “web magazine/blog” Lov2xlr8 are pretty emblematic of what the jeep was at the end of the 1970’s and nearly a decade into AMC ownership. They were tough challengers to the long held throne of the Big 3 of Detroit. Enjoy this short update today on what is quickly becoming a summer day here. Come back next week and we’ll have one last glimpse at the 1970’s before we jump off into the 1980’s! Check out all of the full sized ads here and stay tuned for new t-shirt designs for the summer coming soon to the This-Old-Jeep.com online store.