$54,000 for a 25-Year-Old SUV?

October 1st, 2013

1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

There’s a serious run-up on prices of old Grand Wagoneers.

Here’s an insider tip: If you want to make some serious cash, buy an ’89-’91 Jeep Grand Wagoneer down south or out west, and then sell it in the upscale neighborhoods surrounding New York or Boston.

For some reason those ancient wood-sided Jeeps are huge with the well-off yuppie crowd on the East Coast, and they are paying a mint for Grand Wagoneers in decent shape. Just take a look at what “professionally renewed” Wagoneers are listed at.

Yeah. $54,000. Take a stroll through the CarGurus listings and see if you can find a better deal.

Here’s the rub, though. Finding used Grand Wagoneers is getting seriously difficult. I managed to find a couple priced between $5,000 and $8,000, but the selection is pretty thin, even with a nationwide search. Simple economics say that high demand and low supply means higher prices. But why has the old Grand Wagoneer suddenly become so popular?

No one knows for sure. It’s not like the the GW was an exceptional vehicle. A review at CarGurus says,

The 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer boasted a 5.9-liter V8 engine with 144 hp. A 3-speed manual transmission came standard. This and the standard 4-wheel-drive gave the Grand Wagoneer pitiful gas mileage, 11/13 mpg, but one hardly buys an SUV to save money on gas.

So the GW was not powerful, not efficient and not particularly good looking. And yet restored models can sell for between $30,000 and $50,000 or more. Interesting paradox, for sure!

Maybe the skyrocketing demand is fueled by rumors of a new Grand Wagoneer from Jeep. We last reported on it in 2011, with a rumored production date of early 2013. That obviously hasn’t happened, but Jeep still assures us that a brand new luxury SUV carrying the Grand Wagoneer name will indeed come to market, though not until 2016.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to prices of those older vehicles once the new ones come out.

Would you rather spend $50K on a used Grand Wagoneer or wait for a new one?

-tgriffith

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Used Jeep Wagoneer

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  1. giah
    October 15th, 2013 at 01:53 | #1

    Yup. They are popular on Nantucket, etc. and this is not a fad and not limited to yuppies’ whims. Been seeing them on those islands for over 30 years. It’s likely the shortening supply that’s pushing demands at this point. It’s true they are lovely when wheels are deflated for late night beach ambling all loaded down with bonfire and beach camping and (blue)fishing gear, imho. ;)

  2. James
    October 10th, 2013 at 23:17 | #2

    Absolutely awesome vehicles and a blast to drive. They are popular at the high end beaches of CA and FL and upscale Ski areas as well! Nice to see the old stylish beauties on the road as opposed to a sea of Escalades or worse yet, lame Priuses and other dorky Hybrids.

  3. Ray
    October 2nd, 2013 at 15:18 | #3

    Seriously? I thought price that was a joke. I remember a friend’s dad had one of these, what an uncomfortable, smelly beast. I’ll pass… on a used one AND a new one.

  4. Randy
    October 1st, 2013 at 07:24 | #4

    Neither. Either way, you get a overpriced, bloated, lumbering gas hog with mediocre quality (at best) and downright awful quality at worst. There’s a reason there are so few originals aroung– most ended up on the junk heap long ago. Tempted restorers might also find themselves on the wrong end of the stick when the northeastern yuppies move on to their next fad.

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