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Remembering the 1970 Jeep Wagoneer

1970 Jeep Wagoneer

If you're a fan of classic cars, then you'll love the 1970 Jeep Wagoneer. This vehicle was ahead of its time when it was first released and is still popular today. The Wagoneer has a unique style that is sure to turn heads, and it's perfect for weekend getaways or long road trips. In this article, we will look at some of the facts about the 1970 Jeep Wagoneer.

1970 Jeep Wagoneer introduction

The earliest model of the Wagoneer was first made in the year 1963, as a successor to the Willys Jeep Station Wagon. According to Galt Chrysler, it featured 4-wheel drive, independent front suspension, and an automatic transmission. It would be continue being made over decades with some mechanical advancements being made on it.

The Genesis

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer were designed by Jeep beginning in the early 1960s when Kaiser owned the business. However, even before the Wagoneer began to take form, Jeep had been working toward producing a family-friendly station wagon, as seen by the Model 463 Station Wagon. In essence, the Wagoneer was the genesis of what would eventually become the modern SUV.

The design

The Wagoneer was designed to be a family vehicle. One of the main goals of Wagoneer's design was to make it a comfortable and practical family vehicle. To that end, it featured many amenities that were rare in vehicles at the time, such as air conditioning and an automatic transmission.

The Wagoneer was the first SUV

When it was released in 1963, the Wagoneer was the first vehicle to be marketed as an "SUV." This term would not become popular until much later, but the Wagoneer helped to define what it means. An SUV is supposed to be a vehicle that is comfortable and practical for both on-road and off-road use.


The Wagoneer was also the first Jeep to feature an automatic transmission, which made it easier for people to operate. This was a major selling point for the Wagoneer and helped to make it popular with families. It was the first to have independent front suspension Independent front suspension is a type of suspension system that allows each wheel to move independently of the others. This is different from the solid axle setup found on most Jeeps at the time, and it made the Wagoneer much more comfortable to drive.

Braking system

The Wagoneer was the first to have four-wheel disc brakes Four-wheel disc brakes are a type of brake system that uses discs at all four wheels instead of drums. This made the Wagoneer much safer to drive, and it was another selling point for the vehicle.

All Four Wheels

Wagoneers were only available with rear-wheel drive until 1969. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models have always been powerful vehicles. However, after a few years, the independent front suspension was phased out as well. 1970 was the model year of this vehicle.

Buick Engines

For quite some time, Jeep used the Buick's 5.7-liter, in the Wagooner and also 350-cu-in V8 that was good for 230 hp. This engine was used for three years and its performance was remarkable. When the company shifted to AMC 5.9- and 6.6-liter V8s it only got better. It should be noted that the 1971 engine was a detuned version of the 1970 Buick V-engine, designed to run on leaded fuel.


The two-door version lasted until 1968 when it was phased out owing to the rising popularity of the four-door variant. According to Autoweek, that brought about the end of an era as this was the last two-door Jeep until the reintroduction of the Wrangler in 1987.

A New Look

Again, in 1970, a completely new design was introduced, this time replacing the earlier design with an egg-crate design made of plastic. The new-look was in use for a long time. It was not until 1991 that the egg-crate grille was replaced with a crossbar design.


The Four-Wheel-Drive System of the Wagoneer was replaced in 1972 by Quadra-Trac, which was more user-friendly and offered better off-road capabilities. This took the place of the Dana 20 transfer case that was used in the first two years of production.

Burly Engines

The Wagoneer's biggest V8 was AMC's 6.6-liter, 401-cu-in engine. However, it was a costly option in the 1970s, and the popular AMC 5.9-liter V8 was significantly less expensive. For that reason, the 401-cu-in engine was only ordered by a very small number of Wagoneer buyers.

Changing Ownership

In 1987, Chrysler acquired Jeep, becoming the vehicle's third corporate owner as it entered production of the Grand Wagoneer, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in the same year. AMC made adjustments to the model before its launch in 1996, including another new grille design. Under Chrysler's ownership, Jeep continued to improve on the Grand Wagoneer.

The Demand

During its final years on the market, demand for the Grand Wagoneer was still decent. According to Car and Driver, the Jeep sold 19,081 vehicles in 1984, but sales steadily plummeted to 10,715 in 1989. It was evident that the time had come to discontinue the model.

Last of the Line

The Wagoneer's production ended in 1991, after 28 years. The last few years of output are highly valued by collectors, as they introduced a slew of mechanical upgrades and the greatest possible accessories. After the Grand Wagoneer was discontinued after the 1991 model year, Jeep attempted to sell a version of the new Grand Cherokee with woodgrain accents as the Grand Wagoneer for 1993. That model was quickly dropped, however, as it failed to capture the Wagoneer's former glory. The 1970 Jeep Wagoneer was a significant vehicle in the company's history. It was the first to have four-wheel disc brakes, and it was available with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The Wagoneer also had a new look for 1970, including an egg-crate grille design that lasted for many years. AMC's burly 401-cu-in V-eight engine was available as an option, but it was costly. In 1987, Chrysler acquired Jeep and the Wagoneer became the Grand Wagoneer. The model was discontinued in 1991 after 28 years of production. The last few years of output are highly valued by collectors. After the Grand Wagoneer was discontinued, Jeep attempted to sell a version of the new Grand Cherokee with woodgrain accents as the Grand Wagoneer for 1993, but it was quickly dropped. The Wagoneer is an iconic vehicle in Jeep's history and remains popular among collectors today.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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