The first Jeep Wagoneer, marked by the initials SJ, was launched into the US market in 1963. At the time, SUVs like the Dodge Wagon or the Chevrolet Suburban, were not unusual in the United States, but these were considered as truck for work, and not like family cars. The Willys Corp. (then named Kaiser Jeep) called a famous designer Brooks Stevens, and asked him to design a car with four-wheel drive, , which was practical and safe to drive and could therefore be used by American families whilst still maintaining the style and character typical to Jeep. Here was born Project Wagoneer. The result was an elegant car, with 6 and 8-cylinder engines, with different optionals. The design of the first Wagoneer was never upset, and changes to the concept over the years have been minimal. The latest model brought out in 1991 looks incredibly similar to the one built in 1963 the only differences being that from 1963 to 1965 the Wagoneer had a small grille known as "Rhino" and the 1991 model is also characterized by the large wooden trim first featured on the 1974/78 model.
At the end of 1965, the Wagoneer was available with a 250 hp ( 186 kW; 253 hp ) engine called 327. It was a 5.4 L, V8 engine AMC, which proved to be a good choice for families. In addition, the Tornado engine has been replaced by 'American Motor 232’ with a 3.8 L OHV straight six. According to the Automotive Press this engine was fast, powerful, reliable and easy to maintain. In 1966, a new grille was fitted that would remain unchanged until 1970. The year of 1966 also saw the introduction of the most luxurious Super Wagoneer, initially with a higher yield 270 hp (201 kW; 274 PS) version of the AMC V8, fitted with a carburettor to four inputs. In addition to the added comfort and cost-effective price, a number of non-standard features (not standard on other vehicles of this type) were included; such as radio buttons, seven position tilt steering wheel, courtesy lights on the ceiling, air conditioning, large tailgate, brake booster, power steering, and an automatic transmission with console moved to the center - the Super Wagoneer is now widely regarded as the precursor of today's luxury SUV. The production of the Super Wagoneer was completed in 1969.
Another grille style was introduced to the 1970 model to differentiate it from the Wagoneer by J-Trucks who adopted the "Razor" grille that year. The grille that features on the 1970 Wagoneer took the name of "Cheese Grater" and this was used until the 1973 model came out. From 1967 the production of models with two-wheel drive was suspended and instead the four-wheel drive was manufactured, even though more of the two-wheel drive had been sold. The Wagoneers of 1970 were powered by Buick engines 350 (5.7 L) 230 hp (172 kW; 233 hp) and the Dauntless V8. The Buick was less powerful than the previous AMC V8 (230 hp versus 250), but had more low-end torque (350 ft · lbf (475 N · m) at 2400 rpm vs 340 ft · lbf (461 N · m) to 2600). From the model of the year 1971 onwards exclusively AMC engines were fitted.
On the 1974-1978 model, the grille had the same basic structure, but with a plastic insert in the style known as "Egg Crate". Other stylistic changes can also be identified such as the new bumper. During these few years a new ‘Limited’ model was introduced more luxuriously equipped with Quadra Trac series, disc brakes, air conditioning , bucket seats and electrically adjustable, round closing centralized, power windows, cruise control, CB radio, leather steering wheel, aluminum wheels and the characteristic small wooden insert along the sides. The engine of the time was 360 AMC 5.9L V8 standard, and an optional always AMC 401 engine of 6.6L. The price of this Wagoneer was about $ 10,000 and 1974 also saw the renewed production of the two door Wagoneer, named Cherokee. This model replaced the Jeepster Commando, production of which was ceased. In the 1978, 28, 871 Wagoneers were produced.
In 1979, the first full wooden trim was introduced, plus two plastic parts on the bumper, square headlights, and a lifting of the chrome exterior. The grille of horizontal lines in chrome is usually called a "Nose Grilled Pork" but we like to call it the "Barbecue Grille". This grille was also used on the Cherokee and JTrucks in 1979 and 80. In 1981, the production line of the Wagoneer featured three models. One with free-wheel hubs, four-speed transmission, even carpet in the passenger area and two new models that included several optional choices as an upgrade of the interior, which included the Woodgrain (wood inlay) on the sides as well as the instrument panel, courtesy lights, roof rack, automatic transmission, square-trac system, cruise control. The basic model was eliminated in 1983, and a new system called Select trac was introduced, with which you could choose to travel with two or four wheel drive. The selector traction was activated from inside the car with an air system or vacuum. In 1984, the limited version was definitively called: Grand Wagoneer. Therefore since 1984 was available single full version of all the options possible (???????), and this version, apart from small stylistic variations, remained until 1991. In 1984, 20, 019 units were produced of this one model.
In 1986 a new grille was fitted on the Grand Wagoneer model, which would then remained unchanged until 1991. The sound system was upgraded and an optional sunroof was made available. However, the most significant change was the installation of a completely new and revised interior, including a new instrument console, which became more square in shape compared to the rounder form of the previous models. Moreover, there were further design changes: new design of the door panel, new designs of leather upholstery, new type of interior carpet, new steering wheel, new commands for wiper crystals and arrows. The Grand Wagoneer had undergone radical changes since the previous model, in particular with regards to the interior. The Woodgrain on the external sides, continued to characterize this special American SUV. The vehicle’s power is provided exclusively by a series AMC 360 engine of 5.9 L V8. Between the years of 1986-1987, six (what???) were produced about 31,000 units. In 1987 Chrysler bought the American Motor Company and in these years, and until 1991, the Grand Wagoneer remained very popular. The models that came out between 1987 and 1991 are considered the absolute best that were produced. There was an upgrade of the external Woodgrain with a new design and alloy wheels. They were then improved air conditioning systems to boot. For the last year of production a new range of exterior colors was made available including the very rare "Hunter Green". The production of the Grand Wagoneer is one of the longest-running production of cars of each vehicle (What are you trying to say????). A total of only 1, 560 SJ Grand Wagoneers were produced in 1991, when it ceased production definitively. On this model the dashboard included a plastic plate with the inscription "Final Edition".