Junkyard Gem: 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Junkyard Gem: 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep, then part of American Motors Corporation, introduced the unibody XJ Cherokee for the 1984 model year, and suddenly along came a tough-looking truck that drove like a car and had better fuel economy than the rest of the truck world. Received. Ford responded with the Explorer SUV for 1991, and suddenly there were commuter trucks everywhere, Even before Chrysler bought AMC in 1987, an attractive successor to the Cherokee was being cooked up in Kenosha; It debuted in the 1993 model year and was an instant sales success. Here’s one of those first-year Grand Cherokees, found in a Colorado wrecking yard last fall.

The Grand Cherokee’s wheelbase was four inches longer than the XJ Cherokee’s (which, although a bit tight by the latter’s SUV standards, was beloved enough that production continued into our current century), and ’93 grew to 3,547 pounds versus 2,850 in ’93 pounds for the four-door 4×4 XJ. 30 years later, Stellantis is now building the fifth generation of the Grand Cherokee.

Lee Iacocca didn’t have Chrysler buying American Motors because he wanted to create the Renault Alliance or the AMC Concordes. no what is that In fact Wanted the Jeep brand and especially the design that became this truck (Chrysler scored even bigger in that deal by getting the Eagle Premier, which included the Renault-derived suspension design that underpinned the big-selling Chrysler LH cars of the 1990s and 2000s) , as well as the AMC engine design that later became the PowerTech 4.7 V8).

The Grand Cherokee’s debut at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, in which Bob Lutz drove it up the front steps of Cobo Hall and through a large plate-glass window, made a strong impression.

In 1993, the Ford Explorer had only one engine available: a 4.0-liter pushrod six-cylinder with ancestors stretching back to the mid-1960s. Its new Jeep rival had a 4.0-liter pushrod six-cylinder with an ancestor dating back to the mid-1960s, although Chrysler’s good old 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) V8 was available as an option.

This straight-six engine was rated at 190 horsepower and 225 pound-feet; The Explorer’s cologne V6 made 145 horses and 220 lb-ft that year. If you go back to the 1970s, the ancestors of those two engines were powering AMC Gremlins and Ford Capris, respectively. If you go back another decade, they were found under the hoods of Rambler Classics and Tannus 20Ms. History like this makes these vehicles junkyard Gemstone,

An Aisin-built five-speed manual transmission was base equipment in the 1993 Grand Cherokee, but nearly every buyer received the four-speed Chrysler Torqueflite automatic. The manual was available through 1994, then discontinued for the US market (those clutch-loving Europeans could still get a five-floor in their Grand Cherokee for a while). A two-wheel-drive version was available, but this truck has Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive.

Had this truck retired 330.3 miles earlier, it could have ended its days with 222,222.2 miles showing on the odometer.

A driver-side airbag was standard equipment in the 1993 Grand Cherokee, a first for any SUV. Beginning in late 1998, every new car and light truck sold in the United States was required to have front airbags for both the driver and passenger.

The success of the Explorer and Grand Cherokee during the first half of the 1990s made it clear that every automaker would need to sell comfortable, suburb-optimized trucks in the near future or face brutal sales consequences. This change in American motoring tastes and a hasty response to it resulted in oddities such as the Honda- and Acura-badged Isuzu SUVs arriving in showrooms late in the decade.

It was just a stretched and slightly rounded XJ Cherokee, but it was the perfect fit for the triumphant mood of Americans in the years just after the end of the Cold War.

Most Grand Cherokee owners never drive off-road, but then most Corvette owners never even put a tire on a race track. You canAnd that’s what’s important.

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