First SUV: 1974 Jeep Cherokee Two Door – Sold!
Created to appeal to a younger demographic, Jeep launched the two-door variant of its popular Wagoneer in 1974 such as the example listed on Craigslist in Hartford, Connecticut the private seller has listed for $18,500. Researching Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool reveals the current caretaker has his Cherokee optimistically priced between the #1 “Concours” appraisal of $25,000 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $15,200. The private seller only provides a one-sentence description with no reference to what powertrain this Cherokee has, so you’ll need to interview him for more details.
While definitely not the first “SUV” by any stretch, Jeep was the first to coin the term “Sports Utility Vehicle” in the 1974 Cherokee sales brochure. The Cherokee replaced the Jeepster Commando, whose sales had not met expectations despite an extensive 1972 revamp. The Cherokee was a rebadged reintroduction of a two-door body style of the Jeep Wagoneer with a redesigned roof combining wider “B” and “D” pillars a single, long fixed rear side window with an optional flip-out section. This gave the Cherokee a look similar to International Scout and Chevrolet Blazer it was designed to compete with. The Cherokee also featured the newly optional Quadra-Trac Borg-Warner BW1339 based full-time full wheel drive system.
Like many cars of the period, Cherokees had little rust prevention measures from the factory so finding a decent SJ is a chore onto itself, let alone what appears to be a very solid example here. Unfortunately, the seller’s one-sentence description has us asking more questions than providing answers. The chrome blanks in the front hubs and the lack of a floor shifter confirm this example has Quadra-Trac, however we don’t know whether the engine is the indestructible 258 cubic inch inline-six or the more common 360 cubic inch V8. As long as everything checks out during your in-person inspection, this Cherokee is a rare and capable off-roader that will likely get you compliments everywhere you drive it. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“This is an all original Jeep in great condition for the year“
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