BaT Bust: 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 54K – SOLD!

by | Apr 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

May 8, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “ClassiFIND” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Contrary to popular opinion, not everything sells on Bring a Trailer.  In fact, when you strip out that website’s no reserve auctions, which now hover at forty percent, Bring A Trailer’s reserve-auction rate now hovers in the low forty percent range:

Grenadine 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The green line represents Bring A Trailer’s reported sell-through rate, while the red line shows the reserve-auction rate. Note the blue line summarizing the website’s push for No Reserve auctions. (Source: – data on file)

Why bring this up? I come across an increasing number of Craigslist ads where the seller unsuccessfully tried to auction their classic car on Bring A Trailer in a reserve price auction. Our latest example is this Grenadine Metallic 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer For Sale, last spotted on Craigslist in Ocean City, Maryland in April 2024. A check of listing 44257 on that competitive website (the seller provides the link in their Craigslist ad), confirmed the seller unsuccessfully auctioned their Grand Wagoneer in early March 2021. The high bid at the time of $21,250 did not meet the seller’s reserve price at the time. Fast forward three years, and the seller notes in their Craigslist ad that they have only added six hundred miles during their ownership.

Launched for the 1963 model year as a replacement for the successful Willys Wagon, Kaiser Jeep’s SJ Wagoneer blurred the line between station wagon and SUV before the latter was even a thing. After American Motors Corporation (“AMC”) purchased Kaiser Motors in 1970, they slowly transformed the Wagoneer into a luxury SUV designed to be an American alternative to England’s Range Rover. It proved to be a brilliant strategy, as the SJ remained in production through 1991, four years after Chrysler acquired AMC and Jeep.

The final 1987-1991 Grand Wagoneer models are particularly desirable, as they are opulently well optioned. Equipped with a V8 and full-time Quadra-Tec, they are capable trailer haulers and off-roaders as well.  Prices for SJ Grand Wagoneers started to take off during the pandemic but have since cooled.

Emphasizing this trend is that the seller did not accept a high bid of $21,250 in 2021 but was now willing to accept $19,995., the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all SJ Grand Wagoneers built between 1984 and 1991.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $15,600 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $23,600.

The 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer epitomizes rugged elegance and capability, embodying the essence of American luxury SUVs of its era. Renowned for its iconic design, formidable off-road prowess, and refined interior, the Grand Wagoneer remains a revered classic among enthusiasts and collectors.

Underneath its stately exterior, the Grand Wagoneer boasted a robust body-on-frame construction, providing exceptional durability and off-road capability. Powering this behemoth was a venerable 5.9-liter V8 engine, delivering ample torque and horsepower for both on-road cruising and off-road adventures. This engine was paired with a three-speed automatic transmission, offering smooth shifts and effortless acceleration.

The Grand Wagoneer’s legendary four-wheel-drive system set it apart as a true off-road champion. Featuring a transfer case with low-range gearing, solid axles front and rear, and generous ground clearance, the Grand Wagoneer could conquer challenging terrain with ease. Whether traversing rocky trails or navigating through snow-covered landscapes, the Grand Wagoneer’s rugged drivetrain inspired confidence in its driver.

Despite its rugged exterior, the Grand Wagoneer’s interior exuded luxury and refinement. Plush leather upholstery adorned the spacious cabin, while genuine wood trim accents added a touch of sophistication. The front seats provided exceptional comfort and support, ensuring a pleasant driving experience even during long journeys. Ample legroom and headroom in both the front and rear ensured that passengers could travel in comfort, while features such as power windows, power locks, and air conditioning contributed to a premium driving environment.

In terms of safety, the Grand Wagoneer was equipped with a range of features designed to protect its occupants. Front disc brakes provided reliable stopping power, while power-assisted steering enhanced maneuverability, both on and off the road. Additionally, the Grand Wagoneer featured a sturdy body structure and integrated roll cage, providing enhanced protection in the event of a collision or rollover.

In summary, the 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer represents the pinnacle of American luxury SUVs of its time, combining rugged capability with refined elegance. Its timeless design, formidable performance, and luxurious amenities continue to captivate enthusiasts and collectors, cementing its legacy as an enduring icon of automotive excellence.

The Wheeler Dealers YouTube Channel features this video of when the team restored and drove a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer during the show’s U.S. stint:

Worth noting is that the pictures the seller used to post their Craigslist ad are the same ones used for the unsuccessful Bring a Trailer auction held three years ago.  While the seller reports they have added only 600 miles, it might be a good idea to see at least a few updated pictures from 2024.

If you are serious about buying this Grand Wagoneer, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their luxury Jeep wagon featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Normally, we display the seller’s description from their Craigslist ad.  Unfortunately in this case we confirmed the seller lifted the description from their 2019 Bring a Trailer listing, so to avoid a strike of plagiarism by the search engines, we are omitting in this post.

Show or go: What would you do with this Grenadine Metallic 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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