Individuals have been capable of purchase a vehicle called the Cherokee for many of the final half-century, although the scale and even producer of Cherokees has diversified drastically throughout that interval. Proper now, your Jeep dealer can sell you a compact crossover Cherokee primarily based on a Fiat platform and constructed by Stellantis, and essentially the most iconic Cherokee stays the 1984-2001 XJ, which was designed by American Motors with quite a lot of Renault enter and (beginning in 1987) constructed by Chrysler after which (beginning in 1998) DaimlerChrysler. The first Cherokees have been nice massive two-doors primarily based on the Wagoneer, although, and so they have been constructed from the 1974 by way of 1983 mannequin years. In the present day’s Junkyard Gem is a type of early Cherokees, photographed a few months again in a Denver-area self-service boneyard.
The 1976 SJ Cherokee was a three,938-pound behemoth (truly about the identical weight as the present Cherokee and its a lot smaller footprint, however trendy autos are quite a bit heavier than their predecessors), with a base value of $5,258. That is about $26,590 in 2022 , which is remarkably just like the $28,135 MSRP of the bottom ’22 Cherokee, however remember the fact that you actually needed to pile on the extra-cost options in the event you needed options we take as a right at the moment (for instance, energy steering, computerized transmission, and any form of audio system value loads in your ’76 Cherokee).
The bottom engine for the ’76 Cherokee was the great previous 258-cubic-inch AMC straight-six, rated at 110 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. Should you assume that appears like a formulation for an agonizingly sluggish truck, you are proper. That is why most ’76 Cherokee consumers opted for one of many three out there AMC V8 engines; you may get a 304 (5.Zero-liter) rated at 150 horsepower, a 360 (5.Eight-liter) with both 175 or 195 horsepower, or a 401 (6.5-liter) making 235 horses. All three engines look the identical at a look and I did not really feel as much as scraping off a long time of engine-block grime to have a look at casting numbers, so we’ll simply say this Jeep has an AMC V8 constructed between 1970 and 1991 and go away it at that.
AMC pitched this truck as a rough-and-rugged household hauler, laughably brief on luxurious by 21st-century truck requirements however pretty comfy in comparison with the military-style vehicles many Individuals had purchased in earlier a long time. It is cheaper and sportier-looking than its Wagoneer sibling, due to the fashionable two-door setup, however entry to the passenger compartment was harder. A four-door version appeared beginning in 1977.
This one lived a tough life and there is not a lot inside left.
Is there rust? Sure, loads!
No air-con, however not less than it has an computerized transmission (the bottom gearbox was a three-on-the-floor manual) and rear window defogger. By the way in which, that computerized added 455 bucks (about $2,300 now) and the defogger value $52 ($262 now). The A/C would have been a cool 480 spondulix, which involves about $2,425 in 2022). There could be riots in Jeep showrooms if Stellantis tried to promote any Jeeps with no A/C at the moment, so the associated fee is figured into the sticker value.
A tinny, single-speaker AM radio value 75 bucks out of your Jeep vendor in 1976 ($380 at the moment), however this truck has an aftermarket AM/FM/cassette deck from MetroSound.
Despite the fact that this yard is simply south of Denver, I discovered a fitted Oakland Athletics cap in dusty however in any other case good situation within the again seat of this Cherokee. I took it residence, washed it, and donated it to a 24 Hours of Lemons team full of A’s fans.
Not like later Cherokees (and Grand Cherokees), the SJ was constructed with huntin’ and fishin’ talents prioritized over commuting consolation, and these stickers present that this truck spent its share of time within the woods.
Simply the factor for driving your daughters cross-country to a campsite filled with hunky boys.
A few a long time later and each mall car parking zone could be filled with Cherokee Chiefs.