Junkyard Gem: 1976 Jeep Cherokee

People in america have been ready to purchase a car identified as the Cherokee for most of the last fifty percent-century, however the sizing and even manufacturer of Cherokees has various greatly through that period of time. Right now, your Jeep seller can provide you a compact crossover Cherokee dependent on a Fiat system and constructed by Stellantis, and the most legendary Cherokee continues to be the 1984-2001 XJ, which was created by American Motors with a fantastic offer of Renault enter and (beginning in 1987) constructed by Chrysler and then (starting up in 1998) DaimlerChrysler. The to start with Cherokees ended up good large two-doors primarily based on the Wagoneer, although, and they were being created from the 1974 through 1983 product years. Present day Junkyard Gem is a person of those people early Cherokees, photographed a couple of months again in a Denver-region self-assistance boneyard.

The 1976 SJ Cherokee was a 3,938-pound behemoth (truly about the similar fat as the latest Cherokee and its considerably more compact footprint, but modern day motor vehicles are a great deal heavier than their predecessors), with a foundation rate of $5,258. Which is about $26,590 in 2022 dollars, which is remarkably identical to the $28,135 MSRP of the foundation ’22 Cherokee, but continue to keep in head that you seriously experienced to pile on the further-expense alternatives if you needed functions we choose for granted today (for example, energy steering, computerized transmission, and any sort of audio technique value a lot in your ’76 Cherokee).

The base engine for the ’76 Cherokee was the good previous 258-cubic-inch AMC straight-six, rated at 110 horsepower and 195 pound-ft. If you imagine that sounds like a formula for an agonizingly gradual truck, you’re proper. That’s why most ’76 Cherokee potential buyers opted for a single of the three readily available AMC V8 engines you could get a 304 (5.-liter) rated at 150 horsepower, a 360 (5.8-liter) with possibly 175 or 195 horsepower, or a 401 (6.5-liter) producing 235 horses. All a few engines search the exact same at a glance and I did not come to feel up to scraping off decades of engine-block grime to glimpse at casting quantities, so we’ll just say this Jeep has an AMC V8 built involving 1970 and 1991 and leave it at that.

AMC pitched this truck as a tough-and-rugged family hauler, laughably small on luxurious by 21st-century truck specifications but fairly snug in contrast to the military-design and style trucks many Americans experienced acquired in earlier many years. It’s cheaper and sportier-looking than its Wagoneer sibling, many thanks to the classy two-doorway setup, but obtain to the passenger compartment was a lot more challenging. A four-door edition appeared beginning in 1977.

This one particular lived a difficult lifetime and you will find not a lot inside remaining.

Is there rust? Of course, loads!

No air conditioning, but at least it has an automated transmission (the foundation gearbox was a three-on-the-flooring guide) and rear window defogger. By the way, that automatic included 455 bucks (about $2,300 now) and the defogger price $52 ($262 now). The A/C would have been a amazing 480 spondulix, which will come to about $2,425 in 2022). There would be riots in Jeep showrooms if Stellantis attempted to sell any Jeeps with no A/C currently, so the expense is figured into the sticker price.

A tinny, single-speaker AM radio cost 75 bucks from your Jeep supplier in 1976 ($380 nowadays), but this truck has an aftermarket AM/FM/cassette deck from MetroSound.

Even even though this lawn is just south of Denver, I uncovered a equipped Oakland Athletics cap in dusty but in any other case great condition in the again seat of this Cherokee. I took it residence, washed it, and donated it to a 24 Hrs of Lemons crew whole of A’s lovers.

Contrary to later Cherokees (and Grand Cherokees), the SJ was built with huntin’ and fishin’ qualities prioritized about commuting ease and comfort, and these stickers show that this truck used its share of time in the woods.

Just the issue for driving your daughters cross-region to a campsite comprehensive of hunky boys.

A pair of a long time afterwards and every mall parking good deal would be packed with Cherokee Chiefs.