Classics The most valuable Willys and Jeep CJs from every generation
What’s the Best 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Trim? Here’s Our Guide
No one can accuse Jeep of phoning in its new flagship, the 2022 Grand Wagoneer. To one-up the competition, the automaker packed it with luxurious appointments at every stage. That’s right: Jeep had to make an SUV with even more excess than an Escalade or a Navigator. Our first drive review of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer left us impressed but mind boggled at our test vehicle's six-figure starting price. Do buyers really need a six-figure SUV to get a complete package? Read on to find out what's included at each trim level and which version of the Grand Wagoneer we think is best.
Ford’s Model T, but it was the Willys Jeep that first took us off-road. The civilian Willys CJ-2A brought a hard-working vehicular veteran—one of what President Eisenhower commended as “three tools that won the war”—from the battlefield into America’s open fields. It ably adjusted to postwar life, providing farmers and landowners a stout workhorse to till the land, haul the hay, and hit some sweet jumps, probably.
Yes, 40 years of 4×4 wheelin’ following the original Willys MB’scemented the hardworking vehicular war-hero as the commanding officer of off-road fun, too. Each subsequent generation of CJ brought droves of new 4×4 fans into the Jeep family, spawning an entire subculture of Jeep fascination that’s only grown stronger. It’s a Jeep thing, and you probably understand.
Tested: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Understands that Luxury SUVs Are about Excess
No longer content to let the profits of full-size SUVs slip away, Jeep introduces a true behemoth. It's not for lack of trying. A decade ago, the Grand Wagoneer name was to be slapped onto a three-row version of the Grand Cherokee. In the intervening years, the plans shifted from the Grand Cherokee's unibody architecture to the Ram 1500's body-on-frame pickup platform. After multiple delays, Jeep finally showed its long-awaited full-size luxury SUV earlier this year, and now the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are actually reaching dealerships.
Classic “CJ” Jeeps built between 1946 and 1986 are some of the most popular and recognizable classic vehicles in the United States, right up there with theand in terms of general appeal. They’re everywhere, but accurately pricing them can prove a mite tricky, owing to the CJ’s inherent willingness to accept modifications as a sponge sucks up spilled soda. Even if you do find one of those rare unmodified CJs, it’s usually either restored or sitting in severely deteriorated condition thanks to quick-rotting soft-tops and poor rust protection.
With this in mind, we worked with Hagerty’s Automotive Intelligence team to pluck the most valuable CJ variants from each standard generation, ignoring ultra-low-production trucks like the original CJ-2 and skipping parallel models like the CJ-6 and later CJ-8.
2021 Ford Bronco V-6 Is Quicker Than Jeep Wrangler, Four-Cylinder Matchup Goes the Other Way
After taking both available powertrains, including the optional seven-speed manual, to the test track, we know a lot more about how the new Bronco stacks up against the Wrangler. We tested a 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition with the twin-turbo V-6 and Sasquatch package, and it was quicker than either V-6 or 2.0T Jeep Wrangler Rubicons we have tested. We also tested a Black Diamond Bronco with a 2.3-liter inline-four and the optional seven-speed manual, which wasn't as quick as the 2.0T Wrangler.With so many variants, the performance comparisons between the two off-road icons are complicated.
First Generation (1945-1949): 1945 Willys-Overland CJ-2A
#2 (Excellent) Condition Average Value: $18,000
As the O.G CJ-2A was far more “tool” than “toy,” the 1945-1949 CJ-2A spawned no rare special editions or enthusiast-focused variants to sit at the top of the price index. So, it’s simply the earliest CJ-2As—referred to by marque experts as “Very Early Civilian”—that trade for the most value.
You’d be forgiven if you thought civilian CJ-2As were simply repainted and repurposed mil-spec Willys MBs, as the two Jeeps are almost identical in appearance. The biggest visual differences between the two aren’t big at all; note the CJ-2A’s tailgate and side-mounted spare, along with the CJ-2A’s seven-slot grille to the MB’s nine slots. The same 2.2-liter L-134 Go-Devil four-cylinder with 60 hp and a thick-ish 105 lb-ft of torque carried over from wartime, but the robust T-90 three-speed manual transmission supplanted the MB’s T-84 gearbox.
The 2-row Jeep Grand Cherokee will debut on Sept. 29
The smaller Grand Cherokee lineup will include a 4xe plug-in hybrid model.In addition to an official statement, Jeep published a teaser video on its Instagram account, giving us a brief look at the two-row Grand Cherokee's slightly different front end (even though we've already seen the whole thing). The video also flashes back to the original ZJ Grand Cherokee's debut at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, when Jeep drove its then-new SUV up the steps of Detroit's Cobo Hall and smashed through one of the convention center's windows. You'll definitely want to watch the full thing in all its glory.
Of course, the CJ-2A is still a bit of an Army Brat. Many of these super early CJ-2As rolled on remaining stock of military MB componentry, including engine blocks, floating rear axles, and modified MB frames. The real collectibility comes down to the accessories offered for the CJ’s power take-off (PTO) shaft. Dealers offered a variety of powered farm and agricultural implements that hooked to the back or front of the CJ-2A.
Willys-Overland built 214,760 CJ-2As, most of which were rode hard, put up wet, and left to rot when they stopped working. Expect to pay close to $29,000 for the cleanest of the clean CJ-2A in Condition #1, $18,000 for Condition #2 (what we consider the sweet-spot) and $13,700 for those in Condition #3.
Second Generation (1949-1953): 1951 Willys-Overland CJ-3A “Farm Jeep”
#2 (Excellent) Condition Average Value: $19,300
If you thought the differences between the mil-spec Willys MB and the CJ-2A were slight, wait until you park the latter next to a CJ-3A. You’d have to study up with detailed diagrams beforehand if you hope to tell them apart. When differences are expressed in rear wheel-well length, windshield frame dimensions, ignition switch location, and the shape of seat mounting brackets, you know you’re in trouble. Bring in the Jeep nerds!
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Mechanically, the CJ-3A is predictably identical to the CJ-2A, carrying the same 2.2-liter, 60-hp four-cylinder and T-90 three-speed manual transmission as its predecessor. However, Willys introduced a new barebones “Farm Jeep” variant in 1951 that prioritized the use of the PTO and the corresponding engine-powered tool attachments.
While not the most effective way to plow a field compared to modern agricultural equipment, these Farm Jeeps hold the most value from the CJ-3A family; rarity, novelty, and genuine usefulness slightly elevate values of Farm Jeeps over the corresponding CJ-3A “Universal Jeep,” with values of a Condition #2 (Excellent) 1951 Farm Jeep trading for $19,300 compared to the $18,100 paid for a standard CJ-3A in equitable condition.
Third Generation (1953-1968): 1953-1954 Willys CJ-3B “Farm Jeep”
#2 (Excellent) Condition Average Value: $19,500
Finally, an appreciable difference between generations. The majority of the CJ-3A carries over for the new “3B” model, apart from the mechanical guts up front. Gone is the legendary L134 “Go Devil” engine, replaced by the similar F134 “Hurricane” 2.2-liter four-cylinder. With the updated F-head configuration, power ranged between 72-75 hp and 112-114 lb-ft, depending on compression ratio.
You Can Now Get a Pink Jeep Wrangler
The new Tuscadero exterior color is available on all Wrangler models for a limited time and joins other flashy colors like Gecko, Hellayella, and Snazzberry. Jeep has added a new Tuscadero exterior color to the 2021 Wrangler's options, and it's a bright pink. It joins Gecko, Hellayella, and Snazzberry on the list of flashy color options for the off-road SUV. The new pink costs $395 and is available through November, Jeep says.
The Hurricane was taller than the discontinued Go Devil engine, so the CJ-3B’s hood height is noticeably increased when compared to the CJ-3A; this is by far the easiest way to pick out a CJ-3B from a crowd of 2As and 3As.
Again, the rarely preserved Farm Jeep variant of the CJ-3B branch holds the highest value, with the very best (#1 Condition) Farm Jeep 3Bs commanding $30,800 to a standard #1 Condition 3B’s $29,800. If you stick to #2 Condition, prepare to scribble a $19,500 check.
Fourth Generation (1954-1983): 1978 Jeep CJ-5 Silver Anniversary
#2 (Excellent) Condition: $36,500
You read that right—the CJ-5 remained in full production for a whopping 29 model years. With this stunning longevity, it’s no wonder the CJ-5 is where the Willys ends and the modern idea of what a “Jeep” is begins. It’s one of the most aesthetically versatile classic SUVs you can buy; with skinny tires and painted steelies, you’ve got a bigger, more capable, and more comfortable CJ-3B. Conversely, cram it full of big, fat tires and a foam-wrapped rollbar, and it looks very bit like a full-scale TYCO R/C car, purpose built for romping up dunes and shuffling surfboards.
Three decades of production spawned some rather desirable limited models, the princeliest of them being the Silver Anniversary edition. Created to celebrate 25 years of CJ-5 production in 1979, AMC allotted one CJ-5 Silver Anniversary to each Jeep dealer. Official documentation claims 1,000 units were built, but the official Silver Anniversary registry presents compelling evidence to the true production figure sitting around 850 units.
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Each Silver Anniversary arrived with model-specific Quick Silver metallic paint, contrasted by black striping, black soft top, unique spare tire cover, black vinyl seats, “Renegade” hood decals, and an all-important dash plaque. For the freshest of fresh (#1 Condition) Silver Anniversary with the 304 cubic-inch AMC V-8, expect to hand over $48,100; this drops to $36,500 for #2 Condition, and $20,900 for #3 Condition.
Fifth Generation (1976-1986): 1977-1980 Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle
#2 (Excellent) Condition: $36,300
Compared to the contemporary CJ-5, the CJ-7 was bigger, taller, and longer, offering buyers more amenities and comfort. The CJ-7 signaled the end of the line for the enduring “CJ” family tree, the enduring mil-spec heritage replaced by the YJ-generation Jeep Wrangler in 1987.
The CJ-7 did not go quietly into the night. Jeep blessed it with a healthy selection of special editions. The most valuable and, uh, distinctive of all CJ-7s is the dramatic Golden Eagle edition. Zero points awarded for correctly guessing how the Golden Eagle earns its wings—er, name.
Yes, the CJ-7 channels some its inner Trans-Am with that big ‘ol bird motif on the hood, complemented by optional gold wheels, body stripes, wheel lip extensions, roll-bar lights, and a front bumper in your choice of black or chrome. Inside that tan Levi’s soft-top, look for a sport steering wheel, faux engine-turned gauge plate, and front bucket seats and rear bench seats upholstered in tan Levi’s vinyl. Yep, that Levi’s.
Excited? You must be a child of the ‘70s. Rustle up $55,700 for the nicest Golden Eagle in the world (#1 Condition), or a more reasonable $36,300 for one in #2 Condition.
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Motorcycle Monday: Guy Buys, Rides WWII Harley Home .
Can the vintage motorcycle make the 200-mile journey? If you’re like me, the thought of buying a 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA fills you with absolute glee. Sure, there are faster, sexier newer bikes out there just like there are rarer, more exotic vintage motorcycles to be had. But there’s something attractive about “the motorcycle that won the War.” So much vivid history is enshrined in every inch of such a machine, plus they have that rugged look which some have tried to duplicate but failed to fully encapsulate.Learn about the Harley-Davidson WLA’s role in the Korean War here.