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Autotrader Find: Manual 1983 Jeep Cherokee 4WD


Today’s Autotrader Find will be a delight for anyone who is into old-school off-roaders. It’s a 1983 Jeep Cherokee with two doors, 4-wheel drive, and a manual transmission. For many of you, this is the ideal configuration for an old SJ series Jeep Cherokee.

The Perfect Cherokee?

The SJ Jeep Cherokee was the only full-size SUV to carry the Cherokee name. Similar to the Wagoneer of its day, the SJ Cherokee was introduced as a sporty 2-door SUV. In fact, the 1974 Jeep Cherokee sales brochure was the first piece of marketing material to ever use the term “Sport Utility Vehicle.” It was originally only available as a 2-door, but a 4-door model was introduced in 1977.

This Cherokee comes in the Chief trim, which could only be had with the 2-door body in 1983. Power comes from a 4.2-liter AMC inline-6 engine that is only rated at 110 horsepower, but that’s enough grunt for driving around town and getting adventurous off-road. Speaking of which, this one has 4-wheel drive and a highly desirable 4-speed manual transmission.

Despite almost 200,000 miles on the odometer, this Cherokee looks like it’s in excellent shape. Even the carpet in the roomy cargo area looks like it’s without any significant tears or stains. It’s unlikely that this has ever seen any serious off-road duty. That’s okay because it works just as well as a stylish commuter.

Worth the Price?

Since this is a one-owner example in such a desirable configuration, the asking price for this Cherokee is $39,900. Yes, you could get a brand new 2-door manual Wrangler for less money than that, but it just doesn’t have the same vintage character as this old Cherokee. It’s for sale in Scottsdale, Arizona, and well worth the money for the right off-road enthusiast. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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