Someday, the fields of Concours d’Elegance events everywhere will be lined with SUVs. OK, that may be an exaggeration, but SUVs will continue to become more and more popular in the collectible vehicle world — and I think one of the most sought-after vehicles will become the early Jeep Cherokee.
For a point of reference, the Jeep Cherokee came out back in 1984 and it really was the original compact SUV that wasn’t necessarily relegated to drivers who planned to do serious off-roading or work with their vehicles, and basically just needed an enclosed pickup bed. While the Chevrolet K5 Blazer and Ford Bronco and Dodge Ramcharger were popular with that crowd, the original Cherokee was getting popular with families. It started the SUV revolution that really blew up with the introduction of the Ford Explorer in 1991.
One reason the Cherokee will be so desirable is the fact that it can be seen as the grandfather of all the modern SUVs. But another major reason is the fact that so few were preserved. The Cherokee is a car that people bought to use, not preserve, and finding any nice 1980s Cherokee models is basically impossible these days. I truly do think the few that survive will be appreciated for their preservation as one of the few remaining examples of the origins of the suburb-dwelling SUV.
And so, if you’re looking for a special old SUV, of course consider all the usual suspects — the Land Rover Defender, the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, the Ford Bronco. But if you happen across a nice early Jeep Cherokee, don’t pass it up. Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale
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