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Jeep Used to Sell a Woody Grand Cherokee

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

If you own a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, you probably think of your noble midsize SUV as a cool family hauler with impressive off-road capabilities, a lot of power and cutting-edge gadgets and features. But did you know it once came with wood paneling?

That's right: For the 1993 model year -- and only the 1993 model year -- you could get the Jeep Grand Cherokee as a woody.

Here's what happened: Throughout the 1980s, Jeep sold the Grand Wagoneer midsize SUV as a wood-paneled family hauler, and everyone seemed to like it, until finally in 1991 it became very clear that you could no longer legitimately offer a new vehicle with a carburetor. So Jeep ditched the Grand Wagoneer and replaced it with the far more modern Grand Cherokee, which sold in much higher numbers.

But at that time in 1993, Jeep wasn't so sure how the Grand Cherokee would be accepted -- so they decided to appease anyone who complained that the Grand Wagoneer was gone. They did this by giving the Grand Cherokee the woody treatment: wood paneling.

Obviously, this wasn't real wood but rather slabs of wood-colored plastic that ran down the sides and rear of the special 1993 Grand Cherokee -- which was called, interestingly enough, the "Grand Wagoneer." Not surprisingly, the Grand Cherokee-ified Grand Wagoneer didn't really find any interested buyers, and Jeep ditched the idea after one short model year. But those 1993 Grand Wagoneers live on today as our last reminder of a bygone era when wood-paneled vehicles used to commonly roam our streets.

Fortunately, they don't have a carburetor.

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Jeep Used to Sell a Woody Grand Cherokee - Autotrader