Classic Jeep Wrangles Its Way Into Our Hearts, Would You Buy It Over a New Renegade?

Jeep's iconic off-roaders were known as the CJ back in the day, but in 1986, the American company started using the Wrangler moniker instead. That is when the first generation arrived to market, which was known simply as the Jeep YJ north of the US border.
1987 Jeep Wrangler 15 photos
Photo: Garage Kept Motors
1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler1987 Jeep Wrangler
Made from 1986 to 1995 in the United States and Canada, it remained in production until 1998 in Indonesia and 2001 in Iran. Jeep's original Wrangler is far from being a collector's item, and that is good news for anyone who's into this iteration, as buying one won't require placing another mortgage on the house.

Depending on how well it was maintained over the years, you could land a Wrangler YJ for a five-digit sum. Certain restored examples can command upwards of $30,000, and some more expensive copies, perhaps with a ridiculous amount of power coming from their modern-day hearts, joined by numerous off-roading mods, tend to exceed the $50,000 mark occasionally.

A brand-new Jeep Wrangler would set you back over $32,095 today, which is the base flavor's starting price stateside, whereas the electrified 4xe starts at $49,995 before destination. So, how much do you think this 1987 example is? That would be $24,900. Mind you, you won't be able to buy a new Renegade for that kind of money, as you will have to fork out a bit more. The crossover that looks like a tiny Wrangler starts at $28,345.

Finished in red with a white top and several chrome accents, this 1987 Jeep Wrangler YJ has a tan leather interior and a straight-six engine under the hood. It is the 4.2-liter unit, which was the largest displacement lump offered in this model. It has a five-speed manual transmission, deploying the thrust to the four-wheel drive system.

Everyone knows the YJ is a great off-roader, and with a few modifications, this red copy can become even better. It would need some more serious tires on its feet, a lift kit, a winch to get it out of most sticky and/or slippery situations, a snorkel, and perhaps a raptor paint to encourage its future owner to venture farther into the unknown without being afraid of leaving scratches on the body.

According to Garage Kept Motors, which was tasked with finding it a new home, this Jeep Wrangler YJ lives in Texas and has 52,665 miles (84,755 km) under its belt. We think it would be a nice addition to any off-roading enthusiast's lineup, and as we already told you, it should be a walk in the park to turn it into a veritable off-roader. But would you do that if it was yours, or would you keep it simple and use it as a grocery-getter?
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories