The Genesis Of The Mighty Jeep Cherokee

Apr 29, 2019 2 min read
1980 Jeep SJ Cherokee Chief 5.9

This 1980 Cherokee Chief sports the extra wide track and a 5.9-liter V8.

The Jeep Cherokee is an American institution. It brought the SUV into the limelight and stole the show in 1974, with the second generation XJ selling over half a million units in the 90’s. Today, however, we have the original. Offered by GAA Classic Car Auctions we have a 1980 Cherokee Chief with 5.9 liters of bruteish V8 goodness.

AMC was enjoying such a high with the Jeep brand that in the late seventies 600 vehicles were being produced per day. To appeal to the younger markets, this Chief version sported an extra wide track, with suggestive flared wheel arches to make one cool looking wagon.

The idea behind the three door model was tapping into the younger buyers. A range of engines were offered from AMC’s lineup, with the 5.9 liter V8 fitted to the model featured here. AMC owned Jeep during the time, and offered this unit with either 175-horsepower or 195-horsepower.

1980 Jeep SJ Cherokee Chief 5.9

Having stayed in the same family from new, this burgundy over tan example has just 74,000 miles on the odometer and even claims to have been garaged. Judging by the photography, it’s certainly believable with this 39 year old example looking as fresh a could be expected for such an original example.

Despite its years this example has only seen a paint booth once, and benefits from power windows and locks plus factory fitted air conditioning; an essential given its life spent in California and one relocation to Florida. BFG All-Terrain tires ensure a menacing stance that is sure to attract envious attention for the new owner.

The Cherokee Chief was a three door version of the mighty Wagoneer, an absolute behemoth of an SUV that somehow succeeded despite the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s. Today, however, it makes for an epic Range Rover alternative, and even sports a split tailgate to enjoy your picnics from.

Source: GAA Classic Car Auctions

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