1965 Jeep Wagoneer 4WD SUV (RHD)
|Body Work||Station Wagon|
|Wheels||Steel multi-spoke chromed|
Jeep has enjoyed a long history of innovation and success in marketing off-road vehicles to generations of suburbanites wanting to drive in the great outdoors and its Wagoneer is arguably the granddaddy of all modern SUVs. The legendary WW2 Jeep gave the company a head start over rivals GM and Ford, with the utilitarian CJ forming the mainstay of post-war production. However, Kaiser Industries, which took over Willys-Overland in 1953, was keen to broaden the appeal of its products and unveiled an entirely new station wagon model as part of the heavily revised 1963 range. Known as the Wagoneer (and Gladiator, as it was badged in pick-up guise), the new Jeep had crisp, modern styling courtesy of talented industrial designer Brooks Stevens and was available with the option of two-wheel drive, a first for the company. Another innovation was the overhead-camshaft “Tornado” 230ci six found under the bonnet, a first for the entire American car industry. The new model enjoyed strong sales, with the option of air conditioning in 1964 and a powerful 327ci V8 was made available the following the year. Other options included a PTO (power take off), power-assisted brakes, power steering and deluxe trim. Sold in both two and four door body styles, the Wagoneer for 1965 was offered in either standard or Custom versions, all on the same 110-inch wheelbase platform. Appearing years before the Range Rover, the Wagoneer pioneered a new type of off-roader, one that didn’t sacrifice comfort or decent on-road performance and was every bit as comfortable picking up the kids from school as it was bouncing up a bush track. Jeeps were assembled by Willys Motors Australia Pty Ltd in Brisbane for the local market from 1958 onwards using CKD (completely knocked down) kits but sold in relatively small numbers, with few survivors left in roadworthy condition today.