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This green-seated Jeep Wagoneer laid the foundations of the SUV revolution

Following on from the iconic Willys Jeep Station Wagon, the Wagoneer had some rather large boots to fill. Thankfully, it was a rugged yet handsome vehicle, paving the way for future SUVs. This unique example heads to RM Sotheby’s upcoming Paris sale on January 31st.

Everywhere you look nowadays, an SUV lurks. In the shadows of every major city, tucked away in the underground car parks of the high streets, basically anywhere other than out in the wilderness is where you’ll find most of today’s SUVs. There are some exceptions, of course, which makes the discovery of a mud-cladded new generation Land Rover Defender being used by a determined farmer all the more enjoyable to see. However, for the most part, these lifted people-movers don’t indulge in the off-road action they were intended for. 

In the early 1960s, though, after the success of the Willys Jeep Station Wagon, a fiercely rugged and highly capable off-roader based off the same M38 machines that were used during World War II, the brand needed a more than worthy replacement. 

Venturing into uncharted territory for the all-terrain company, the Wagoneer was introduced in 1962, and offered families a rugged yet comfortable utility vehicle that was ready for any kind of adventure, be it on the tarmac or off it. This stunning example left the production line in 1965, and features the highly desirable four-wheeled-drive drivetrain, as well as a gutsy 230-cubic-inch straight-six, often referred to as the “Tornado”. Its colour, White Cap, looks all the more impressive when the heavy-duty doors are opened, where you’re greeted to a Sylvan Green leather interior, which really brings home the luxurious-yet-durable brief the Wagoneer was aiming for. 

Showing just 55,746 kilometres from new, RM Sotheby’s experts made the key discovery that this example was originally built for the European market, and while little is known of the car’s early days, it was registered in Switzerland in 2010, and has noted it would benefit from a fresh brake rebuild and service. 

While we may loathe the sight of almost all modern-era SUVs, if they looked at unique as this Jeep Wagoneer, we’d forgive them entirely. Showcasing beauty, yet built for duty, this Jeep Wagoneer would make for a very interesting and conversation-starting usable classic. Watch as it heads to RM Sotheby’s Paris sale which takes place on January 31st