Looking back on the past 22 years of buying, restoring, and selling our Grand Wagoneers it's interesting to note the system Leon developed - unwritten, but often spoken - that has sustained us and built the most recognized brand in our niche of the Auto World. It's appropriate that the phrase that best describes his personality is: 'He is driven to succeed and be the best at whatever he undertakes'. He has always been more aware than most that, besides the personal satisfaction that can come from accomplishments, others sit in judgment to see if we have measured up. Here are a few things we believe we do well:
For a long time I have been so "taken" by this vehicle. I can honestly say I have never tired of the look and feel of the Grand Wagoneer. I was smitten the first time I laid eyes on the Jeep Wagoneer Limited when it was introduced in January, 1978. I thought it was the most beautiful rendition of a sport-utility vehicle I had ever seen... loaded with leather upholstery and power conveniences, plus the full wood-grain treatment and classic styling. I purchased one, at a cost of approximately $22,000. to drive every day as my company car. Being an agriculturalist/businessman, this fit perfectly. The following year Jeep came out with the new grill design and rectangular headlights, and I immediately traded. The new model included a padded vinyl roof treatment and a power sunroof. To me, this was an absolutely dynamite look! Little did I realize I would become so attached to this look that in 1991, when the final edition was announced (then selling at a cost of approximately $31,000.), I would soon become "the Wagonmaster" in an effort to continue this rolling work of art. I even went so far as to contact Jeep/Chrysler Corporation headquarters, to see if there was any chance they would bring the Grand Wagoneer back in the near future. That contact led me to an independent consultant and one of the chief designers of the vehicle, Mr. Brooks Stevens, who assured me the ballgame was over for the production of the Grand Wagoneer. He had tried without success to keep it going. Brooks was an encourager and at the time, he encouraged me to renew the later versions and offer those through our soon-to-be WAGONMASTER renewal process. He could no doubt sense my long-standing love affair with this vehicle. Recently I have become acquainted with David Nutting, a former associate and employee of Mr. Stevens, who also played a major role in the original design process. These two men were way ahead of their time in their vision of a fine, durable and beautiful SUV in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. So that's the way WAGONMASTER began. This business began to grow and it soon became my second career, springing from semi-retirement. During our first year we only bought, renewed, and sold twelve units. By the next year, I would commit a major portion of my "retirement life" to this endeavor. Later we discovered the Internet! And WAGONMASTER was off and running... at high speed. People all over the nation and indeed, all over the world began to contact us for their dream wagon. We had no idea there were so many people out there who were followers of this design and detail, and loved the "Woody" almost as much as I did. At WAGONMASTER we soon learned there would be nothing better than one of our high quality Grand Wagoneers, thoroughly renewed and brought to an extremely high standard. At the same time, we learned there was nothing worse than a high-mile, worn out and rusty wagon. So the expression of making "a silk purse out of a sow's ear" doesn't really work in this business. If we start with a good product, we'll get a good end result. And that is what we try to do... start with a good one. The old original Jeep/Chrysler engineering team has been an inspiration and a big help to us in our mechanical upgradings, and in setting up our standards for excellence. There is simply no substitute for a low mileage, rust-free, WAGONMASTER-renewed Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
In the 20 years Wagonmaster has been in business, I have noticed some interesting patterns among our buyers. One third of our vehicles have gone to architects and/or designers... over half of our customers are women buyers...and the Grand Wagoneers seem to have a special appeal to professional athletes and entertainers. These customers all want something a little different and out of the ordinary. It's known as "the Woody look."
It's been my pleasure to deal with some of the most interesting people in the world. Perhaps the heaviest concentration of Wagonmaster Grand Wagoneers is found on Nantucket Island (38 units and counting in a comparatively limited location). Other "hot spots" are southern Connecticut, Memphis/Nashville, Florida, the Carolinas, the New York area, Colorado and California. Our Wagonmaster GW's have found a home across the water also, in places such as Japan (12 units), Kuwait, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, England, Italy, Portugal, Nova Scotia, Norway... and of course, with our neighbors to the north and south--- Canada and Mexico.
I am convinced the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was way ahead of its time...perhaps it still is...and with the new mechanical updates we do in our shop, you can enjoy a "like new" classic GW from Wagonmaster.I never tire of the look or the feel of this vehicle!