Each Friday on the Jeep® Blog, we explore the Jeep brand’s iconic heritage by highlighting a different historical vehicle. This week’s vehicle is the 1975 Jeep Cherokee (SJ).
In 1974, the venerable Four Wheeler magazine awarded its first “Four Wheeler of the Year” award (then known as the Four Wheeler “Achievement Award”). In a sign of things to come, the new Jeep Cherokee (SJ) took the award home – and for good reason. Its sporty looks matched its performance, thanks to an available 401 cu in (6.6L) AMC V-8 engine.
Like the CJ Renegade models, the Cherokee spoke to a younger and more adventurous set of drivers. Initially, the Cherokee was offered in two body sizes. The wide-track version featured three-inch-wider axles and fender flares, and the “normal” Cherokee had regular-sized axles and no flares. The Cherokee was initially offered solely as a two-door vehicle, but by 1977, a four-door version was available.
Throughout the SJ’s nine-year span, several packages were offered, including Cherokee S, Cherokee Chief, Laredo and Golden Eagle. The end of production of the SJ model didn’t mean the end for the Cherokee, however. In 1984, the much-beloved next-generation Cherokee – the XJ – was introduced.
We’ll get to the XJ, and other classic Jeep vehicles, in the coming weeks as part of our ongoing Friday series, which takes a look at the Jeep brand’s rich heritage.