The History of the 1987-1995 Jeep® Wrangler YJ

There have been plenty of historic years in our past, but 1987 was one of the biggest.  It saw the sale of the Jeep® brand to Chrysler by American Motor Company, and it also saw the debut of the now world-famous Wrangler.  The Wrangler was envisioned as a more civil version of the wildly-popular CJ lineage, and despite having a very similar body design, the Wrangler had much more in common with the Cherokee than the old CJs.  The Wrangler YJ had less ground clearance and a much longer footprint than its predecessor, which prompted some CJ enthusiasts to refer to the YJ as a “Yuppie Jeep” when it first debuted.


It didn’t take long for even the staunchest critics to change their tune, though.  The YJ was still a Jeep 4×4 through and through, and a massive aftermarket community soon blossomed to support the 630,000 YJ units that were eventually sold.


We’re dusting off our archives as part of our 70th anniversary celebration, so stay tuned for more of our history.



  • Patches

    Type your comment here…I could really use a new jeep, I have a 95 sport. and it is falling apart. are there any donations available?

  • Heath

    Type your comment here…Thanks for the history. I would like to see more.  I hope to get my first Jeep Wrangler sometime soon!

  • Shelby

    Ah I have 1993 wrangler and I will never sell it! I am hoping to get a newer used Jeep soon

  • Brian

    I just got a 95 YJ soft top and doors its noisy but runs GREAT and very little Rust needs painting though may just primer it.

  • lane

    I have a 95 Jeep Wrangler Rio Grande that needs a new manual transmission. Will parts from a 94 fit?

  • Oscar

    I have a 1995 YJ 4 banger , have Mobil One Oil and run the Poop out of it . I sure can tell you, that’s one TUFF running jeep. Great in sand & mud as well. Gas mileage,I get about 15 in the city.

  • Bash

    I have an 88 yj. She has the 4.2L auto 3 speed. It’s rare an I love her. She runs great I will never sell my jeep.

  • marko

    I have a 1987 4.2 5sp 231000.0 k runs good kind of a rag but dependable ready for any road tip or woods trip

  • Bill

    Original owner of 1987 YJ. 258 ci 6cyl with MOPAR Performance MPI ,Pacesetter header,Gibson exhaust,NP231 w/SYE,Factory Dana 30/35 w/456 gears,Superior Axle 30 spline shafts w/ARB locker front and Detroit locker rear. Shackle reversal installed. 5″ suspension lift on 35 x 15 BFG MT’s. Still runs great.

  • LaShea

    Awesome!! I LOVE my 1995 YJ JEEP WRANGLER RIO GRANDE LIMITED EDITION!! It’s freshly remodeled and ALL eyes are on my JEEP “MATTIE”

  • Jeep Wranglers Hq

    The Legend Lives!!! The History of the 1987 to 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ…