They have the very best intentions of rolling out a seven-passenger vehicle.

Wagonmaster has made a name for itself restoring and selling factory-perfect Jeep Grand Wagoneer models, bridging the gap between when the last production machine rolled off the line in 1991 and present day. The company's efforts haven't gone unnoticed. The entire Jeep product planning team took a little field trip to the company's facility in Kerrville, Texas back in December, and they weren't just there to take in the sights. According to owner Leon Miller's son, Chip Miller, the Jeep team was there to do research for the successor to the Grand Wagoneer throne.

"They have the very best intentions of rolling out a seven-passenger vehicle," Miller said.

A total of six members from the Chrysler team showed up, including Joe Veltri, the vice president of product planning, Todd Breneiser, director of product planning for utility vehicles and MPVs, Matt Nyquist, senior manager of product planning for full-size utility vehicles and Tony Carroll, Jeep brand manager. Jeep Engineering Program Manager Todd Teasdale and Bob Kwiecinski, Jeep product planning manager were also on hand to pour over the 20 pristine Grand Wagoneers at Wagonmaster. Keep reading below to see how it went.
Officially, the group wanted to know more about Wagonmaster customers as well as what aspects of the vehicle the company felt were essential to the Grand Wagoneer name, but Miller says it was clear there was a certain research element to the visit.

"They were really taking in shape of the body and what items can't be left out of a new [Grand Wagoneer]," Miller said.

Jeep is looking at three powerplants, including a small turbo-diesel

What's more, the team showed the Wagonmaster staff a few early renderings of what the three-row machine would look like, and even discussed engine options. Miller says right now, Jeep is looking at three powerplants, including a small displacement turbo-diesel and what would likely be the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 married to an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as a small-displacement turbo diesel and a V8. With all of those options already in play in the Grand Cherokee, we imagine moving them to a larger platform wouldn't necessarily be difficult.

Wagonmaster

Speaking of chassis options, Miller said the team has considered a number of possibilities. The executives said they aren't interested in building a Grand Wagoneer on the Commander or Dodge Durango platforms. Instead, the Grand Wagoneer would likely be based on a stretched version of the Grand Cherokee. Shades of gray, we know. Inside, the new seven-passenger behemoth would rival or eclipse the Grand Cherokee Overland in terms of luxury and refinement.

Of course, all this planning seems dashed by the news that Chrysler is delaying the introduction of a three-row Grand Wagoneer for at least a year or two. Even so, Miller says the Jeep executives made it clear the company won't stay away from Wagonmaster for long. A team of designers are set to return to get a better look at the company's stable this spring.

If you can't wait a few years for the next-generation Grand Wagoneer, you can always give Wagonmaster a call. They'll be happy to put you behind the wheel of a factory-original machine of your very own. Check them out here.

We've reached out to Jeep for a comment on the visit, and we'll update you as soon as we hear back.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      Tuckair2@aol.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      A Wagoneer is needed in the product line, the V-8 diesel sounds like a winner. Please don't build an under powered Wagoneer.
      jsimons4109
      • 1 Year Ago
      The family truckster is about to hit road again.
      lthrnck68
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love the pic of those classics grouped together. Probably will ruin it with the new version.
      Esher127
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the Grand Wagoneer, and a new one would be neat. But I really wish they'd put this much effort into a Wrangler-based truck. (with a separate bed like a Brute, not a conversion kit)
        lostboyz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Esher127
        They already said that there will be a new one coming and it wouldn't make sense to make a factory option this late into the current wrangler's lifecycle. The kit was so anyone who didn't want to wait, didn't have to.
          Esher127
          • 1 Year Ago
          @lostboyz
          Right, but we've heard there might be a new truck coming since the Gladiator Concept came out in, what, 2005? I kinda don't believe them anymore.
      L.B.
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is alright but what about the gladiator??
      Beardinals
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jeep Body on a Durango. I can't imagine they'd go much further than this.
      diffrunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mechanicked on "Pet Semetary 2". Provided 2 of these for the " Sheriff ". One for show, one for crash.
      Lucky Vanos
      • 1 Year Ago
      That pic should read,jeep Wagoneer endorsed by White Pedos Of America & special apperance by Jerry sandusky.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lucky Vanos
        And endorsed by Lucky Vanos, President of the White Pedos of America
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      surfundeep
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jeep is dead. Kenosha Kadillacs had their day. Chrysler products are undependable duds. Stay away.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just went to the Wagonmaster site and I thought I had to get my eyes checked. $40,000 for a used (albeit slightly restored) Wagonmaster?!?! I guess I don't get it. Granted the wood grain is cool but one look at that interior would have me wondering why I just don't buy a new Pilot/Flex.
        Mason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Anyone that's buying a $40,000 restored Grand Wagoneer is buying it because they have the money and just like them, not for practical purposes. They probably already have a Pilot, Flex, Escalade etc.
        Kris O.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        I have seen a wagonmaster restored Jeep in person. I can assue you that your use of the word "slightly" is plain foolish. They go through every detail of the Jeep. Even has that new car smell.
      NM
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have had 3 of these and currently have a last of the line Hunter Green 1991, looked for years to find a super low mileage rust free one. Paid a mint for it too. To those that do not "get" the appeal of these things, I understand. They are slow, poorly built, get stupidly poor mileage. They don't ride that well. Hell, they built a car to run through the muck with no rust proofing. That said, none of this matters, it is American Icon with plastic wood on the side. A rolling Labrador Retriever, it just makes you happy to drive it. People smile and nobody thinks you are an Asshat, even though you may be one. Can you say the same about a Tahoe?
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NM
        A Tahoe? What about the Asshats in the Escalades?
    • Load More Comments