Friday, March 21, 2014

5k: AMCeep: 1991 Jeep Comanche SporTruck

The Jeep Comanche was a compact pickup built from 1986 to 1992 during the transition from AMC to Chrysler ownership of the Jeep brand.  The MJ Comanche has the dubious honor of being the last pickup truck ever built wearing the Jeep emblem, ending a tradition of Jeep pickups dating back to the 1947 Willys Jeep Truck.  Finding an original condition survivor isn't impossible, but finding one for a nice price is a treat.  Find this 1991 Jeep Comanche SporTruck offered for $2,800 in Kalispell, MT via craigslist.  Tip from Oldsmobuick.

DT editor CFlo summed up the Comanche perfectly when he wrote about a previous Comanche feature:

Ah, the Comanche. A good friend described it to me as "the hick-est truck ever." But in a good way. I always thought it was odd that this thing has a separate bed but no real frame. Unit body "framerails" welded to both the cab and bed. Only from AMC.

Chrysler, with Lee Iacocca at the helm, acquired AMC a few years before this example was built, but automobile design/development takes the funky little truck continued to leave the factory for several years while Chrysler bean counters tried to decide if they should kill it or ask the federal gov't for another bailout.

Under the hood is a 2.5 liter AMC 150 inline-4, fed by a throttle body injection and good for 130 horsepower.  The seller claims 30mpg, which seems optimistic given the Comanche's legodynamic profile and late 80s technology.

Inside we are greeted with a friendly 4 speed manual gear shifter and seats upholstered in the finest flannel shirt material from the Duke boys collection.  Fitting since the Comanche combines the best features of Uncle Jesse's pickup with Daisy's Wrangler.

See a better early '90s pickup with original paint and old school style?


  1. A friend of mine had an 87 comanche. His was a straight looking but very beat mechanically. To drive it you had to think about a turn before actually making the turn. The brakes where a test of the driver mettle and worked best when you did not need them, as in they had a mind of their own almost. It was a very sketchy rig to drive to be sure.

  2. Learned to drive on my father's '86 Comanche Sportruck. The "Sportruck" option was actually kind of bargain-basement: 2wd and a 4-banger. It was unusual and good-looking then and even more so now. To this day I'd like a nice "444": 4.0, 4-spd, 4wd. I think the "sketchy" rig mentioned above must have been very poorly maintained, this front suspension / steering lived for 30 years in the XJ Cherokee, TJ Wrangler and ZJ/WJ Grand Cherokee with no issues. Replacing the track bar is a must at about 80,000 though, if this is neglected the above issues will be noted.

  3. Recently acquired a sweet 88' model. I'm a Jeepoholic who now owns a KK, KJx2, XJ and this MJ. Parts are easy & plentiful ( new and used). Support from fellow owners is there. Have considered selling only because I can't seem to keep my foot out of the 4.0L 5spd combination and already need surgery in my left foot so driving too much causes too much pain. Like any Jeep if cared for these will last longer than ever imagined or probably designed.


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