You have probably seen the new Jeep Gladiator driving around town, but we should never forget the original truck called the Jeep Comanche. It is a classic vehicle that was able to be taken off-roading, while still giving the driver the convenience of truck-like features. They might not have been a huge hit back in the day, but now people have become obsessed with them.
There are probably quite a few things you didn't know about this classic pickup truck, but we have uncovered the facts. Keep reading to learn ten things you didn't know about the Jeep Comanche.
10 It Was Only In Production For 7 Years
This truck was only in production for a total of 7 years between 1986 and 1992. This is a relatively short span for a vehicle to be around, but it was underperforming compared to its competitors.
It also died off, as it was on the same assembly line as Chrysler's more popular Cherokees and XJ Wagoneers. They had to decide to cut something based on the incoming profits, and with the other two doing so well on the market, the Jeep Comanche ended up on the chopping block.
9 They Are Hardy and Durable
These vehicles were phenomenally built for the time period, as many have lasted up to 300,000 miles. This is not only incredible by today's standards, but the fact that they were able to withstand that many years of wear and tear blows our minds. It was a pleasing twist from a truck that didn't receive much love years after its release.
The only major issue they had was rust, but if an owner was smart they would have had the underside of their Jeep Comanche sprayed to prevent this from happening.
8 It Set International Records
This truck set 9 records in the United States as well as 4 internationally, which was quite an achievement for any vehicle. They modified one of their two-wheel-drive trucks with a new motor that allowed it to reach a top speed of 144 mph in the 1986 Bonneville time trials.
This vehicle was also promoted for off-road (SCORE) and paved road (SCCA) competitions where it also blew the competition out of the water. This was an unexpected twist that no one ever saw coming when this truck was first released.
7 This Was The First Truck With A Unibody and Removable Bed
The Comanche was different from other vehicles on the market because it was made with a unibody, as well as a removable bed. The manufacturers had the bed held down by two bolts, so if someone really wanted to replace it, the task wasn't an impossible one.
The unibody frame was different from others on the market, as they generally welded everything to a sturdy frame, while Jeep incorporated it into their design. They took a sturdy frame and implemented it into the design of the unibody itself, which allowed the truck to be made in this way without losing any of its integrity.
6 This Vehicle Has Held Its Value
These trucks could be found on the market for about $2,500, but in recent years that number has skyrocketed. People have begun to see the value in this vehicle, and others treat it as a classic.
They generally go for about $10,000, but those kept in pristine conditions have been sold for over $20,000. If you wanted to take a crack at this vehicle, you have probably lost your chance, unless you plan on saving up all of your money to buy this beautiful piece of history.
5 1986 Buyers Had 3 Engine Options
When this truck was released in 1986, customers could choose between three different engines. They could go with a small diesel, a four-cylinder, or select the GM 2.8 liter V6.
The GM motor was the worst of the three and led to many issues for consumers down the road, as leaks seemed to develop out of nowhere as time passed. The diesel engine was a great choice, but people at the time were not impressed and any thoughts of diesel engines were dropped by the end of 1987.
4 Only 200,000 Were Made
There were only 200,000 Jeep Comanches ever created, which is part of the reason why this truck is highly sought after. This number is next to nothing, especially when you consider how many years this truck was in existence.
It is amazing that this truck even made it this long with numbers so low, but Jeep kept trying to push this product to those who were looking for sturdy work trucks. The Cherokee's numbers doubled this truck's production numbers between 1984 and 1987, which only cemented the reasoning behind the discontinuation of this vehicle.
3 Production Stopped Because Of A Conflict Of Interest
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns both the Jeep and Dodge manufacturing companies, and everyone knows that Dodge trucks are amazing. It eventually came to the point with the Jeep Comanche that if they wanted it to sell, they would have to directly compete with Dodge, another company that was also selling their products. It didn't make any sense to compete against themselves by marketing and advertising the Comanche more to up its numbers, so they eventually took it off the market.
2 It Had A Great Fuel Economy
This truck had a surprisingly good fuel economy, as it was able to sustain 21 to 24 mpg. These numbers are high even by today's standards, and Jeep's newest truck doesn't even come close to matching.
We think this is the one aspect of the Comanche that other manufacturers should have taken notes on because saving money on gas is something we all strive for when looking for a new vehicle. The Comanche might have lacked in the public's eye back then, but today we look at it and wonder why more trucks weren't bought by consumers.
1 It Was Based On The Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee was a best-seller for Jeep, so they figured they should make a truck that was based on some of the key characteristics of the Cherokee. It used this car's chassis, as well as a modified front suspension, and created a truck out of an SUV.
It was great in theory, but it seemed people were still more smitten with the idea of the Cherokee over that of the Comanche. This truck might have a long history, but we doubt it will make a comeback with the Cherokee still coming out at the top of the SUV market.