Junkyard Find: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Right-hand Drive

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
The XJ Jeep Cherokee has been in production for nearly 35 years (if you count the BAW Knight S12, which I do) and remains very popular as a daily driver in Colorado, so I see many discarded examples in Denver-area wrecking yards.It takes a special XJ to inspire me to shoot photographs for this series — a pink camouflage paint job, for example, or a tape-stripey Sport Cherokee with manual transmission. A right-hand drive, Japanese-market Cherokee qualifies, so let’s take a look at this one in a Denver self-service yard.
Just the thing for doing rural mail delivery, which is almost certainly the reason this truck was brought back from Japan.
Japanese-built four-wheel-drive trucks weren’t hard to find in Japan in the middle 1990s, but built-for-export RHD Cherokees went there.
This truck’s Japanese owner had it serviced at Autobacs.
Then US Drive Right, an importer of right-hand-drive vehicles intended for postal-carrier use, brought it back to the United States.
Eventually, disaster struck. The problems with driving a RHD vehicle in a LHD country come when you need to turn left or pass on a two-lane rural highway, and it looks like this truck’s driver wasn’t able to see that oncoming vehicle in time.
156,722 kilometers is only 97,383 miles. I’m betting the running gear in this truck was almost certainly grabbed soon after I shot these photos by a savvy junkyard customer who figured it drove to the accident.
Japan wasn’t the only right-hand drive place to get Cherokees.
Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Pierre Pierre on Apr 23, 2018

    Interesting story. Which reminds me, a couple a months ago I was in the parking lot of a McDonalds waiting to meet someone when I noticed a new model Jeep Wrangler in the drive-through lane that was RHD. The lady behind the wheel obviously was having issues with picking up her order that was delivered to her left window. I wanted so badly to go ask her how did she get a US spec RHD Jeep but I didn't. The car was registered in South Carolina. Still a mystery to this day :)

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 23, 2018

    I don't see anything extreme that couldn't have been repaired. I guess the RHD put it in the yard.

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  • Varezhka And why exactly was it that Tesla decided not to coat their stainless steel bodies, again? My old steel capped Volant skis still looks clean without a rust in sight thanks to that metal vapor coating. It's not exactly a new technology.
  • GIJOOOE “Sounds” about as exciting as driving a golf cart, fake gear shifts or not. I truly hope that Dodge and the other big American car makers pull their heads out of the electric clouds and continue to offer performance cars with big horsepower internal combustion engines that require some form of multi gear transmissions and high octane fuel, even if they have to make them in relatively small quantities and market them specifically to gearheads like me. I will resist the ev future for as long as I have breath in my lungs and an excellent credit score/big bank account. People like me, who have loved fast cars for as long as I can remember, need a car that has an engine that sounds properly pissed off when I hit the gas pedal and accelerate through the gears.
  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"
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