By on April 23, 2018

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe 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.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, interior - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsJust the thing for doing rural mail delivery, which is almost certainly the reason this truck was brought back from Japan.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, export tag - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
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.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, Japanese decal - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThis truck’s Japanese owner had it serviced at Autobacs.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, US Drive Right tag - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Then US Drive Right, an importer of right-hand-drive vehicles intended for postal-carrier use, brought it back to the United States.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsEventually, 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.

1995 Jeep Cherokee RHD in Colorado wrecking yard, speedometer - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars156,722 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.

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25 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Right-hand Drive...”


  • avatar
    jh26036

    This importer is charging some serious cash for a 20 year old Jeep Cherokee. Rural postal carriers are better off buying a RHD van from Japanese Classics for like $8k.

  • avatar
    gtem

    So the instrument cluster was Japanese then? Fascinating. Reminds me of the short lived Toyota Cavalier where the Japanese tried their best to make the most of polishing up a turd in terms of fit and finish. I wonder what the mechanics though of servicing the 4.0L under the hood, old school OHV cast iron I6 compared to all the multi-cam motors they were used to seeing by then. At least the Aisin AW-4 should have been familiar to them.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    “I wonder what the mechanics though of servicing the 4.0L under the hood, old school OHV cast iron I6 compared to all the multi-cam motors they were used to seeing by then. At least the Aisin AW-4 should have been familiar to them.”

    My guess would be a breath of fresh air. Most mechanics appreciate the simplicity of an uncomplicated reliable design.
    Also, compared to the underwhelming, gas slurping, dirty emissions of the licensed 1950’s Chevrolet Turbo-Thrift I6 in the Land Cruiser the AMC HO I6 was a masterpiece.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      By ’95 the old school 3F was history, in its place was a slightly less thirsty and very much a technical tour de force 1FZ-FE (ignoring diesels for the moment).

      the old 4.0L is uncomplicated yes, but the quality of many ancillary components left a lot to be desired IMO. And in addition to leaking oil and weak cooling systems, their propensity to develop low oil pressure issues even at not-so-high of miles is a bit dismaying as well. I think the old 4.0L I6 is a neat setup and a very good match for a lightweight XJ, but I don’t quite understand their worship in car guy circles. No better than a 4.3L Vortec Chevy in longevity or power, but probably easier to wrench on and inherently smoother. Comparing to Japanese engines circa ’95, I’d argue something like a then-new 5VZFE 3.4L V6 is no harder to work on (and needs less working on) except maybe starter access. Maybe it was Chrysler dumping the I6 4.0L in favor of the troublesome 3.7L OHC (Liberty) and the 3.8L OHV V6 (JK Wrangler).

  • avatar
    jhefner

    Our rural mail carrier is using a Cherokee of this very vintage to deliver our mail today. She has broken down once or twice in the past year; but it is still going. I have seen another Cherokee making the rounds as well; I don’t know if they are one of these JDM re-imports or not; never even knew about these. But I am guessing it is.

  • avatar
    CarOli

    You could order right hand drive Cherokees in the US market for at least a few years for mail carrier purposes. Most of the RHD Cherokees you see in the US were bought that way new. I thought I’d seen a 2nd gen ‘97-up Cherokee in RHD too.

  • avatar
    CarOli

    Found a few on Drive:

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-hammer/12626/2000-jeep-cherokee-right-hand-drive-the-drives-repo-of-the-week

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Please post something about the S-10 beside it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      What interesting is there to post about a generic 1990s S10 in a junkyard? There’s probably a dozen in most good sized yards in most of the US at the moment. And I don’t say that in a disparaging way in regard to their longevity.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Considering their longevity, there should be something said about it. Everywhere I’ve gone in this country over the last several years, I continue to see them despite the argument that, “there is no market for them.”

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’m guessing that US Drive Right swapped the km speedo for an MPH speedo? Or did they really export these with an MPH speedo?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Is the blue bag in the photos your tool bag? I see it making cameo appearances in some of these photo shoots.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    The base engine in these was the venerable (terrible) AMC 2.5, 4 cylinders and all of ~120 HP or so. But, this was also around the time when a Volvo 240 (similar weight to a RWD XJ) had a 2.3 liter of around 115 HP.

    The Grumman LLVs (which are the ubiquitous mail carriers around here) utilize the similarly-sized Iron Duke for propulsion. I can hear my mail truck coming from down the street by the unique drone of that powerplant.

    The neighbor has an Iron Duke-equipped S-10 pickup, and I do sometimes think the mail is coming when he’s pulling out of his driveway.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Tbe speedo is mph and the oddometer is in km’s?

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    One of these (though green in color) delivers my mail out here on US RT 36 every day and has for the last several years.

  • avatar
    Pierre

    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 :)

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      This isn’t much of a mystery at all. They sell RHD Wranglers here in the USA.

      Here’s one of many examples for sale today.

      https://www.carfax.com/vehicle/1C4BJWKG2DL668194

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    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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