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The Making of a Legend
1940

WILLYS QUAD STORY

In June 1940, with World War II on the horizon, the U.S. Army solicited bids from 135 automakers for a 1/4 ton "light reconnaissance vehicle" tailored to Army specifications. Only three companies responded - Bantam, Willys, and Ford — but, within a year's time they collectively produced the template for the vehicle known worldwide as the "jeep".

Willys-Overland delivered the prototype "Quad" (named for the 4x4 system it featured), to the U.S. Army on Armistice Day (Veteran's Day), November of 1940. The design was completed in a remarkable 75 days.

Only two prototypes were made.

1941

WILLYS MA STORY

The Willys MA featured a gearshift on the steering column, low side body cutouts, two circular instrument clusters on the dashboard, and a hand brake on the left side. Willys struggled to reduce the weight to the new Army specification of 2,160 lbs. Items removed in order for the MA to reach that goal were reinstalled on the next-generation MB resulting in a final weight of approximately just 400 lbs. above the specifications.

After arduous testing, Willys-Overland was awarded the contract in July of 1941 calling for the production of 16,000 revised MB models at a unit price of $738.74. Most of the MA's were sent to the United States Allies in Russia and England under the Lend-Lease program. Today, the MA is the rarest of all pre-production Willys, with only about thirty models known to exist.

1942

WILLYS MB STORY

It's the stuff of legend; the U.S. Army requested a vehicle - and drove off in a hero. The Willys MB, its spirit forged by the fire of combat and honed in the heat of battle, seared its way into the hearts of warriors fighting for freedom.

Fierce emotional bonds often developed between a soldier and his "jeep" 4x4. The faithful MB earned a place in every GI's heart, in every area of combat, in every conceivable role.

The tough, simple, Jeep® 4x4 became the GI's best friend - second only to his rifle. One MB was even awarded a Purple Heart and sent home.

The MB started a revolution in the use of small military motor vehicles in the U.S. Army. Horses along with motorcycles, solo and side car, were rendered obsolete almost immediately.

The all-purpose MB was amazingly versatile. They could be fitted with .30 or .50 caliber machine guns for combat. They were also widely modified for long range desert patrol, snow plowing, telephone cable laying, saw milling, as fire fighting pumpers, field ambulances, tractors and, with suitable wheels, would even run on railway tracks.

MB's could be loaded into transport aircraft for rapid deployment and were also small enough to fit into the large gliders used in the D-day invasion of Europe.

Over the course of the war, customized field kits were developed for winter and desert conditions, deep-water fording, and other combat needs.

General George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff during World War II, and later U.S. Secretary of State, described the Jeep® 4x4 as "America's greatest contribution to modern warfare".

Scripps Howard WWII Reporter Ernie Pyle once said, "It did everything. It went everywhere. Was a faithful as a dog, as strong as a mule, and as agile as a goat. It constantly carried twice what it was designed for and still kept going."

Although the Willys MB was not the first four-wheel-drive vehicle, the Go anywhere, Do anything® Jeep® vehicle influenced every 4x4 built in its wake.

The New York Museum of Modern Art includes a military Jeep® 4x4 in its display of eight automobiles and regarded it as "one of the very few genuine expressions of machine art."

1945

CJ-2A STORY

The mighty Willys MB emerged out of the cauldron of war ready for peace time service. The legendary G.I. workhorse of World War II was converted by Willys-Overland into a CJ with the aim of putting farm workhorses out to pasture.

According to Willys-Overland, there were 5.5 million farmers in the U.S., and of these, more than 4 million had neither a truck nor a tractor. The rugged and versatile CJ-2A was marketed by Willys-Overland as "The All-Around Farm Work-Horse". It could do the job of two heavy draft horses, operating at a speed of four miles per hour, 10 hours a day, without overheating the engine. The CJ-2A "Universal" was to serve agriculture and industry all over the world in a thousand different ways.

Willys-Overland also advertised the CJ-2A as "A Powerhouse on Wheels", pitching it as a work vehicle and mobile power to the masses. A variety of farm implements and industrial tools were devised for use in conjunction with an onboard power take-off unit. A belt-driven governor was controlled from the instrument panel, allowing regulation of engine speeds from 1,000 to 2,600 rpm. Sales were brisk despite the glut of MBs on the war surplus market.

Cash awards were offered by Popular Science magazine for "Ideas on Peacetime Jobs for Jeeps". The contest stimulated America's ingenuity and innovative nature. Soon, Jeep® vehicles were used as the platform for hundreds of applications. Of particular note: from 1949-1964, either a complete Jeep® vehicle or chassis was used on all Zamboni® ice resurfacing machines. In 1949, the Model A took 10 minutes to do a job that used to take over an hour-and-a-half.

A much modified version of the MB, the 1945 CJ-2A (MSRP: $1,090) had "Willys" embossed on the hood sides and windshield frame. It was offered to the public with better shock absorbers, springs and more comfortable seats for added comfort, revised transmission and transfer case gear ratios allowing low-speed hauling and highway speeds as high as 60 mph, beefier clutch, better cooling, a tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, larger 7-inch headlights, an external fuel cap, a reinforced frame for greater rigidity, and an automatic windshield wiper on the driver's side.

CJ-1 and CJ-2's (1944-1945) were pre-production models notable for their cast-bronze "AGRIJEEP" hood emblems--used at agricultural test stations around the country.

1946

WILLYS WAGON STORY

America's first all-steel station wagon debuted in July 1946 as the model 463 Jeep® Station Wagon and featured a three-tone paintwork that simulated the "woodie" look. The no-maintenance all-steel utility vehicle was not prone to weathering, peeling or squeaks like the old style "woodies".

The Wagon's fold-down tailgate hatch was ahead of its time and can be credited with the origin of the "tailgate party".

Most station wagons of the day could carry 4x8 feet sheets of plywood horizontally - but only Willys could store them vertically as well. A wash-out interior could be "cleaned almost as easily as a kitchen sink! " Consumer Reports October 1950 issue stated, "The Willys Station Wagon, used as it is intended to be used, has no equal in its field … It is a working car and it does its work well."

The Willys Wagon was also available in commercial delivery formats — Sedan Delivery, Panel Delivery, or Utility Delivery — with enclosed back sides and vertical rear doors.

When four-wheel drive was added in 1949, the Willys Wagon became the forerunner of the Grand Cherokee (WK). The Brooks Stevens designed Wagon was in production nearly 20 years — longer than any other contemporary American automobile of its day.

1947

WILLYS TRUCK STORY

An early advertisement promoted "The new 'Jeep' Trucks are the biggest news in the medium-duty field." Two and four-wheel-drive models were originally marketed to the modern farmer. The 118-inch-wheelbase pickup truck marked Willys-Overland's first attempt to diversify the Jeep® brand beyond the short-wheelbase flat fender.

With two- and four-wheel drive models available, the Jeep® Truck could be fitted with a pickup or stake bed, chassis or cab, or as a bare chassis. Late-'40s pickups were available with four-wheel drive — a feature not available on Chevy or Ford trucks until 1957 and 1959 respectfully.

Many of the Jeep® Truck components were shared with the Willys Wagon, in particular the Go Devil engine, the 72 hp "Super Hurricane" L-head six found on earlier models and the "Tornado" engine that found its way into later versions.

The Jeep® Truck was produced with minor sheet-metal changes until the Gladiator pickups replaced them in the '60s.

 

1948

JEEPSTER STORY

The Jeepster (VJ) was the last phaeton-style open-bodied vehicle made by a U.S. automaker, using side curtains for weather protection instead of roll-down windows.

Brooks Stevens, the famous Willys-Overland designer, had intended the Jeepster to be a low-priced American sports car. Eventually it price out at around $1,900, which was at the time fabulously expensive.

Marketed as a sports car, the performance was somewhat lacking – hence the lower sales numbers.

The Jeepster, unlike the CJ-2A, was promoted as a vehicle suitable for women drivers and college grads. Many suburban drivers used the Jeepster as a "sunshine" only, or secondary car. Originally offered with the "Go-Devil" engine, it was eventually fitted with the 161 cubic-inch six-cylinder "Hurricane" engine, but never offered in four-wheel drive.

Of late, the Jeepster has become a certified collectible and has been deemed a Milestone car.

In 1971, British glam-rock group T. Rex paid tribute to the Jeepster in a song of the same name, singing "Girl, I'm just a Jeepster for your love" on their hit album Electric Warrior.

 

1949

JEEP® CJ-3A STORY

The CJ-3A is considered by many to be the father of recreation vehicles. Introduced in late 1948, the CJ-3A was very similar to the previous model, but featured refinements over the CJ-2A including; a one-piece windshield with bottom vent and dual bottom-mounted wipers, a more robust transmission, transfer case, and beefier Spicer 44-2 rear axle.

The engines were visually identical to the 2-series, "Go-Devil," but featured revised piston and valve-tappet clearances, as well as a different flywheel. Front passenger leg and knee room were improved (rear passengers lost some room).

A farm version was offered from 1951-1953 and featured the options most farmers asked for, including a hydraulic lift, engine governor, drawbar, driveshaft guards and heavy-duty springs. A rear Power Take-Off and front bumper weights were optional.

The Jeep® Tractor was a stripped down version of the CJ-3A. It was bare bones to the point of having only one seat, no lights, front shocks, horn, tailgate or windshield. The Jeep® Tractor featured a hydraulic 3-point lift and drawbar - and plenty of guts!

The CJ-3A could be easily differentiated from the CJ-2A by its one-piece windshield.

 

1950

JEEP® M38 (MC) STORY

Essentially a combat-ready version of the CJ-3A, the M38, or Willys Model MC, was the first post-WW II military Jeep® vehicle.

The M38 included several key changes including: stronger frame and suspension. It could be driven completely submerged thanks in part to a new waterproofed 24-volt ignition system (replaced the CJ-3A's 6-volt system), and a unique vent tube system that connected the fuel tank, transfer case, transmission, and engine to the air cleaner.

The 1950 Jeep® CJV-35/U, a derivation of the M38, was the first production Jeep® 4x4 with factory-included deep water fording capability. The CJV-35/U was made primarily for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Later models would add black out lamps, headlight guards, and ability to carry tools on the side of the M38 similar to the original Willys MB. The M38 is known by many as, "the best of the flat fenders".

The M38 served honorably in the Korean War, all along the 38th parallel.

1952

JEEP® M-38A1 (MD) STORY

The M-38A1, also known as the MD, the design would later be the foundation for the classic CJ-5. The M-38A1 featured a two-piece windshield, longer wheelbase, softer ride, more powerful engine, and new, more rounded body. The "round-fender" Jeep® vehicle would eventually become the foundation for the CJ-5.

In 1951, Museum of Modern Art declared the Jeep® 4x4 as a cultural icon and saluted it as one of the world's eight automotive masterpieces. In 2002, a 1952 Willys M-38A1 was added it to its permanent collection of significant vehicles, describing it as "the best Jeep ever built."

The M-38A1C, a specially modified Army Jeep® 4x4 produced through 1971, was designed to transport 106mm and 105mm recoilless rifles. A unique channel opening in the windshield allowed the barrel of the rifle to rest on the front hood.

What was the most "powerful" Jeep® vehicle ever built? Some would say the M-38A1D — it was equipped with a Davy Crocket missile launcher that could fire tactical nuclear weapons. The user could launch the 279mm 1-Kiloton-yield atomic projectile to a range of 2,000 meters from its 120mm recoilless gun.

The M-38A1 was one of the most enduring military Jeep® vehicles. Some called it the last "true" military Jeep® vehicle.

1953

JEEP® M-170

The Jeep® M-170 could be fitted with several different body packages. One was a light troop carrier. Because the wounded could be carried inside, M-170 was also heavily used as a field ambulance.

A long-wheelbase four-wheel drive prototype Ambulance was released to the U.S. Army in 1951 for testing (project 6396). The CJ-4MA-01 (earlier known as Model MC-A) featured skirted flat fenders, a large passenger door and lengthened tub. This vehicle bridges the gap between the M-38 and the round fender M-38A1.

1954

JEEP® CJ-3B STORY

Willys dramatically updated its CJ line on January 28, 1953 with the CJ-3B — the first CJ with a dramatically different style from its military ancestor, the Willys MB. The CJ-3B featured a higher hood to accommodate a taller "Hurricane" "F-head" engine.

If ever there was a complaint with the CJ-2A and CJ-3A it was with the lack of power. The new engine put that complaint at rest. The "F-head" style overhead-valve engine, designed by Barney Roos, produced a remarkable 25% more horsepower and 9% more torque.

The fresh powerplant was mated to a new transfer case that was designed to offer longer life and quieter operation.

The CJ-3B remained in production for fifteen years. By 1968, over 155,000 are sold. Also, a one-off CJ-4 was produced in 1951, a hybridization of the M38-series and soon-to-come CJ-5.

1955

JEEP® CJ-5 STORY

In October 11, 1954, Kaiser announced the arrival of the Jeep® CJ-5, and featured softer styling lines, including rounded body contours based on the 1952 Korean War M-38A1. The CJ-5 was better on every front: it was stronger, more comfortable, more versatile, and more off-road capable.

It was slightly larger than the CJ-3B, as it featured an increased wheelbase and overall length. Improvements in engines, axles, transmissions and seating comfort made the 81-inch-wheelbase CJ-5 an ideal vehicle for the public's growing interest in off-road vehicles.

Big news in 1965 was getting a new "Dauntless" V6 engine that produced 155 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. The V6 nearly double the power of the standard four-cylinder engine. Beginning in 1973, all Jeep® CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines.

Spanning thirty years, the CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep® vehicle, and in the sixteen years of Kaiser ownership, Jeep® vehicle manufacturing plants were established in thirty foreign countries, with Jeep® vehicles marketed in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Many special editions were offered, including the 1964-1967 "luxury" Tuxedo Park, the 1969 Camper, the 1969 "462", the 1970 Renegade I, the 1971 Renegade II, the 1972-1983 Golden Eagle, and 1973 and 1976 Super Jeep. A two-wheel driver version DJ-5 was offered through 1974. A popular and enduring legend, the CJ-5 has probably logged more trail miles than any other Jeep® vehicle.

1956

JEEP® CJ-6 STORY

A common complaint of early CJ owners was the need for more room for passengers and gear. Willys Motors responded with the CJ-6. Basically a CJ-5 with a 20-inch-longer wheelbase (101 inches), the CJ-6 combined greater storage capacity, improved comfort, and superior off-road capability.

The commercial two-wheel drive version was called DJ-6. The export version remained in production until 1981. The Jeep® brand also introduced a forward-control (FC) cab-over-engine variation to the CJ line in 1957.

AMC equipped the CJ-6 with heavier axles, bigger brakes and a wider track. In 1965, a new "Dauntless" V6 engine was introduced as an option on CJ-5 and CJ-6 vehicles. The 155-hp V6 almost doubled the horsepower of the standard four-cylinder engine. Beginning in 1973, all Jeep® CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines.

A chrome-trimmed Tuxedo Park model was offered in 1964 through '67. A 192ci Perkins I-4 diesel engine was an available option (as it was on the CJ-5) from 1961 to '69. AMC would later equip both the CJ-5 and CJ-6 with heavier axles, bigger brakes and a wider track. CJ-6s are prized by collectors.

1957

JEEP® FC-150 STORY

In a bold departure from previous designs, Willys Motors unveiled its highly-maneuverable Forward-Control (FC) series of Jeep® four-wheel drive trucks. These highly maneuverable workhorses featured a unique cab-over-engine design gave them a hoodless, flat-nose appearance. While its "cab forward" styling had little in common with traditional Jeep® vehicle body design, the FC-150 was actually built on top of the existing CJ-5 chassis.

Essentially work trucks - the cab-over-engine Jeep® vehicles came in two models: an 81-inch wheelbase FC 150 with a four-cylinder F-head engine, and the 103.5 inch wheelbase for the FC 170 with a six-cylinder L-head engine.

Both models included pickup, stake bed, chassis & cab, and assorted specialty editions, with the FC-170 also available in a heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel version.

"More cargo space! On less wheelbase! And goes 'anyplace'!" chirped FC ads of the time. And indeed, with the FC-150/170, workers and farmers had a vehicle that could go virtually anywhere (due to its eighteen-foot turning radius) while also hauling a load.

The FCs were remarkably convenient trucks—their unusually low beds making them easy to load and unload—that enjoyed popularity in foreign markets.

1958

JEEP® FC-170 STORY

In a bold departure from previous designs, Willys Motors unveiled its highly-maneuverable Forward-Control (FC) series of Jeep® four-wheel drive trucks. These highly maneuverable workhorses featured a unique cab-over-engine design gave them a hoodless, flat-nose appearance. While its "cab forward" styling had little in common with traditional Jeep® vehicle body design, the FC-170 was actually built on top of the existing CJ-5 chassis.

Essentially work trucks - the cab-over-engine Jeep® vehicles came in two models: an 81-inch wheelbase FC-150 with a four-cylinder F-head engine, and the 103.5 inch wheelbase for the FC-170 with a six-cylinder L-head engine.

Both models included pickup, stake bed, chassis & cab, and assorted specialty editions, with the FC-170 also available in a heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel version.

"More cargo space! On less wheelbase! And goes 'anyplace'!" claimed FC ads of the time. And indeed, with the FC-150/170, workers and farmers had a vehicle that could go virtually anywhere (due to its eighteen-foot turning radius) while also hauling a load.

The FCs were remarkably convenient trucks-their unusually low beds making them easy to load and unload-that enjoyed popularity in foreign markets.

They were virtually unchanged throughout their production runs, save 1959 when the FC-170 received HD rear springs, which increased GVW to a max. 8,000 pounds: additionally, a few '67 170s were offered with dual rear wheels and a four-speed manual transmission option that bumped GVW up to 9,000 pounds; some '59-'60 FCs came with full-floating front and rear axles as well.

1959

JEEP® DJ-3A STORY

This two-wheel drive only Jeep® "Dispatcher" version of the CJ-3A was available in hardtop, Soft Top convertible and half- and full-top models and was called the DJ-3A. It was available with or without a tailgate. Other distinguishing features were its four-bold wheels and steering-column gearshift.

A '59-64 Surrey Gala model with fringe around its Soft Top was introduced primarily as a vacation rental vehicle at popular tropical resort destinations.

Perhaps the gaudiest Jeep® vehicle ever, the Surrey was available in three color schemes, Tropical Rose and Coral Mist, Jade Tint Green and Glacier White, and Cerulean Blue and Glacier White with a matching striped interior and striped top with fringe.

Only 1,083 Surreys were produced, making them highly collectible today.

1961

FLEETVAN STORY

Willys Motors introduced the two-wheel drive Fleetvan was designed for light-duty, multi-stop applications such as postal delivery and ice-cream trucks. Practical was the operative word for the FJ platform. The Fleetvan was built on a beefed up DJ-3A Dispatcher platform and retained the same tough "Jeep" 81-inch wheelbase and F-134 Hurricane F-head engine. The FJ-Series was efficient, rugged and highly maneuverable.

This step-van featured sliding doors that were easy to enter from either side. Maximum use of front windshield glass permitted "all-points" vision for the driver thanks to its cab-over engine design. The first version was a right-hand-drive U.S. Post Office model that allowed the driver to operate the vehicle standing up for easier operation.

The slightly longer FJ-3A featured a long overhang with an overall length of 154-inches (vs 135 inches for the FJ-3).

In 1965, a new FJ-6 version was built on the CJ-6 platform. In 1975, the FJ-8 3/4-ton series and FJ-9-Series Postal Service vans built by AM General replaced the FJ-6.

1963

JEEP® WAGONEER STORY

In 1962, the Jeep® brand introduced the Wagoneer as a 1963 model — the father of all luxury 4x4 SUV's. Replacing the Willys utility wagon lines, the Wagoneer was designed to provide passenger-car styling, comfort, and convenience with the advantages of four-wheel drive (4WD).

The revolutionary Wagoneer was filled with innovation and industry firsts: the first automatic transmission in a 4X4 vehicle; the first overhead-cam six-cylinder truck engine, the first 4X4 vehicle with an independent front suspension; the first automatic full-time 4WD system. The revolutionary Quadra-Trac® 4WD system, introduced in 1973, was available in full-size Jeep trucks and wagons, and later in the CJ-7.

Styled by the famed industrial designer Brooks Steven, the Wagoneer captured the public imagination with its modern styling and good looks. The entire line of "Senior" (SJ) vehicles included the Gladiator and J-Series Trucks, Wagoneer Station Wagons, Panel Deliveries, and early Cherokee models.

The SJ line was in production for more than 28 years with only minor technical changes and when production ended - was the longest continuous automotive production run, on the same platform, in U.S. automotive history.

The Wagoneer was renamed the Grand Wagoneer in 1984 to coincide with the introduction of the downsized Wagoneer and Cherokee (XJ) models.

1964

JEEP® GLADIATOR / J-SERIES TRUCK STORY

In 1962 a completely new "J" line of Jeep® Gladiator trucks were introduced for the 1963 model year. The Gladiator full-size pickup trucks shared the same platform, front-end styling, and powertrain as the Wagoneer.

The Gladiator was available in either 120-inch (J-200) or 126-inch (J-300) form, and featuring a Dana 20 transfer case and Dana 44s front and rear. A tougher independent front suspension was available on half-ton trucks until 1965 but used a beefier 44IFS front differential.

Available configurations included: Thriftside (narrow box), Townside (wide box), Chassis or Cab; Stake Bed; Wrecker; and Chassis-mounted campers with extended wheelbases.

In late 1965, the J-200 and J-300 Gladiators became known as the J-2000 and J-3000 respectively. The Gladiator name was dropped in 1971, after which the pickup line was know as the J-Series through 1987.

In 2005, a new Gladiator concept vehicle was introduced as a prototype for the possible direction the Jeep® brand might take in the near future.

1965

TUXEDO PARK IV STORY

The Jeep® CJ-5A/CJ-6A Tuxedo Park Mark IV was a luxury special edition vehicle produced from 1964-1967. The Tuxedo Park model was available on the CJ-5A and CJ-6A. It included a chrome front bumper, hood badges, windshield hinges, tail lamps, hubcaps with "Jeep" emblem, and column shift, four-wheel drive and a 160 horsepower V-6 engine option. Jeep® CJ-5A Tuxedo Park's were used in Lyndon B. Johnson's inaugural presidential parade in 1965.

1966

JEEP® J-2000 / J-3000 TRUCK STORY

In late 1965, the J-200 and J-300 Jeep® Gladiators became known as the J-2000 and J-3000 respectively. The J-2000 featured a 120-inch wheelbase, and the J-3000 had a 126-inch wheelbase. They were available in two or four-wheel drive configurations.

The J-Series Truck featured two great engines: the now standard Jeep Hi-Torque 6, and the optional Vigilante V-8. You can get the Turbo-Hydra-Matic® automatic transmission along with a new, improved 4WD shift system and dual-range transfer case, new improved steering, optional full-time power steering, variable-rate rear springs ... plus spirited new paint and trim options.

In 1968, the J-3000 Truck (126-inch) featured stout Dana 44 front and Dana 53 axles with 4.27:1 standard gear and 350 cubic inch "Dauntless" V8 (Buick) engine and 4-speed transmission.

The Gladiator name was dropped in 1972.

1967

JEEP® SUPER WAGONEER STORY

In 1965, the Jeep® brand introduced the refined Super Wagoneer - the first true luxury 4x4. Also known as the "Super Custom," the upscale Wagoneer was designed for the prestige buyer who desired rugged versatility with sedan comfort. It featured a single-speed transfer case for all-weather capability.

Super Wagoneer sported many premium features including: air conditioning, power tailgate, power brakes, power steering, seven-position tilt steering wheel, tinted windows, three-tone body striping, vinyl roof, padded vinyl roof with chrome roof-rack, full wheel hubcaps, white-walled tires, powerful 327-cubic inch "Vigilante" four-barrel V8 engine (270 hp) with console-shifted TH400 "Turbo Hydra-Matic" automatic transmission - all standard.

With this high level of standard equipment, Super Wagoneer paved the way for the burgeoning luxury SUV market of today. The $5,943 MSRP was almost double that of the base Wagoneer, which set it apart from the masses.

1975 marked the introduction of the "woody treatment, a wood grain applique, a look that became synonymous with later Wagoneer's.

 

M-715 STORY

The M-715 series 1 1/4-ton military Jeep® vehicle was designed to replace the Dodge M37 series 3/4-ton vehicles that had been in military service since 1951. The M-715 was an adaptation of the Gladiator pickup truck, becoming the first tactical vehicle built primarily from civilian components.

The M-715 featured an inline 6-cylinder I-6 "Tornado" engine, T-98 four-speed transmission, NP200 transfer case with low range, Dana 60 front and Dana 70 full-floating rear axle with 5.87:1 axle ratio. Top speed was 55 mph.

The front grille fenders, hood, doors and cab were stamped from Gladiator dies, with modifications to the upper part of the cab and doors as well as the fender cutouts. The cargo box was an entirely military design.

The M-715 came in several variations, all built on the same frame and wheelbase: the M-724 cab ' chassis model, equipped with a welder, generator, and 8,000-pound winch; the M-725 standard army ambulance, the M-726 telephone maintenance truck with 8,000-pound PTO winch, and spotlight mounted on the left corner of the cowling.

Non-military government agencies also used the M-715 as well, including: fire, forestry, and fish / game departments.

 

JEEPSTER COMMANDO STATION WAGON STORY

During the late 1960s, Kaiser detected a growing interest in leisure time use of 4WD vehicles and capitalized on it with the introduction of a new series called Jeepster Commando. Kaiser Jeep borrowed the names of the Willys Jeepster and the Willys Commando Fire Truck for this sporty vehicle, designed to compete with the Bronco and Land Cruiser.

Launched with a youthful ad campaign promising seaside fun, the Commando was the first compact 4WD vehicle with automatic transmission and sported an interior "designed to handle the elements and impress the ladies on the beach."

The C-101 (101-inch wheelbase) was built on a CJ-6 chassis with four body options - roadster, pickup, power-top convertible, and station wagon (8705F).

Long a favorite among the Jeep® brand faithful, early versions of the Commando came with many desirable components, including the "Dauntless" V6, optional TH400 transmission, and full floating Dana 27 front and 44 rear axles.

One of the rarest of rare Jeep® vehicles is the 1971 Commando "Hurst Special," a AMC / Hurst joint promotion that featured a dual-gate Hurst shifter, ABS hood scoop, 8,000 rpm racing tach, and blue and red exterior rally stripes. Fewer than 100 were ever produced and are much sought-after among collectors.

Two versions were built: the 1967-1971 Jeepster Commando (C-101) and the AMC-inspired Commando (C-104) of 1972-1973 (dropped Jeepster from name). Several special editions of the Jeepster Commando were produced. The Jeep brand produced the SC-1 or Sport Commando in 1971, which came standard with a V6 engine and included a special "Butterscotch" paint job and "speed stripes."

A similar version with revised sheet metal was offered in 1972 as the SC-2. The Commando's front end was restyled in 1972 to accommodate the AMC 232 and 258 OHV six-cylinder and 304 V-8 engines. Many feel the departure from the traditional Jeep® grille brought on a quick demise for the Commando.

 

JEEPSTER COMMANDO CONVERTIBLE STORY

The Jeepster Convertible (C-101) was built on a CJ-6 chassis with four body options — roadster, station wagon, pickup, and power-top convertible.

Launched with a youthful ad campaign promising seaside fun, the Commando was the first compact 4x4 vehicle with automatic transmission and sported an interior "designed to handle the elements and impress the ladies on the beach".

Hearkening to the 1950s Jeepster, the 1967 convertible "classic" Jeepster look-a-like (model 8701) featured two-tone paint, fold-down top, and Continental Kit. A manually operated top came standard on the convertible, with an electro-hyraulic push-button as optional equipment. A Plain Jane, or "austere" model (8702) was available from 1968-1971.

 

JEEPSTER COMMANDO PICKUP STORY

The Jeepster Commando (C-101) was built on a CJ-6 chassis with four body options - Soft Top roadster, station wagon, power-top convertible, and pickup (model 8705H for half-metal cab and 87050 for no top).

Long a favorite among the Jeep® brand faithful, early versions of the 101-inch wheelbase Commando came with many desirable available components, including the all-new 160 hp "Dauntless" V6 engine, optional console-mounted TH400 transmission, and full floating Dana 27 front and 44 rear axles.

Cargo area in 1970 was 63-inches long, the spare tire was mounted to allow full use of the cargo area while still giving an unobstructed view through the full-width rear window.

Front suspension included multi-leaf springs with a stabilizer bar, rear suspension was asymmetrical single leaf springs with the axle mounted 5-inches ahead of the axle center. Car and Track magazine stated, "This suspension setup gave the best ride of any Jeep® (vehicle) we've ever ridden". "The Commando is smoother and more comfortable than any other 4X4 vehicle we've tested to date."

The Commando pickup was a hard working model that appealed to commercial industry.

1968

JEEPSTER COMMANDO ROADSTER STORY

The Jeepster Commando Roadster (C-101) was built on a CJ-6 chassis and was referenced as the model 8705. It featured an available half- or full-length removable Soft Top. A soft half-cab could be used with a bulkhead installed.

1969

J-4000 TRUCK STORY

The Jeep® Gladiator J-4000 Series pickup featured a new front clip, along 131-inch wheelbase. This brute featured a 19 spline Dana 44 front axle with D44, D53 or D60 rear. The standard powerplant was the 232 V6 engine. Engine options included the AMC 360 V8 and AMC 401 V8. In 1971, the Jeep® Gladiators were the only U.S. pickups to have four-wheel drive as standard and were completely at home in the toughest roughest country.

Available options included a power takeoff, dumper body, snowplow, wrecker package, and front-mounted winch.

A J-4800 Camper Special edition was available that could mount a living-space camper on the truck pickup body. This package featured a payload capacity of 3,930 pounds, extra-heavy-duty suspension, four-speed all-synchro transmission, heavy-duty cooling and 10-ply tires.

1970

JEEP® DJ DISPATCHER STORY

The Jeep® Dispatcher (DJ) was a two-wheel drive version of the popular CJ series.

The vehicle resembled the CJ, but was different in many ways; it was completely enclosed, rear wheel drive only, included sliding doors, and included a swinging rear door.

1971

COMMANDO HURST EDITION STORY

JEEPSTER COMMANDO HURST EDITION

One of the rarest of rare Jeep® vehicles is the '71 Commando "Hurst Special," a AMC / Hurst joint promotion that featured a dual-gate Hurst shifter, ABS hoodscoop, 8,000 rpm racing tach, and blue and red exterior rally stripes. Fewer than 100 were ever produced making it a favorite among collectors.

1972

J-10 TRUCK STORY

In 1971, the Jeep® trucks dropped the Gladiator name and offered the J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch) models. Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members.

All trucks shared the same body design as the Jeep® Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward, and were offered with traditional slab-sided or step-side bodies.

The J-10 J-Series pickup truck line included the Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 trim packages.

In 1976, the popular Honcho model appeared and added $699 over a standard custom level J-10 shortbed. It was the truck equivalent of the wide-track Cherokee Chief and included two versions: the step-bed Sportside and the Townside.

The Honcho included gold striping on the bedside, fenders and tailgate, wide 8x15-inch spoker wheels and off-road tires, Levi's denim interior, and sport steering wheel. The Laredo package was available along with the Honcho in 1980.

Produced in 1977-1983, the 1977 Golden Eagle package included a grille guard, driving lamps, pick-up bed roll bar, eight-inch wheels, Levi's seats, accent stripes and an eagle hood decal - all for a $749 premium.

The 10-4 trim package was produced from 1974-1983. The 1978 package consisting mostly of color choices and detailing, the 10-4 package also offered an optional, factory-installed CB radio.

 

JEEP® CJ-5 RENEGADE

Renegade models typically featured a 304 cubic inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels, and a Trac-Lok® limited slip rear differential.

A special run of 600 Jeep® Renegade II models with 200 each painted Baja Yellow, Mint Green, and Riverside Orange were produced in 1971. Also, 150 were finished in Big Bad Orange early in the run (not shown).

For 1976 AMC reintroduced the "Super Jeep" (also offered in 1973) This unique CJ-5 featured special striping on the hood and seats, chrome front bumper, roll bar, 258 OHV inline six, black rubber lip extensions on the fenders, and oversize Polyglas white-walled tires.

1973

JEEP® CJ-5 UNIVERSAL

Beginning in 1973, all Jeep® CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines. Renegade models typically featured a 304 cubic inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels, and a Trac-Lok® limited slip rear differential.

Many special editions were offered, including the 1964-1967 "luxury" Tuxedo Park, the 1969 Camper, the 1969 "462", the 1970 Renegade I, the 1971 Renegade II, the 1972-1983 Golden Eagle, and 1973 and 1976 Super Jeep. A two-wheel driver version DJ-5 was offered through 1974. A popular and enduring legend, the CJ-5 has probably logged more trail miles than any other Jeep® vehicle. Spanning thirty years, the CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle.

The CJ-5 / camper was marketed as a new camping concept. It featured a unique industry-first detaching system that made removal of the camper a simple operation.

1974

J-20 TRUCK STORY

In 1974, the Jeep® Trucks changed names to either the J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch) models. Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members.

The J-20 was the higher GVW (gross vehicle weight) rated truck in the lineup, ranging in capacity from "heavy" half-ton to over one-ton capacity and even dual rear wheel configuration.

In the J-series years there were also J-30 series trucks produced.

1975

JEEP® CHEROKEE (SJ)

The new Cherokee was a sporty, two-door version of the Wagoneer and featured bucket seats, a sports steering wheel, and racy detailing designed to appeal to younger, more adventurous drivers.

In February 1974, the Jeep® Cherokee was the 1st vehicle to win Four Wheeler magazine's Achievement Award that we know today as the Four Wheeler of the Year award.

In 1975, the Cherokee was offered in two body styles: the Cherokee wide-track with three-inch wider axles and fender flares, and the Cherokee with normal size axles and no fender flares. A four-door version of the Cherokee was available by 1977.

Besides the base Cherokee, options packages offered over Cherokee's nine-year run included the Cherokee S, Cherokee Chief, Laredo, and Golden Eagle.

 

CHEROKEE CHIEF STORY

AMC brought back the two-door Wagoneer as the youth-oriented Cherokee.

The new Cherokee was a sporty, two-door version of the Wagoneer and featured bucket seats, a sports steering wheel, and racy detailing designed to appeal to younger, more adventurous drivers.

In February 1974, the Jeep® Cherokee was the 1st vehicle to win Four Wheeler magazine's Achievement Award that we know today as the Four Wheeler of the Year award.

In January of 1975, the Jeep® Cherokee Chief was introduced. The Wide-Track option was available with key upgraded interior and exterior features: exterior stripes, larger wheels, three-inch-wider axles, larger front and rear wheel cutouts, Dana 44 front and rear axles and a nicer interior. The package retailed for $349 more than the "S" model.

Besides the base Cherokee, options packages offered over Cherokee's nine-year run included the Cherokee S, Cherokee Chief, Laredo, and Golden Eagle.

1976

JEEP® J-10 HONCHO STORY

In 1976, the popular Honcho model appeared and added $699 over a standard custom level J-10 shortbed. It was the truck equivalent of the wide-track Cherokee Chief and included two versions: the step-bed Sportside and the Townside.

The Honcho included gold striping on the bedside, fenders and tailgate, wide 8x15-inch spoker wheels and off-road tires, Levi's denim interior, and sport steering wheel.

The Laredo package replaced the Honcho in 1983.

 

JEEP® CJ-7 STORY

In 1976, AMC introduced the CJ-7, the seventh generation of the original vehicle and the first major change in Jeep® design in 20 years.

The CJ-7 had a slightly longer wheelbase than the CJ-5 in order to allow space for an automatic transmission. The CJ-7 featured squared-off door openings vs. the CJ-5's rounded door openings. A quick way to distinguish the two apart.

For the first time, the CJ-7 offered an optional molded plastic top and steel doors.

Both the 93.5-inch wheelbase CJ-7 and 83.5-inch wheelbase CJ-5 models were built until 1983 when demand for the CJ-7 left AMC no choice but to discontinue the CJ-5, after a 30-year production run.

The Renegade came on the heels of the 1969 "462" CJ-5 package, which was a mostly functional package of performance goodies like oversized tires, roll bar, lower gearing, and a limited slip differential.

In 1970 came the Renegade I, which was still based on the Kaiser V6 powered short-nose CJ-5. Ditto the Renegade II. In '72, the long-nose AMC powered CJ debuted and the vehicles became simply "Renegade."

Through '75, the Renegade package included the 304-inch V8 and lots of functional goodies, such as alloy wheels, big tires, limited slip, etc.

1977

JEEP® GOLDEN EAGLE STORY

The Golden Eagle option package was a $200 premium above the Renegade package. It originally included an eagle decal on the hood, larger tires, Levi's Soft Top, rear-mounted spare, wheel lip extensions, spare tire lock, Convenience group, Décor group, tachometer carpeting and clock.

A 1980 Jeep® CJ-7 Golden Eagle named "Dixie" was made famous by Daisy Duke on the popular show Dukes of Hazzard. The vehicle is now on display in the Dukes of Hazzard Museum in Nashville, TN.

The CJ-5 Golden Eagle package was available from 1977-1983.

1978

1970S WAGONEER STORY

American Motors Corporation acquired Kaiser Jeep Corporation in early 1970. The Jeep® Wagoneer continued to be refined and upgraded with many advances coming throughout the decade. A new AMC 360 cu in V8 and later 401 cu in V8 were introduced. The innovative Quadra-Trac® 4X4 system revolutionized the industry with full-time (no manual-shifting) capability.

The Wagoneer Limited (1978-79) was the spiritual successor to the Super Wagoneer and was later renamed the Grand Wagoneer. The Limited was the most luxurious 4x4 ever produced at that time.

Road & Track magazine called it, "The Champagne of 4-wheel-drives."

1980

CJ-5 LAREDO STORY

The Laredo package was offered in the CJ line from 1980 to 1986. The typical package included a chrome grille, bumpers, wheels, hood emblem, and trim.

Since then, the Laredo name has carried on in several Jeep® models until the current day, and has come to represent an upper-middle trim package with stylish accents.

1981

CJ-10 STORY

Never available on the domestic civilian market, the CJ-10 was a 1/2- or 3/4-ton Jeep pickup truck with square headlights (like those found on the later Wrangler) and an unusual nine-slot grille. They are often seen in Australia. The CJ-10 featured a Nissan SD33 3.3L V6 diesel engine mated to a Chrysler 727 automatic transmission.

CJ10's were locked in low-range from the factory and featured unique fender-mounted headlamps.

The CJ-10A, also known as the Flightline Tow Tractor, was a reliable tug used to tow planes on runways around the world. The U.S. Air Force bought the bulk of the CJ-10As. The CJ-10A was produced from 1984-1986.

Jeep® CJ-10 shown.

 

SCRAMBLER CJ-8 STORY

After the CJ-6 was phased out in 1975, Jeep® brand owners again clamored for more room. AMC answered with the CJ-8 "Scrambler." This small pickup truck was similar to the CJ-7, but featured a longer 103-inch wheelbase and featured a long rear overhang for increased cargo space.

Componentry largely paralleled the CJ-7's, though a V8 was never offered in the CJ-8, and six-cylinder Scramblers could get the AMC Model 904 automatic transmission.

Known internationally as the CJ-8, the open cab pickup was available in either Soft Top or hardtop configurations. A steel hardtop version of the Scrambler was exported to Australia, and a popular U.S. Government service agency in Alaska employed insulated panel-delivery Scramblers with automatic transmissions.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan was popularly seen driving his Blue Scrambler at "Rancho De Cielo" ranch.

The Scrambler was replaced by the similarly sized Jeep® Comanche Pick-up Truck. Not a hot seller in its day, today Scramblers are extremely popular among collectors and off-road builders alike.

1982

CJ-7 LAREDO STORY

The Laredo package was offered in the CJ-7 line from 1982 to 1986. The typical package included a chrome grille, bumpers, wheels, hood emblem, and trim.

Since then, the Laredo name has carried on in several Jeep® models until the current day, and has come to represent an upper-middle trim package with stylish accents.

1983

1980S J-10 TRUCK STORY

In 1971, the Jeep® trucks dropped the Gladiator name and offered the J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch) models. Improvements included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members.

The J-10 J-Series pickup truck line included the Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 trim packages.

The J-20 was the higher GVW (gross vehicle weight) rated truck in the lineup, ranging in capacity from "heavy" half-ton to over one-ton capacity and even dual rear wheel configuration.

In the J-series years there were also J-30 series trucks produced.

All trucks shared the same body design as the Jeep® Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward, and were offered with traditional slab-sided or step-side bodies.

The 10-4 trim package was produced from 1974-1983. The1978 package consisting mostly of color choices and detailing, the 10-4 package also offered an optional, factory-installed CB radio.

Produced in 1977-1983, the 1977 Golden Eagle package included a grille guard, driving lamps, pick-up bed roll bar, eight-inch wheels, denim seats, accent stripes and an eagle hood decal - all for a $749 premium.

1984

1980S GRAND WAGONEER STORY

In 1984, AMC transferred the Jeep® Wagoneer and Cherokee names to the small unibody XJs. The full-size SJ Wagoneer was preserved until 1991, however, under the "Grand Wagoneer" name.

Marketed as a more luxurious SUV, it was also one of the last vehicles sold in North America with a carburetor.

The 1991 model was available with a "Final Edition" badge on the dashboard.

Considered "the gold standard of the SUV market"

1985

JEEP® CHEROKEE STORY

After its own market research convinced AMC that the future lay in compact SUVs, the automaker pumped $250 million into the design and production of the new compact XJ Cherokee and Wagoneer sports wagons. XJ designs date back to 1978, when a team of AMC and Renault engineers drew sketches and made clay models from the existing SJ Cherokee, but the all-new XJ series finally made its well-received debut in 1984, when it scored an unprecedented sweep of the "4x4 of the Year" awards by three primary off-road magazines.

The 1984 Jeep® Cherokee was a revolutionary vehicle: 21 inches shorter, 6-inches narrower, 4 inches lower, and 1,000 pounds lighter than the full-size Wagoneer (SJ). It was built with a revolutionary unibody instead of a traditional chassis-and-frame.

The XJ was the first vehicle with two available 4X4 systems: Command-Trac® part-time and Selec-Trac® full-time 4X4. XJs have proven enduringly popular with 4X4 enthusiasts for their off-highway abilities and wide availability of aftermarket modifications.

Until 1988, the Cherokee was the only compact SUV to offer both two- and four-door models. Originally fitted with the choice of a 2.5L four-cylinder engine or a 2.8L V-6, the venerable 4.0L inline-six engine debuted in 1987.

There were 14 trim models throughout the years: Base, SE, Wagoneer Limited, Briarwood, Pioneer, Pioneer Olympic Edition, Chief, Sport, Country, Classic, Limited, Laredo, Freedom, and 60th Anniversary Edition.

1986

JEEP® COMANCHE STORY

The Jeep® Comanche (also called the MJ) was a pickup version of the XJ Cherokee. Comanche pickup originally sported much identical running gear to the XJ, though you could get a 2.1L Renault I-4 diesel engine for the '86 MJ model year.

The Comanche was a unibody vehicle, making it unique among pickups. It was available as the short-bed Comanche Sport Truck and the long-bed Comanche Chief.

The last Comanche marked the end of the Jeep pickup line that began in 1947.

1987

JEEP® WRANGLER (YJ) STORY

The Jeep® Wrangler (YJ) replaced the long-lived CJ Series. It had a wider track, angled grille, rectangular headlamps, and a modernized interior. All this made it a very "civilized" Jeep Wrangler.

Although the Wrangler shared the familiar open-body profile of the CJ-7, it contained few common parts with its famous predecessor. Mechanically, the Wrangler had more in common with the Cherokee than the CJ-7. The Wrangler YJ had square headlights, which was a first (and last) for this type of Jeep® vehicle.

Wrangler trim levels included: Base ("S" or "SE"), Laredo, Islander, Sport, Sahara, Renegade, and Rio Grande.

On Aug. 5, 1987, about a year after the introduction of the Wrangler, American Motors Corporation was sold to the Chrysler Corporation and the popular Jeep® brand became a part of Chrysler Jeep / Eagle Division.

1988

JEEP® WAGONEER STORY

The family-oriented Jeep® Wagoneer was a variation on the Cherokee (XJ). It was sold in two trim levels: the Wagoneer and the Wagoneer Limited. Both Wagoneers were distinguished from the Cherokee by their four headlamps, with vinyl wood side trim special to the Limited. The Base model had a higher level of trim than the Cherokee XJ models, but less than the top-of-the-line Limited.

It was available with either the "part-time" Command-Trac® or a "full-time" Selec-Trac® 4WD system. Command-Trac featured shift-on-the-fly capability allowing the driver to shift into or out of 4WD while the vehicle is in motion. The sophisticated full-time Selec-Trac is engaged at all times and features a special viscious coupling that eliminates the binding, or "crow hopping," that occurs when most 4WDs are operated on dry pavement.

1993

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE (ZJ) STORY

The Jeep® Grand Cherokee (ZJ) famously first appeared by crashing through the convention center glass at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit during its introduction there on Jan. 7, 1992. The Grand Cherokee replaced the Wagoneer as a mid-sized luxury SUV – a design class many automakers would rush to imitate.

The first SUV equipped with a driver's side air bag, it set new standards for on-road ride, handling and comfort in an SUV. The Grand Cherokee was immediately popular and won dozens of awards, including Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the YearFour Wheelermagazine's Four Wheeler of the Year and4Wheel & Off-Road magazine's 4x4 of the Year for 2003.

New for '93, the 105.9-inch-wheelbase Grand Cherokee took Cherokee's levels of refinement to a new level. A new Quadra-Coil™ suspension featured coil / multilink configuration, a 5.2L V8 engine was offered as an option, and a Dana 44 rear axle was available for some models.

ZJs originally came in three trims options: Base, Laredo, and Limited. Specialty models included the Orvis (1995-97), a Limited custom with an exterior color scheme of hunter green with gold striping. Its interior sported two-tone green and champagne seats complimented with red accents and Orvis badging.

1994

GRAND WAGONEER STORY

The Jeep® Grand Wagoneer ZJ was a rare version of the Grand Cherokee that was offered only in 1993. It was a top-of-the-line package that offered every ZJ option, including the V8, as well as a look that harkened back to the recently deceased SJ Grand Wagoneer. It was offered as a totally separate model, the woodgrain side setting it apart.

1995

JEEP STORY

The Grand Cherokee replaced the Grand Wagoneer as a mid-sized luxury SUV – a design class many automakers would rush to imitate.

Refreshed with over 40 major advancements, the 1996 Jeep® Grand Cherokee wins “4x4 of the Year” and “Four Wheeler of the Year” again.

In 1998, the legend continued with the introduction of the quickest and most powerful Jeep® vehicle ever: the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L Limited.

1997

WRANGLER (TJ) STORY

Considered the Ultimate Escape Machine. The 1997 Jeep® Wrangler (TJ) offered outstanding on-road handling and legendary off-road capability. The all-new 1997 Jeep Wrangler won the prestigious "4x4 of the Year" award.

The new Wrangler had a retro-look very similar to the CJ-7, but was very different from a mechanical standpoint. Nearly 80 percent of the vehicle parts were newly designed. Starting with the basic Wrangler platform, Jeep engineers gave the Jeep the most thorough overhaul since the Quad evolved into the MB.

The biggest engineering change on the TJ was the new Quadra-Coil™ suspension, which replaced standard leaf-springs and provided a greatly improved on-road ride. Off-road capabilities were enhanced with increased ground clearance and more aggressive approach and departure angles. The TJ also featured a new interior, including driver and passenger air bags.

The TJ retained several classic Jeep features such as round headlights (no longer square), a fold-down windshield (first seen in 1940) and removable doors, as well as a choice of a Soft Top or removable hardtop. A factory-fitted sport bar was also standard. The TJ engine is the same 4.0L AMC Straight-6 used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

The TJ Wrangler line has garnered rave reviews since its debut and is proving to be an extremely adaptable trail vehicle, with a growing variety of aftermarket performance parts now available.

In 2003, the Jeep brand introduced the most capable Wrangler ever — Rubicon. The Wrangler Unlimited debuted in 2004 with a longer wheelbase, 13 inches more cargo room and enhanced on-road riding comfort.

1999

GRAND CHEROKEE (WJ) STORY

In 1999, the new Grand Cherokee debuted as "The Most Capable Sport Utility Ever" and swept the major 4x4 award competitions.

The revised WJ was a complete redesign and featured better ride and handling as well as the addition of the powerful and 4.7L V8 and Quadra-Drive® 4X4 system. Though the look carried over many design highlights from the previous model, there were only 127 carryover parts.

An available 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine and upscale amenities to make luxury car buyers envious.

2002

LIBERTY (KJ) STORY

The venerable Jeep® Cherokee (XJ) was phased out in 2001 its replacement was the Liberty (KJ). The new Liberty featured time-tested design cues like round headlamps and seven-slot grille. The Liberty infused bold engineering advances like independent front suspension and a new 3.7L V6 to replace the longstanding 4.0L I-6 engine.

Four-wheel drive is via Command-Trac®; Liberty Limited models received the full-time Selec-Trac® and 3.73:1 axles as standard. For the 2005 model year, Liberty was offered with an optional 2.8L turbo diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission.

2003

WRANGLER RUBICON (TJ) STORY

The Jeep® Rubicon was the most capable vehicle in its storied history. Named after the legendary off-road trail in California, this special Wrangler was designed specifically for hard-core off-road enthusiasts.

It was equipped with push-button-actuated front and rear differentials (lockers), a 4:1 low-range Rock-Trac® t-case with flange output shaft, four-wheel disc brakes, diamond-plate sill guards, and beefed up components from top to bottom.

2004

WRANGLER UNLIMITED (TJ-L) STORY

In 2004, the Jeep® brand offered a “stretched” version of the TJ, Wrangler Unlimited. Ten inches longer in wheelbase and 15-inches longer in overall length, the Unlimited offered more leg room, more interior storage space, and greatly enhanced on-road handling.

The Unlimited was slightly different from the long military TJ-L model, adding five-inches of rear overhang but having less space in the mid-body.

The increased wheelbase offered more refined on-road comfort, as well as more versatility and increased towing capacity to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

In 2005 the Jeep brand introduced the Rubicon Unlimited – it featured the wheelbase of the Unlimited and off-road features of the Rubicon.

2005

2004 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LAREDO

The all-new Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WK) debuted in 2004 as a 2005 model. This revamped Grand Cherokee combined power, luxury and a significantly quieter, more comfortable ride.

Jeep engineers worked hard to improve on-road refinement by adding a short / long-arm independent front suspension similar to the 2002 Liberty.

The ground-up transformation continued with a choice of three power plants including the mighty 5.7L 330 hp HEMI® V8. The available full-time Quadra-Drive II® 4X4 system featured front and rear limited slip differentials and a center differential-lock which operated in low-range.

An all-new Grand Cherokee (WK) was introduced in 2011.

2006

COMMANDER (XK) STORY

The 2006 Commander was the first seven-passenger Trail Rated® Jeep® 4x4.

Based on the '05 Grand Cherokee (WK) platform, the boxy Commander was only slightly longer than the WK (two inches), but a three-inches-higher stepped roofline and stadium-style seating arrangement allowed for an extra row of seats in back. The Commander's boxy styling–with upright windshield and squared-off sides–instantly distinguished it from its cousin.

Basic power-and drivetrain offerings were the same as the Grand Cherokee. As with most Jeep 4x4 models, the Commander carried the Jeep Trail Rated badge. To be certified as Trail Rated, a vehicle must meet performance standards in traction, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability, and water fording.

2007

JEEP® COMPASS STORY

First appearing at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, the Jeep® Compass is a compact crossover SUV that features available Trail Rated® capability.

The vehicle is front-wheel-drive with a choice of two available electronically controlled 4x4 systems for all-weather use: Freedom Drive I™, a full-time system for on-road use, or Freedom Drive II ®, that is off-road capable.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Compass. This unique vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging and more.

 

PATRIOT STORY

The Jeep® Patriot is a compact crossover SUV that features available Trail Rated® capability.

The vehicle is front-wheel-drive with a choice of two available electronically controlled 4x4 systems for all-weather use: Freedom Drive I™, a full-time system for on-road use, or Freedom Drive II ®, that is off-road capable.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Patriot. This unique vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging and more.

 

JEEP® WRANGLER (JK) STORY

Wrangler is the ultimate, all-American 4x4 freedom machine - the Jeep® brand's modern-day descendant of the original, heroic Willys MB.

The 2007 Wrangler 4x4's signature round headlamps, iconic seven-slot grille, solid axles, removable doors, exposed hinges, fold-down windshield, innovative removable and convertible tops all honor Jeep brand heritage while signaling new levels of capability and versatility.

Building on the successful, original Jeep formula with an All-New frame, exterior and interior design, engine and Safety / Security and convenience features.

The Wrangler is certified with a Jeep Trail Rated® badge, verifying that the vehicle is able to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording. In short, the Wrangler is designed to satisfy hardened off-road enthusiasts and luxury SUV drivers alike, with minimal compromise to either extreme.

For 2011, all Wrangler 4x4s boasted an All-New interior, and Sahara models featured a more premium body-color hardtop. Wrangler Unlimited combined class-leading off-road capability with everyday practicality including room for five adult passengers and the most cargo space ever offered in a Wrangler.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Wrangler. This unique vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging, and more.

2011 Jeep Wrangler 70th Anniversary Edition (JK) shown

 

WRANGLER UNLIMITED STORY

Wrangler is the ultimate, all-American 4x4 freedom machine - the Jeep® brand's modern-day descendant of the original, heroic Willys MB. Featuring a one-of-a-kind, four-door open-air design, the JK Wrangler represents the most seamless integration of off-road ruggedness and passenger luxury in its 70 plus years of Jeep brand history.

Building on the successful, original Jeep formula with an All-New frame, exterior and interior design, engine, and convenience features, the JK delivers more capability, refinement, interior space and comfort, open-air fun, power, fuel efficiency and Safety / Security features.

For 2011, all Wrangler 4x4s boasted an All-New interior, and Sahara models featured a more premium body-color hardtop. Wrangler Unlimited combined class-leading off-road capability with everyday practicality including room for five adult passengers and the most cargo space ever offered in a Wrangler.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Wrangler / Wrangler Unlimited. This unique vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging, and more.

2008

LIBERTY (KK) STORY

In 2008, the All-New Jeep® Liberty (KK), with its rugged, classic Jeep brand design, replaced the softer, more rounded Liberty (KJ).

Jeep brand engineers sought to improve the Liberty vehicle's on-road refinement and strengthen its off-road abilities. As a result, All-New independent front and five-link suspension systems, along with an All-New available Selec-Trac® II full-time 4x4 system were developed, giving the Liberty refined on-road handling without compromising the vehicle's off-road attributes.

On the inside, seat comfort, cargo capacity+ and passenger room were improved. Liberty featured an available Sky Slider Roof® that delivered a true Jeep open-air experience.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Liberty. This vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging, and more.

The venerable Liberty was retired in 2012 and replaced in the lineup by the All-New 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

2011

GRAND CHEROKEE (WK-NEW) STORY

All-New for 2011 and more than 4 million sales after the first Grand Cherokee, the Jeep® brand improved the formula and delivered the perfect blend of on-road refinement and off-road capability.

The All-New WK provided premium on-road performance, legendary Jeep brand craftsmanship, improved efficiency, a world-class interior, a sleek new exterior design, true American craftsmanship and a host of Safety & Security and technology features.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging, and more.

The award-winning Grand Cherokee was refreshed in 2013 with many new styling cues along with a new 3.0L EcoDiesel engine+ and eight-speed automatic transmission.

2014

JEEP® CHEROKEE (KL) STORY

 

The All-New 2014 Jeep® Cherokee replaces the Liberty — promising to redefine the midsize segment. The Jeep brand dug back and tapped into the Cherokee name for launch for this forward thinking vehicle. The progressive Cherokee redefines the midsize segment with Best-in-Class 4x4 capability+, a fresh appearance, outstanding efficiency, uncommon versatility and refined manners for everyday use.

Cherokee introduced four models in 2014: Sport, Latitude, Limited and the Trail Rated®Trailhawk®. The rugged Trailhawk is styled, equipped, and engineered to take capability in this segment to a new height. Cherokee Trailhawk has Best-in-Class 4x4 Capability+thanks to a lifted off-road suspension with skid plates, tow hooks, Selec-Terrain®traction control, Jeep Active Drive Lock with rear locker, Selec-Speed Crawl Control with 56:1 crawl ratio+ and aggressive approach, departure and breakover angles.

The new modern, progressive and aerodynamic design helped the Jeep brand move into the next era with global appeal defined by its efficient shape and signature Jeep brand DNA. Setting a benchmark for the industry, the Cherokee was the first mid-size SUV to offer as standard a nine-speed automatic transmission on all trims, The All-New 3.2L Pentastar® V6 and 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir®2 engines dramatically improved efficiency and refinement.

The precisely crafted interior features hand-sculpted forms with high-quality materials. More than 70 advanced Safety & Security features and innovative connectivity features push Cherokee to new territories of user-friendly design and state-of-the-art. high-tech features that evolve.