Jeep- The history
World War II gave us this emblematic lightweight vehicle; Jeep. In order to replace the Ford Model-T vehicles and military motorcycles, the US Army requested the automakers to develop light reconnaissance vehicles. They gave out detailed specifications on the type of vehicle they wanted.
American Bantam Car manufacturing company and Willys-Overland stepped forward to design a vehicle according to the given specifications. Later on, Ford entered the competition as well, and the three companies started working on making out a design. All three manufacturers presented a model in the summer of 1940. After proper testing and evaluation in subsequent rounds, Willys MB Jeep won the military contract to manufacture the Jeep as a military vehicle.
The CJ-3A version of Jeep was introduced in 1948 that had almost similar features to the previous one. However, there was an additional windscreen and a more powerful rear axle. Later on, an updated version of CJ-3A, the M38, was introduced, with which came the updated Jeep Owner’s Manual. This model had many changes, the essential ones being a stronger frame and suspension. It also had a waterproof 23-volt electrical system, transmission, transfer case, sealed vent system for the engine, brake system, and fuel system. Around 60,000 of these were manufactured that were seen in the service till the late 1970s.
The All-New Wagoneer was manufactured in 1963 and was all about innovation and refinement. This was an amazing four-wheel-drive vehicle that was combined with automatic transmission, being the very first modern SUV. Around 14 models of this vehicle were introduced for luxury transportation, recreation, and work. Wagoneer was specifically designed to provide passenger comfort. It was the first 4×4 vehicle that had an independent front suspension. The modern frame and styling of this vehicle quickly grabbed the attention of the masses.
It was later named Grand Wagoneer in 1984, so it corresponds with the Cherokee XJ models.
All the Jeep CJ models carried AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V8 engines. Renegade models came equipped with a 304 cubic inch V8 engine. Renegade I and Renegade II were special editions of the 1970s. At the same time, the 1973 and 1976 Super Jeep were also introduced.
Then it was in 1974-1983 when the ultimate two-door Jeep Cherokee arrived. It was a sporty version of Wagoneer with an owner’s manual containing detail on maintenance and troubleshooting and was manufactured especially for the recreational market. Cherokee was undoubtedly one of the best off-road vehicles that came in various amazing color combinations. It also became the first-ever vehicle to win the Four Wheeler Magazine’s Achievement Award.
The 4×4 market was revolutionized by the all-new Jeep Cherokee XJ in the 1980s. Since the Wagoneer, Cherokee XJ was the first all-new Jeep. AMC spent around $250 million in making the design and production of this Cherokee XJ from scratch. This amazing Jeep received the 4×4 of the year award as well. In order to retain the durability and maintain the robotic assembly and handling, the XJ was manufactured with a hybrid body and unibody construction.
It was a revolutionary vehicle that was six inches narrower, 21 inches shorter, half a ton lighter, and four inches lower compared to the previous Cherokee model. The owner’s Manual contained safety instructions on maintaining this beast.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer made its way to the market in 1993 for a year only. This vehicle was the pioneer in the luxury SUV. It presented increased horsepower and torque and was equipped with some amazing features.
Then came the outstanding Wrangler, which had both off-road and on-road capabilities. Wrangler was the fifth Jeep to win the ‘4×4 of the Year award. The overall look of the Wrangler was thoroughly designed, which made it unique from the previous models.
Another thing that made Wrangler stand out was its Quadra Coil suspension, which made it an amazing on-road vehicle. On the other hand, improved axle articulation and ground clearance made it a better off-road car.
2000 – Present Day Jeep
The Wrangler Rubicon, manufactured in 2003, was one of its kind that shook the industry for once. Then there came a more robust and luxurious Grand Cherokee that debuted in 2004. The car had better on-road refinement with the addition of short/long arm independent front suspension.
The first seven-passenger 4×4 Jeep Commander was introduced in 2006. This vehicle was different in appearance from other Jeeps of its kind as it had an upright windshield and squared-off sides.
In 2009, Jeep was part of a merger that became the company Fiat-Chrysler, due to global economic conditions and bankruptcy. As a result, global sales of the Jeep were higher than ever during the 2010s. Compass, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Renegade were some of the best-selling models.
The classic body is back again, but with a touch of advanced technologies. The three-row Grand Jeep Cherokee L is an incredible addition to the market. The newer Jeep models manufactured in the 2020s come with more style, comfort, and adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the name JEEP?
The company was named after the military term GP, or General Purpose vehicle.
What do Jeep owners refer to themselves and other Jeep owners as?
Why do people put rubber ducks on other people’s Jeeps?
It’s a game called ‘Duck, Duck, Jeep’, it was started by a Jeep owner in Ontario Canada in 2020, as a way to make other Jeepers smile, and quickly turned into a craze.