Jeep History and Models from 1941-2019

Jeep History and Models from 1941-

Already in 1940, the U.S. military informed automobile manufacturers about the need for a "light reconnaissance vehicle" to replace the former Army motorcycle and modified Ford Model-T Vehicles. The Army asked 135 manufacturers to apply for the production and developed an extensive list of specifications that should fulfill the new vehicle:

• 272 kg payload
• Wheelbase less than 190 cm
• Height less than 91 cm
• From three to 80 kilometers per hour quiet running engine
• Rectangular body
• Four wheel drive with low range gearing
• Fold-down windshield
• Three individual seats
• Travel and blackout headlights
• tare weight less than 590 kg

'Willys-Overland' and 'American Bantam Car Manufacturing Company' were at first the only companies which responded to the call.

Soon after also followed the Ford Motor Company, and as the race between the three of them began for the lucrative government contract. Each company built prototypes in record time for testing.

Bantam's chief engineer worked on a construction  with  the leading  team of senior bantam employees and delivered a first vehicle within the demanded 49 days.

Delmar G. Roos, Willys-Overland's vice president of engineering, designed the "Willys Quad" and Ford developed the well known "Pygmy" . Each company delivered its prototype in the summer of 1940 to the army and received the approval for the construction of seventy test vehicles right after.

It was in November 1940, when the army took over these vehicles in the testing bases Camp Holabird, Maryland, USA, a few miles southeast of Baltimore. Each of the three constructions weighed more than the required 590 kg. The army quickly realized that this limit could not be reached and increased it for the next round of vehicles.

The next contracts were issued by the Army in March 1941. Bantam was supposed to build 1500 copies of his 'Model 40 BRC vehicle' Ford made 1500 modified and improved "Pygmies" and Willys supplied 1500 Quads. Further testing and assessments led then,  because of the comparison to competitors strongest and most reliable engine as well as the favorable price, for the selection of Willys as the priority Manufacturer of the new vehicle.

July 15 1941, the U.S. Army and the American car manufacturer Willys-Overland signed a contract for the production of 16,000 "Willys", an agile, robust and reliable military vehicle.

With several modifications and improvements the Willys Quad eventually became the Willys MA, and later the MB. But the army and the world should get to know him as the Jeep

Jeep Grille Logo

Some saw the name Jeep as slurring of the letters "GP" the military abbreviation for "General Purpose" Others found their origin in "Eugene the Jeep", a popular figure of the Popeye comics. howsoever: The name found its way into the American dictionary and serves to this day as a generic term for SUVs.

The Willys MA had a column gear shift, deep entry openings in the body, two round instruments in the dashboard and the handbrake lever on the left side of the driver. Willys tried to reduce the empty weight to the new Army specification of 980 kilograms. Everything removed out of the MA, found its way back to the vehicle with the MB the result was an empty weight of only 181 kg over the limit.

As a result Willys-Overland built more than 368,000 robust, reliable and mostly olive-colored vehicles. Famous forever, for helping with the successful conclusion of a war.

Willys registered the name "Jeep" after the war as a brand name and planned the conversion into an off-road vehicle for agriculture - the "civilian Universal Jeep". One of Willys' Slogans at this time was "The Sun Never Sets on the Mighty Jeep" which the company used to emphasized the origin of the world famous Willys.

Today, 70 years later, more than 15 million vehicles were built by Jeep. From the Successor of the Willys MB, the CJ models to the Wagoneer, Cherokee and Wrangler to the Jeep Grand
Cherokee, the model that reinvented the premium segment of SUV for nearly two decades.

In Europe, including in Austria the offer of Jeep contains four models: the new Compass as a compact, urban introduction to the world of Jeep, the successful luxury Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with its long wheelbase, the further improved driving comfort and the enchanting space is also very interesting for families.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary Jeep offers in Europe special "70th Anniversary Edition" models for Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited and Compass. These models are, amongst other features, equipped with: special 18-inch aluminum-Wheels, seat covers with perforated leather inserts embossed with the Jeep logo, decorative stitching on the leather-steering wheel and armrests and center console, a special color for display
instruments and needles as well as a 70th Anniversary badge equipped.


Willys MB: 1941-1945

Willys MB year 1941-1945  Willys MB year 1941-1945
The Willys MB counts as the ancestor of all "Jeeps". The willys was built in very large quantities for the U.S. Army. With its 60 PS and the short wheelbase it is very robust and agile. The civil version  was built by Willys Overland as Kaiser Jeep. Engine: L-Head four-cylinder engine, type L134 nickname "Willys Go Devil"

Willys M38: 1950-1952

Willys M38 year 1950-1952  Willys M38 year 1950-1952
Willys M38, known as Willys MC. From 1950 he replaced the Willys MB and the Ford GPW of the Second World War. Over 60,000 units were produced from 1950-1952. With its 60 PS and the short wheelbase, it was robust and manoeuvrable. The civilian version, the M38 was built the same time as the Jeep CJ3A. The Differences to the civilian Jeep CJ3A are for example: the brake and the fuel system the reinforced frame and suspension, a waterproof 24-volt ignition system as well as the sealed Engine and transmission ventilation. Engine: L-head, four-cylinder in-line engine, type L134 "Willys Go Devil"

Jeep CJ-2A: 1945-1949

Jeep CJ-2A year 1945-1949  Jeep CJ-2A year 1945-1949
The first "civilian" Jeep, the CJ-2A, was built from 1945. with a rear-mounted Spare tire, larger headlights, an external fuel tank nozzle (at the MA / MB the tank was under the driver's seat , filled directly from the interior) and many other details that were not part of the military version. Some Features of the CJ-2A - such as the 2196 ccm 134cui L-Head engine, the T-90A transmission, Spicer 18 transfer case and the quick-release axles Dana 25 front and Dana 41 or 23 rear axle - were to be found in numerous Jeep vehicles in the coming years. The CJ-2A was built for five years.

Jeep CJ-3A: 1949-1953

Jeep CJ-3A year 1949-1953  Jeep CJ-3A year 1949-1953
Announced in 1948, the CJ-3A was very similar to its predecessor, but had a one-piece windscreen and a more robust rear axle. He kept  the original so-called L-Head 134cui four-cylinder engine in which the arrangement of the stationary side of the cylinder valves were forming the shape of an upside-down "L". The pictures show the Military version M38.

Jeep CJ-3B: 1953-1968

Jeep CJ-3B year 1953-1968  Jeep CJ-3B year 1953-1968
The CJ was modernized in 1953 to the CJ-3B. It is made ​​with similarities to its military predecessor but with a higher front grill and the higher hood. Both were necessary for the new "Hurricane" F-Head four-cylinder engine. The CJ-3B remained in production until 1968. During this time a total of 155.494 copies were manufactured in the United States. 1953 Henry J. Kaiser bought the company Willys-Overland for 60 million U.S. dollars.The Kaiser Company began extensive studies and developments to expand the Jeep model program. As licensed replica the CJ3B was built as a Mahindra 340er with a 2,1 L Peugeot diesel engine in India and exported.

Willys M38-A1: 1952-1971

Willys M38-A1 year 1952-1971  Willys M38-A1 year 1952-1971
The Willys M38-A1 or (MD) was built from 1952 until 1957 for the U.S. military forces and from 1958 until 1971 for export to foreign governments e. g. for the Swiss Army. The M38A1 was so well liked, they introduced the CJ5 in 1955 based on its design. (The pictures show a M38-A1 in 1952 with 2-piece windscreen)

Jeep CJ-5: 1955-1983

Jeep CJ-5 1955-1983  Jeep CJ-5 1955-1983
In 1955, the Kaiser company introduced the CJ5, which was based on the M-38a1 from the Korean War. The CJ5 is recognizable by the rounded shape of its front fenders. He was slightly larger than the CJ3B with a longer wheelbase and a longer body. Improvements in engines, axles, power-transmission and seating comfort made ​​the CJ5 an ideal vehicle for the growingpublic interest in off-road vehicles.The CJ5 had softer design lines and a more rounded body. In over 30 years more than 600,000 copies of the CJ5 with its long wheelbase of 206 centimeters were built.

Jeep CJ-6: 1956-1975

Jeep CJ-6 year 1956-1975  Jeep CJ-6 year 1956-1975
A model with a by 51 centimeters longer wheelbase than the CJ5 was introduced andreceived the name of CJ6 despite the longer wheelbase the CJ6 was almost identical to the CJ5 -he only had more hold . In 1956 Jeep also introduced a forward-controled version , in which the driver cabin was placed above the engine. AMC (American Motor Corporation) equipped the CJ5 and CJ6 with high payload axles, bigger brakes and a wider wheel alignment. In 1965, as an option for the CJ-5 with 206 centimeter wheelbase and the CJ6 with 256.5 centimeter wheelbase, the new 225cui "Dauntless"  V6 engine was introduced. With its 155 PS, it almost doubled the power of the four-cylinder. For the first time a Jeep CJ with V6 engine could be ordered. Starting in 1973, all Jeep CJ AMC were equipped with a V8 engine with 5,0 liters 304cui or 5,9 liters 360cui.

Willys Jeepster VJ: 1948-1951

Willys Jeepster VJ 1948-1951  Willys Jeepster VJ 1948-1951
The Jeepster was the last vehicle in style of a Phaeton touring car of the U.S. American Manufacturer, with an open body and is buttoned, loose side panels instead of solid, retractable windows. Originally equipped with the "Go-Devil" engine, he eventually had a 159cui 2,6 Liter six-cylinder called "Hurricane" - but never a four-wheel drive.

(Jeep) Willys Pickup: 1947-1965

(Jeep) Willys Pickup year 1947-1965  (Jeep) Willys Pickup year 1947-1965
With the pickup with 299,7 centimeters Wheelbase Willys-Overland tried for the first time, to expand the brand Jeep beyond the CJ. It has the 3,7 liter 226cui Super Hurricane 6-cylinder Continental engine. (Pictures show a Willys Pickup 4x4 from 1955 with 3-speed manual transmission)

Willys Station Wagon: 1946-1965

Willys Station Wagon year 1946-1965  Willys Station Wagon year 1946-1965
The estate car with a wheelbase of 265 centimeter was the favorite of all fans. From 1949 it was available as four-wheel drive. (Pictures show a Willys Wagon from 1947)

Jeep FC150 / FC170 Pickup: 1957-1965

Jeep FC150 / FC170 Pickup year 1957-1965  Jeep FC150 / FC170 Pickup year 1957-1965
These cab over engine Jeeps were basically work-vehicles with 206 centimeter wheelbase at the FC 150 and 263 centimeters at the FC 170. During their entire production period they hardly changed - except for the front and rear axle for some models built between 1959 and 1960 and twin tires and four-speed manual transmission for some models of the year 1959.

Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer / Cherokee (SJ): 1963-1991

Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer / Cherokee (SJ) year 1963-1991  Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer / Cherokee (SJ) year 1963-1991
In 1962, Jeep introduced the Wagoneer with the first automatic transmission in a four-wheel drive Vehicle. The Wagoneer was a predecessor of the Jeep Cherokee - and also the first four-wheel- powered vehicle with front independent suspension. With Quadra-Trac ®  the first automatic, permanent four-wheel drive system was introduced.  Initially available in all major Jeep Trucks, Station Wagons and later in the CJ-7. (Pictures show a Jeep Wagoneer from year 1966)

Jeep Gladiator / J-Series Pickup: 1963-1987

Jeep Gladiator / J-Series Pickup year 1963-1987  Jeep Gladiator / J-Series Pickup year 1963-1987
The Wagoneer resembles the Gladiator debuted in 1963 with a choice of 305 cm (J-200) or 320 cm wheelbase (J-300) and Dana 20 transfer case and Dana 44 front and Rear axle. The name Gladiator accounted in 1972. (Pictures show a Jeep J10 Pickup from year 1978)

Jeepster Commando C101: 1967-1973

Jeepster Commando C101 year 1967-1973  Jeepster Commando C101 year 1967-1973
The Commando was a vehicle with 256.5 cm wheelbase  a "Dauntless" 225cui V6 with 160 PS andaxles Dana 27 and Dana 44 (rear). With less than 100 copies was the Commando Hurst Special 1971 one of the rarest built and most demanded vehicles for Jeep collectors.

Jeep CJ-7: 1976-1986

Jeep CJ-7 year 1976-1986  Jeep CJ-7 year 1976-1986
In 1976 AMC introduced the CJ7 with the first major change in Jeep design in 20 years. The CJ7 had to create a little more wheelbase than the CJ5 for an automatic transmission. For first time, the CJ7 had to have a roof made of molded plastic and steel doors by demand. Both CJ7 (237,5 cm wheelbase) and CJ5 (212 cm wheelbase) were built until 1983 or 1986. Then the one-sided demand for the CJ7 let AMC no choice but put the production of the CJ Series after 30 years down.

Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler: 1981-1985

Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler year 1981-1985  Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler year 1981-1985
Introduced in 1981, the Scrambler was similar to the Jeep CJ7 but had a longer wheelbase. Known internationally as the CJ8 he was available with hard and soft top. There were less than 30,000 built Scramblers and they are now extremely popular among collectors.

Jeep Wrangler (YJ): 1987-1996

Jeep Wrangler (YJ) 1987-1996  Jeep Wrangler (YJ) 1987-1996
Although the growing market for compact 4x4 vehicles still asked for the practical advantages of the Jeep CJ series, the customer demanded  more of the comfort, as it's offered by passenger cars. The answer was the end of the CJ-series and the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler (YJ).
Even though the Wrangler had the open body style of the CJ7, the YJ contained only a few components of his famous predecessor. Mechanically the Wrangler had more in common with the Cherokee than the CJ7 a novelty were the first - and last Square headlights on a Jeep of this kind. The model was built more than 630,000 times.
On 5th of August 1987, about a year after the introduction of the Wrangler, American Motors Corporation (AMC) was sold to Chrysler Corporation and the popular Jeep brand became a part of Chrysler's Jeep/Eagle Division.

Jeep Cherokee (XJ): 1984-2001

Jeep Cherokee (XJ) year 1984-2001  Jeep Cherokee (XJ) year 1984-2001
The XJ Cherokee was with its monocoque body a smaller but much more advanced Version of the Cherokee SJ.  Among the highlights were the introduction of the Jeep Command-Trac® Four wheel drive system and Quadra-Link coil spring front suspension. The model Cherokee Limited debuted in 1988, a 4.0 L straight six cylinder followed 1989. The pictures show the model from 1984 to 1996. From 1997, a facelift followed with changes in front and back and the revised interior.

Jeep Comanche (MJ): 1986-1992
Jeep Comanche (MJ) year 1986-1992  Jeep Comanche (MJ) year 1986-1992
Compact pickup truck with cabin and Ladfläche. The loading area was built with 6- or 7 foot, as long- or short wheelbase vehicle. The technique is similar to the Cherokee XJ. Later Comanche models offered Selec-Trac® or Command-Trac four-wheel drives.

Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZG) (US ZJ): 1993-1998

Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZG) (US ZJ) year 1993-1998  Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZG) (US ZJ) year 1993-1998
The Grand Cherokee saw its famous first appearance with a furious crash into the glass wall of the convention center at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 7th 1992. As the first SUV with driver's airbag The Grand Cherokee set new standards for handling and comfort in the SUV segment.

Jeep Grand Cherokee (WG) (US WJ): 1999-2004

Jeep Grand Cherokee (WG) (US WJ) year 1999-2004  Jeep Grand Cherokee (WG) (US WJ) year 1999-2004
The revised Grand Cherokee WJ starting  1999, had only 127 parts with its predecessor in common. The Laredo trim level (with sports seats and simple facilities) and the more luxurious Limited model were not special models but part of the regular offered program.

To the extensive standard equipment with its appealing interior along with "Overland" emblems were available, from the middle of 2003, a two-colored black interior and navigation system. These special editions were only available for a short time. The sport was slightly better equipped than the Laredo and had a very special two-tone-black interior.

Jeep Wrangler (TJ): 1997-2006

Jeep Wrangler (TJ) year 1997-2006  Jeep Wrangler (TJ) year 1997-2006
The Jeep Wrangler (TJ) 1997 and the  CJ -7 are very similar. Its retro look was rather intended but did not apply to the mechanics. Nearly 80 percent of all parts were revised. The TJ had a Four-wheel-drive coil spring suspension similar to the JeepGrand Cherokee and showed a new interior with front airbags for driver and front passenger. It took some classic jeep Characteristics such as the round headlights, the fold-down windshield (like in 1941 ) and the removable doors and offered the choice between soft and removable hardtop. Also standard-was a roll-over bar.

2003 Jeep brought the Wrangler Rubicon as the best-equipped Jeep of all Times to the market. This vehicle earned the right for the name of the legendary terrain path with push-button lockable Dana 44 front and rear axle, a power transmission ratio of 4:1, 32 inch tires and a number of other options that were, in the past, vehicle manufacturers have been delivered for a Jeep.

Introduced in 2004 the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited offered with its 33 inches longer wheelbase more loading space and five inches more legroom for the rear row of seats. The same Open Air Fun and still unsurpassed 4x4 capability of the original Jeep Wrangler the Unlimited offered more sophisticated on-road comfort and even more versatility.

Jeep Cherokee (KJ) (US Liberty): 2002- 2007

Jeep Cherokee (KJ) (US Liberty) year 2002- 2007  Jeep Cherokee (KJ) (US Liberty) year 2002- 2007
The Cherokee ( in North America: Liberty ), the new mid-sized SUV from Jeep and the first Jeep model with front independent suspension. This model is not technically representing a Jeep Cherokee successor, but a new model generation.

Jeep Grand Cherokee (WH) (US WK): 2005-2010

Jeep Grand Cherokee (WH) (US WK) year 2005-2010  Jeep Grand Cherokee (WH) (US WK) year 2005-2010
As a complete redesign of the ZJ / WJ  the WK offered improved road characteristics a 5.7-liter HEMI ® V8 with premium amenities that even made the buyers of luxury models envious. For the first time a independent front suspension ensures more driving comfort.

Jeep Commander (XH) (US XK): 2006-2010

Jeep Commander (XH) (US XK) year 2006-2010  Jeep Commander (XH) (US XK) year 2006-2010
Seven seats in three rows arranged in stadion-style and the distinctive styling made the Commander unique. Technology and chassis are identical with the Grand Cherokee WH / WK models. An independent front suspension ensures greater driving comfort.

Jeep Cherokee (KK) (US Liberty): 2008-2012

Jeep Cherokee (KK) (US Liberty) year 2008-2012  Jeep Cherokee (KK) (US Liberty) year 2008-2012
Jeep introduced the third generation of the Cherokee with the industry's only folding Sky Slider fabric roof , the Selec -Trac ® II four-wheel drive system and the new assistance systems for downhill driving and Mountain traction.

Jeep Compass und Patriot (MK): 2006-2017

Jeep Compass und Patriot (MK) year 2006-2017  Jeep Compass und Patriot (MK) year 2006-2017
The Jeep-lead in into the popular segment of compact SUVs. These models offer in its segment unsurpassed 4x4 capabilities and fuel efficiency. The Jeep Compass is a compact SUV that made ​​its debut at the North American International Auto Show 2006. Market launch in Germany was in the first half of 2007

The Jeep Patriot had its debut at the New York Auto Show 2006. Launch in the U.S. was in early 2007. In Germany the launch was in 2008. It is based on the jointly by DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi developed GS-platform, on which among other cars, the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber are based on aswell.

The Compass was reintroduced to the market under Fiat leadership in 2011. Technology, chassis, engines and body have been completely revised.

Jeep Wrangler (JK) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JK) 4-door: 2007-2018

Jeep Wrangler (JK) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JK) 4-door year 2007-2018  Jeep Wrangler (JK) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JK) 4-door year 2007-2018
Based on the successful original Jeep formula with new frame, new bodywork and interior, new engine and new safety and convenience features the JK provides more skills, sophistication, space, comfort, fresh air fun, fuel efficiency and safety equipment than any other Jeep model.

With the unique four-door open-air design of the JK Wrangler Jeep expanded the Experience to a new dimension. With room for five adults - the very first time in a Wrangler - and the largest cargo space of a Wrangler, the Unlimited combines class-leading Off-road capability with practical everyday usage.

For model year 2011 the Wrangler received a new interior, and Sahara models got a higher quality Hardtop in body color. 2012 the new 3,6 L engine Pentastar has been introduced.

The also for the JK available Rubicon models have in addition to the known Rubicon Features an electrically disconnectable front stabilizer bar for even more axle twist- off-road and heavy duty axles .

Jeep Grand Cherokee WL (WK2): since 2011

Jeep Grand Cherokee WL (WK2) year since 2011  Jeep Grand Cherokee WL (WK2) year since 2011
After more than four million build Grand Cherokee  Jeep improves the formula and offers with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee the perfect blend of sophistication on the Road and off-road capability. The new Grand Cherokee offers high quality road characteristics and quality, lower fuel mileage, a sleek body design, a truly luxurious interior and an outstanding variety of safety features. From 2014 he comes to the market with redesigned xenon / LED headlights and LED taillights.

Jeep Renegade (BU): since 2014

Jeep Renegade (BU) year since 2014  Jeep Renegade (BU) year since 2014
Since 2014 the Mini-SUV Renegade belongs to the American Jeep Family. The design, Inspired by the willys and made for the offroad, is supposed to get the typical inner city mind, out into the wild. Bigger slope and ramp angle give him the spot as "the only" real offroader in his class. The Taillights are a homage to the, bach then, typically rear mounted fuel cans. The Renegade comes with Fiat Engines from 1,2 Liter to 2,4 Liter and from 110 PS up to 182 PS. Available models are the Sport, Latitude , Limited and as the top line the Trailhawk with 4x4 drive.

Jeep Cherokee (KL): since 2014

Jeep Cherokee (KL) year since 2014  Jeep Cherokee (KL) year since 2014
The Cherokee was first introduced in New York in 2013. He was the first car produced and engineered by the new Father Fiat. 2014 he won the first place in the category "Affordable Compact SUV in U.S"

Jeep Compass: since 2017

Jeep Compass year since 2017  Jeep Compass year since 2017
With an all new Design and a completely new Technology Base the Jeep Compass starts selling in Europe in 2018. 17 Variations in Engine and Drive Train make this model interesting for wide variety of customers. For example the 1,4 L Multiair Gas Engine with 170 PS and the 2,0 L Multijet Diesel with 140 or 170 PS. The Transmission is available as 6 gear stick shift or the popular 9-Speed Automatic transmission. The Front is made of A Narrow Front Grill with the typical 7 slots, together with the squinting Headlights with LED-Band.

Jeep Wrangler (JL) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JL) 4-door: end of 2018

Jeep Wrangler (JL) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JL) 4-door year 2018  Jeep Wrangler (JL) 2-door and Wrangler Unlimited (JL) 4-door year 2018
In its forth Generation Jeep sticks to its succesfull Concept. Like his Predecessor, the Wrangler JL is available as 4-Door and 2-Door model. The Engine and Transmission however are completely new. Especially the total weight was reduced by 100 kg due to the lightweight Aluminum built. For the German market, a four-cylinder 2,0 L eTorque mild hybrid engine with a turbocharger and a four-cylinder 2,2 L MultiJet II CRD Turbodiesel is used. The 2,0 L and 2,2 L engines are only available with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 3,6L V6 petrol engine is designed for the US market and comes with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. The Technology got modernized, the suspension improved and a electro-hydraulic steering got implemented. Unlike the predecessor the Light System got improved with Fender LED Daylights and with LED Head lights in the Grill.
AMC Jeep