135 companies had been invited to submit designs but only three did. They were Ford
Motor company, Willys-Overland, and American Bantam Car Company. The initial contract for 70 jeeps was given
to Bantam. Their model was a failure when tested by the military. World War II had already broken out. More
prototypes were accepted from the other two companies. Willys-Overland model
was the best, followed by Ford, and then Bantam.
In 1940 Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. started there vehicle development with the
design and manufacture of a prototype for America’s first four-wheel drive 1/4-ton utility vehicle.
Willys-Overland was granted the production contract and began production in 1941. In all, more than
350,000 "Jeeps" were produced during the 1940’s in support of the war effort. The military paid
$738.74 per vehicle. During the War Ford built the vehicle using Willys-Overland blue prints.
As part of the war effort, Willys-Overland also became a supplier of munitions and military materials,
including the "Robomb", the allied version of the German V-2 rocket, bullet cores, shells, projectiles
and parts for aircraft landing gears.
As for the name 'Jeep', it also has an interesting history, no one really knows for sure where it came from.
Some people believe that it come from the Ford name for its general purpose vehicle, of GP for short.
When slurred together it sounds like "Jeep". Another possibility is that the name came from Popeye's magical
sidekick named jeep, who could do almost anything. both are incorrect. The "G" was for Government and the "P"
was the vehicle class (80" wheelbase 4x4 Ľ ton truck). Willys made the word "Jeep" its trademark.
After the Second World War, Willys soon realized that there would be a huge market for a civilian version of
the Jeep with returned servicemen. Willys had begun to promote the versatility of the Jeep vehicle as a work and
recreational vehicle as early as 1942, but all Jeep production had
been allocated to supplying the armed services.
The first civilian Jeep vehicle, the CJ-2A, was produced in 1945.
Willys advertisements marketed the Jeep as work vehicle for farmers and construction workers. It came with a
tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, larger headlights, an external fuel cap and many more items that its
military predecessors did not include.
The CJ-2A was produced for four years, and in 1948 the CJ-3A was introduced. It was very similar to the previous
model but featured a one piece windscreen, and retained the original L-head 4 cylinder engine.
The CJ Model was updated in 1953, becoming the CJ-3B.
It had a taller front grille and hood than its military predecessor, to accommodate the new Hurricane F-Head
four-cylinder engine. The CJ-3B remained in production until 1968 and a total of 155,494 were manufactured in
the U.S. In 1953 Willys-Overland was sold to the Henry J. Kaiser interests for $60 million. The Kaiser company
began an extensive research and development program that would broaden Jeep product range.
Two years later in 1955, Kaiser introduced the CJ-5.
It was based on the 1951 Korean War M-38A1, with its rounded-front-fender design. It was slightly larger than
the CJ-3B as it had an increased wheelbase, overall length and was wider. Improvements in engines, axles,
transmissions and seating comfort made the CJ-5 the ideal vehicle for the public's growing interest in off-road
vehicles. The CJ-5 featured softer styling lines, including rounded body contours. A long wheelbase model was
introduced and was known as a CJ-6. Apart from a longer wheelbase the CJ-6 was almost identical to the CJ-5.
Jeep also introduced a forward control cab-over-engine variation to the CJ line in 1956.
The Jeep CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle, from 1954 to 1984. In the 16 years of Kaiser
ownership, manufacturing plants were established in 30 foreign countries, and Jeep vehicles were marketed
in more than 150 countries.
Jeep introduced the first automatic transmission in a four wheel drive vehicle in 1962, in
their Wagoneer line (a predecessor to the Jeep Cherokee). The 1962 Jeep Wagoneer was also the first four
wheel drive with an independent front suspension.
In 1965, a new "Dauntless" V-6 engine was introduced as an option on both the 81-inch wheelbase CJ-5 and 101-inch
wheelbase CJ-6. The 155-horsepower engine almost doubled the horsepower of the standard four-cylinder engine.
It was the first time a Jeep CJ could be equipped with a V-6.
In 1970 Kaiser Jeep was purchased by American Motors Corporation. 4WD vehicles had become more popular than ever,
and by 1978, total Jeep vehicle production was up to 600 vehicles a day, over three times what it had been at
the start of the decade.
All Jeep CJ's came equipped with AMC-built engines, and all were available with 304 or 360 cubic inch V-8 engines.
AMC equipped both the CJ-5 and CJ-6 with heavier axles, bigger brakes and a wider track.
Another first introduced by Jeep in 1973 was Quadra-Trac®, the first automatic full-time 4WD system.
Quadra-Trac® was available in full size Jeep trucks and wagons as well as the CJ-7.
In 1976, AMC introduced the the CJ-7
, the first major change in Jeep design in 20 years. The CJ-7 had a slightly longer wheelbase than a CJ-5 to
allow an automatic transmission to be fitted. For the first time, the CJ-7 offered an optional moulded 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 having enjoyed a 30-year production run,
and concentrate on the CJ-7.
The Scrambler, a Jeep similar to the CJ-7 but with a longer wheelbase,
known internationally as the CJ-8 was also produced.
Enter the Wrangler (YJ)
In 1983, the growing market for compact 4WD vehicles still sought the utilitarian virtues of the Jeep CJ series,
but consumers also were seeking more of the "creature features" associated with passenger cars. AMC responded to
this demand in 1986 by discontinuing the CJ series and by introducing the 1987 Jeep Wrangler (YJ).
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 YJ had
square headlights, which was a first (and last) for this type of Jeep. 630,000 were built.
On August 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 the Jeep/Eagle Division of Chrysler Corporation.
The 1997 Wrangler (TJ)
The 1997 Jeep Wrangler looks very similar to the CJ-7, indeed its 'retro' look is quite deliberate, but it is
almost totally different mechanically. Nearly 80% of the vehicle parts are newly designed. The TJ uses 4 wheel
coil suspension, similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a totally new interior, including driver and
passenger SRS (Air Bags).
The in-line, 6 cylinder, fuel injected, 4.0 litre (241 cubic inch) OHV engine delivers 130 kw (180 horsepower) and
is also used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models.
The Wrangler retains several 'classic' Jeep features such as round headlights, a fold-down windscreen
(first seen in 1940) and removable doors as well as a choice of a soft top or removable hard top. A factory
fitted roll bar is also standard.
Enter the best equipped Jeep ever, 2003 Rubicon
The 2003 TJ became available with some unique options. The package was only available in the new name Rubicon.
This vehicle deserved the right to be called by the legendary trail name. Equipped with push button actuated
locking Dana 44 axles front and rear, 4 to 1 low crawl ratio transfercase with the flange output shaft instead of
a weak slip yoke and many more options not available on any production Jeep ever before.
Since Willys obtained the first United States Trademark Registration for the Jeep name in 1950, ownership of the
Jeep trademark, which is now registered internationally, has passed from Willys-Overland to Kaiser to American Motors
Corporation then Chrysler Corporation. Today with the Mercedes Benz and Chrysler merge the Jeep trademark belongs to
Jeep four wheel drive vehicles, the Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, are now being built and sold at the
rate of over 600,000 each year. Daimler Chrysler manufactures Jeeps in the USA, Austria, China, Malaysia,
Thailand, Indonesia, Venezuela, Argentina and Egypt.
|CJ2A Paint Chips 1946-1948|
Part No. 32861
Part No. 32862
Part No. 32873-R
Part No. 32874
Part No. 32872
Part No. 32953
Part No. 32954-R
Part No. 31233
1945 Willys-Series CJ-2A
1946 Willys-Series CJ-2A
1947 Willys-Jeep® Pickup
1948 Willys-Jeep® Truck 4x4
1949 Willys-Jeep® Truck 4x2
1950 Willys-Jeep® Pickup 4x2
1951 Willys-Jeep® M-38
1952 Willys-Jeep® Sedan 4x2
1953 Willys-Jeep® CJ-3B
1954 Willys-Jeep® Sedan Delivery 4x4
1955 Jeep® CJ-5
Willys-Jeep® Utility Wagon
1956 Willys-Jeep® CJ-6 Long WB DJ-3A
1957 Willys-Jeep® FC-150 1/4Ton Pickup
1958 FC-150 1Ton, JA-3CB(AU Only)
Maverick Utility Wagon 4x2
1960 Fleet Vans US Postal Contract
1961 Fleet Van Walk-in Delivery Truck
1962 FC-170 1-Ton Platform 4x4
1963 Name Change Kaiser Jeep® Corp.
1964 Jeep®CJ5A "Tuxedo Park"
1965 DJ-5 DJ-6
(M606 V-8 Foreign Market Only)
1966 No Major Changes "Dauntless" V-6 Introduction
1967 Jeep® M-715
1968 Jeepster Commando
1969 CJ-6 "462 Limited Edition"
1970 American Motor Corporation AMC purchased Kaiser-Jeep
1971 No Changes
1972 CJ-5 Hard Top
1973 J-Trucks Quadra-Trac 4WD Option
1974 Jeep® Cherokee S
1975 Cherokee Chief, J-Series Pickup Pioneer
1976 CJ-7 "Automatic Transmission", J10 Honcho
1977 CJ-5/7 "Golden Eagle"
1978 No Major Changes
CJ-5 Limited Edition "Silver Anniversary"
1979 No Major Changes
1980 CJ-Larado Edition
1981 CJ-8 "Scrambler", J10 Larado Pickup
1982 CJ-7 Limited Introduced.
1982 was the first year that the AMC 304 V8 was no longer offered as an option.
1983 Select-Trac Replaces Quadra-Trac
Beijing Jeep® Corp. Joing Venture AMC
1984 Cherokee Down Size XJ
End of CJ-5 Production, 4-cyl Intro
1985 XJ Pioneer Four Door Wagon
1986 End of CJ Series Modoels, Wrangler YJ Intro.
Commanche mini Pickup, Based On XJ Series
1987 AMC-Jeep® Eagle Sold To Chrysler Corperation 8-5-87
1993 Jeep® Grand Cherokee ZJ Intro
1995 Last Jeep® YJ Produced
1996 No Jeep® Wranglers YJ's Produced
1997 Jeep® TJ Introduction
1998 Mercedes Benz and Chrysler merge to form Daimler Chrysler.
1999 Jeep® Grand Cherokee® WJ
2000 Jeep® Sales Sore
2002 Jeep® Liberty introduced
2003 Jeep® Rubicon introduced