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A Walk Down Memory Lane With Jeep®

October 3, 2016

Take a walk down memory lane with Jeep®

For 75 years the Jeep® brand has been indelibly linked to freedom, adventure, authenticity and passion. The brand’s unwavering commitment to strength and meaningful engineering has helped forge an extraordinary, uncommon bond between the vehicles and their owners.

View past vehicles and modern day concepts displayed side by side, portraying 75 years of Jeep brand history. Jeep designers  built these concepts as a nod to the company’s roots while also showing the heritage of the brand’s expansive product line.

1944 and 2015

1944 Willys-Overland MB and 2015 Jeep Staff Car Concept

THEN: 1944 Willys-Overland MB – The Willys Quad and the MA were early prototypes that led to the production of the Overland MB. However, the U.S. Army, and later the world, came to know it as the Jeep®. The rugged, reliable olive-drab vehicle would forever be known for helping win a world war. Willys trademarked the “Jeep” name after the war and planned to turn the vehicle into an off-road utility vehicle for the farm – the civilian Universal Jeep. One of Willys’ slogans at the time was, “The Sun Never Sets on the Mighty Jeep,” and the company set about making sure the world recognized Willys as the creator of the vehicle. 

NOW: 2015 Jeep Staff Car Concept – The Jeep Staff Car was built as a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles. The open-air Wrangler 4-door-based concept vehicle highlights rugged functionality with heritage design cues. It looks historic and authentic, but is all-new. The function over form of the original Jeep military service vehicles is evident in the Staff Car. Basic steel wheels, minimalist fender flares, “hungry horse” stretched canvas roof and bench seats all echo the original military Jeep vehicles. The exterior features a Sandstorm exterior color scheme that is carried throughout the vehicle including the wheels, frame and axles. The Jeep Staff Car has no B-pillar and no doors. Jeep designers incorporated military-style round headlamps, Jeep J8 front and rear bumpers, fender-mounted blackout lamp with guards and a rear-mount spare tire and vintage military gas can. The Jeep Staff Car sits on 16-inch wheels with 35-inch Firestone NDT military tires. The minimalist interior features low-backed bench seats in the first and second row, an integrated roll cage and a painted steel floor in place of carpet. A built-in cooler draws its inspiration from an old artillery box and accommodates 85 cans. The Jeep Staff Car is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Staff Car has a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit with Fox shocks and front and rear Dana 44 axles. 

1948 and 2012

2012 Willys Wagon Concept and 1949 WIllys Wagon

THEN: 1949 Willys Wagon – The iconic styling of the Willys Wagon is unmistakable. When the Jeep station wagon appeared in 1946 it was the first all-steel bodied station wagon sold as a non-commercial vehicle. The post-war boom made contracting with automotive stamping suppliers difficult for low volume producers like Willys-Overland. At that time, company president Charles Sorenson charged designer Brooks Stevens the task of designing a station wagon body that could be made by suppliers who supplied refrigerator stampings. The stamping size, amount of curvature and the depth were thereby limited. Stevens’ resulting design, featuring shallow panel sections that suggested wood, stayed in production until 1962. Only available with two-wheel drive in 1946, four-wheel drive was added in 1949. 

NOW: 2012 Willys Wagon Concept – Painted in Fountain Green, the 1962 Willys Wagon has the charm and appeal of the original Willys Wagon, combined with the power and reliability of a modern-day vehicle. The concept boasts a 2004 4.0 six-cylinder engine with 16-inch custom Steel Wheels, 7.50-16 Super Traxion bias-ply tires, Dana 30 front and Dana 44 Axels rear, front and rear ARB Air Lockers, 3.73 gears. The exterior showcases a two-tone paint job and an all-steel body; while inside the vehicle the interior is basically intact, with vinyl seats, a rear jump seat, wood accents and a wicker headliner. 

2016 Jeep Shortcut Concept and 1973 Jeep CJ-5

2016 Jeep Shortcut Concept and 1973 Jeep CJ-5

THEN: 1973 Jeep CJ-5 – In 1953, Willys-Overland was sold to Henry J. Kaiser. The Kaiser Company began an extensive research and development program that would broaden the Jeep product range. In 1955, Kaiser introduced the CJ-5, based on the 1951 Korean War M-38A1, with its rounded front-fender design. Improvements in engines, axles, transmissions and seating comfort made the CJ-5 an ideal vehicle for the public’s growing interest in off-road vehicles. The CJ-5 featured softer styling lines, including rounded body contours. With an 81-inch wheelbase, more than 600,000 CJ-5s were produced over 30 years. 

NOW: 2016 Jeep Shortcut Concept – Reminiscent of the classic Jeep CJ-5 with a shortened body and functional simplicity, this light and maneuverable Jeep vehicle thrives on narrow winding trails when the going gets tight. A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity. Exterior styling cues include a unique grille, hood, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chrome front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires help the Jeep Shortcut maintain the look of an icon. Jeep Performance Parts featured on the Shortcut include a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks. Overall body length has been reduced by 26 inches including bumpers and spare tire to keep the Shortcut concept vehicle light and maneuverable on the trails. Inside, the simple yet functional interior features low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red ball shifter handle, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats. The Jeep Shortcut is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. 

1983 and 2015

1983 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Jeep Chief Concept

THEN: 1983 Jeep Cherokee – The two-door Cherokee was aimed at a younger demographic than the Wagoneer and was built for the growing recreational vehicle market with a distinct off-road profile. It featured a gladiator grill and had several tape stripe and bright color combinations. It was marketed as an off-road vehicle more than the Wagoneer. 

NOW: 2015 Jeep Chief Concept – A tribute to the classic 1970s era full-size Jeep Cherokee, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle evokes the west coast surfer lifestyle of sun and fun with a nod to nostalgic beach rides. Custom exterior design cues include a vintage Ocean Blue exterior color scheme with a white, French Bread roof; a custom modified razor grille that the original Wagoneer made famous; halogen headlamps; removable sides for an open-air feel and flexible hauling; chrome front and rear bumpers and classic, 17-inch slotted mag wheels for a true ’70s vibe. Jeep designers developed the Hawaiian themed interior complete with Jeep-designed “Surfer” pink, blue and white flowered cloth and leather-trimmed seats; vintage-style surf stickers on the center console and door handles; a Rosewood front-passenger grab handle and tiki-style shifter handle; and Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center. The doors and windshield were chopped two inches and the Jeep Chief sports a selection of Jeep Performance Parts that include a two-inch lift kit with Fox shocks and front and rear Dana 44 axles with lockers, cold air intake and modified Rubicon rock rails. The Chief is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Jeep FC-150

Jeep FC-150

NOW: 1960 Jeep FC-150 Concept – A true American workhorse, this 1960 Jeep FC-150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage and built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch. Originally built from 1956 to 1965, the FC-150 is based on the CJ-5 and offers a clever packaging solution by keeping overall length to a minimum for maneuverability, but maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility. The FC 150’s off-road prowess has been enhanced courtesy of a 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis modified to accept a Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle and 17-inch white steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. Inside, features vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, analog compass and Mopar all-weather mats. This heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 and is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission. Its original steel body proudly bears battle scars as an honest testament to 75 years of hardworking Jeep vehicles.

Explore even more of the legendary Jeep lineup by clicking here.

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    2015 Jeep Staff Car Concept and 1944 Willys-Overland MB

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    The 2015 Jeep Staff Car was built as a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles.

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    A built-in cooler draws its inspiration from an old artillery box and accommodates 85 cans in the 2015 Jeep Staff Car.

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    The iconic styling of the Willys Wagon is unmistakable.

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    The 1962 Willys Wagon has the charm and appeal of the original Willys Wagon, combined with the power and reliability of a modern-day vehicle.

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    1973 Jeep CJ-5 and 2016 Jeep Shortcut Concept

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    With an 81-inch wheelbase, more than 600,000 Jeep CJ-5s were produced over 30 years.

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    This 2016 Jeep Shortcut concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity.

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    The 1983 Jeep Cherokee was marketed as an off-road vehicle more than the Wagoneer.

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    The 2015 Jeep Chief concept is a tribute to the classic 1970s era full-size Jeep Cherokee.

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    This 2015 Jeep Chief concept vehicle evokes the west coast surfer lifestyle of sun and fun with a nod to nostalgic beach rides.

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    A true American workhorse, this 1960 Jeep FC-150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage.

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    The 1960 Jeep FC-150 badge.

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    The 1960 Jeep FC-150 is built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch.