It may be a good idea to get out the gerry can's this time to refuel!!!
Welcome to... the Jeepin' History - A "Brief" History of Jeeps (from CJ's to ZJ's) -
"Jeep...There's only one."
And now for a little (actually, a lot of) Jeep history and trivia:
I have tried to make this history as complete as possible, without going into too much detail about the individual models, also, I have organized it more by model, than by chronological order, so the years may skip around some. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed researching it!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...and it was good. In 1940 Karl Probst created the Jeep, and it rocked! This is the story of how the legendary Jeep came to be...and how it has come to be what it is today...
By 1939 the US military needed a new, universal vehicle to replace the motorcycle and its other vehicles (such as the modified Ford Model-T), so they invited 135 different car companies to compete for a contract to build a new vehicle for the military. The vehicle had to meet certain specs, such as a payload capacity of 600lbs, a wheelbase under 75 inches, a fold-down windshield, a gross vehicle weight of under 1200lbs, and it must be four-wheel drive. Only three companies entered, Bantam, Willy-Overland, and Ford.
Bantam enlinsted the help of Karl Probst, and in 1940 was the first to produce a working prototype for the military, dubbed the Bantam Blitzbuggy and "Old Number One". Willy's-Overland and Ford soon followed with their own prototypes, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, which were basically knock-offs of the Bantam car. Willys eventually won the contract because of their 60hp "Go-Devil" engine, but Ford was also given a contract to help keep up with the military's demand for the vehicles for use in WWII. Willys later renamed their jeeps the MA and the MB, while Ford called theirs the GP and GPW. Many believe, as I do, that the Jeep won the war for the Allies.
As for the name 'Jeep', no one really knows for sure where it came from. Most people believe that it evolved from 'GP', which was Ford's name for it's 'general purpose' vehicle. Another possibility is that the name came from Popeye's magical sidekick named jeep, who could do almost anything. For a more indepth look at the origins of the Jeep, click on over to The Jeep, a Real American Hero.
In 1942 Ford built a limited number of amphibious Jeeps, known as the Seep. This little vehicle was basically an MB with a boat tub on the bottom (with cut-outs for the wheels) and a PTO propeller. Seeps were not the most sea-worthy things in the world, but one highly modified Seep, called "Half-Safe," did manage cross the Atlantic in 1950 and then continued on to circumnavigate the globe.
The CJ series began back in 1945 with the CJ2A. The name CJ stands for "Civilian Jeep," a bit of trivia that is still argued over. Next came the CJ3A's, and the CJ3B's which were produced until 1968. These early Jeeps are commonly referred to as "flatfenders" because their front fenders were flat across the front, even with the grill. Yes, there was such a thing as a CJ-4, and in true Jeep form, there is only one, literally. There is only one 1951 CJ-4 prototype in existence, it's the "missing link" between the flatfendered CJ-2's and 3' and the round-fendered CJ-5.
The CJ-5 came about in 1954 as a civilian version of the military's M-38A1 which came out in 1952. The CJ-5 stayed in production for almost 30 years, longer than any other Jeep model, and was taken out of production in 1983. During the time of the CJ-5 there was also a military and civilian CJ-6 which had a 101" wheelbase and later a 104" wheelbase, but it had a limited produciton and was later replaced by the CJ-7.
The CJ-7, one of the most popular of the Jeeps, started its 10 year run in 1976. The CJ-7 has a longer wheelbase than the CJ-5 to accommodate an optional automatic transmission. Between 1981 and 1986 Jeep made a long-wheel based CJ-8 called the Scrambler, which was basically a pick-up truck version of the CJ-7. In 1987 the CJ-7 was replaced with the square headlighted YJ, more commonly known as the Wrangler. Like its predecessor, the Wrangler was redesigned after 10 years. The new Wrangler (now called the TJ) features the classic and much loved round headlights, dual airbags, a redesigned "90's interior", and an all-new quadra-coil suspension instead of leaf-springs. Interesting how much TJ sounds like CJ...
In 1956 Jeep began making the 2WD Postal/Dispatch Jeep (DJ). The DJ-3A was the first Postal Jeep and was a flat fender Jeep similar to the CJ-3A, except it was two wheel drive. The DJ-3A was produced from 1956 until 1965. In 1965 the DJ-5, which is the postal Jeep most people are familiar with today, was introduced. Jeep also produced a long-wheelbased version from 1965 until 1968, called the DJ-6. The DJ-5 was made by Jeep into the early 70s and production was continued under AM General. The Postal Jeep Page has some great info on DJ's.
From 1948 to 1950 Willys produced a 2-door "car" version of the Jeep, called the Willys "VJ" Jeepster. These were really cool looking cars, but with only 72hp, 2WD, and not much publicity, they didn't sell well...too bad.
In 1966, Jeep, now onwed by Kaiser, debuted the Jeepster Commando to compete with the Bronco and Land Cruiser. The Jeepster Commando was available in three models: a convertible, pick-up truck, and as a wagon (like the Jeepster, this was a really cool looking vehicle in my opinion). The (Kaiser) Jeepster Commando stayed in production until 1969. In 1970 AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser, and then in 1972 AMC shortened the name to just Commando and changed the grill design to look more like that of a Bronco, but it didn't catch on. The Jeep Commando was taken out of production in 1973. Check out The American Jeepster Club for more on these cool Jeep spin-offs.
In 1946 Willys began making the Willys Wagon and in 1947 came out with the Willys Pick-up. The wagon was available as a station wagon and also as a panel-side delivery truck. Both the wagon and pick-up truck were made until 1965.
Jeep debuted the FC-series trucks in 1956. These trucks featured a cab-over-engine design. The FC-150 came out first and had a 78" bed and an 81" wheelbase. The FC-170 came out in 1957 and had a 108" bed and a 103" wheelbase. The FC-170 was also available in a 1-ton dually model (the FC-170DRW) that had a 10' flatbed. Other bodies were availabe for the FC-170DRW, such as dumptrucks and fire-engines. The FC trucks remained in production until 1964.
Ahh, the Cherokee. The Cherokee line began in 1962 when Jeep introduced the Wagoneer, but it could be argued that it really began in the late 1940's with the Willy's Jeep Wagon (an ad for the Willy's Wagon once called it a "utility vehicle" for the family). The Wagoneer was a full-size vehicle with the SJ designation. The Cherokee name would not come about until 1974 when a sportier 2-door version of the Wagoneer was made and given the name Cherokee Chief (a 4-door version of the Cherokee was available by 1977). When the Cherokee came out, it was offered in 2 body styles: 1) the Cherokee Chief Wide-Track which had a 3-inch wider axle and fender flares, 2) the Cherokee with normal size axles and no fender flares. The Jeep Wagoneer/Cherokee line was the first vehicle of its kind to offer full-time 4WD. The full-size Wagoneer was in production until 1991. And a luxo version called the Grand Wagoneer was made from 1984-1991.
In 1984 the current Cherokee (XJ series) was debuted to compete in the growing market for "compact" SUV's. This "new" Cherokee was quite a bit smaller than the senior Wagoneer/Cherokee and featured a unibody frame as opposed to the traditional body-on-frame style. Until atleast 1988 the Cherokee was the only compact SUV to offer a 4-door model (which incidentally is the reason my dad bought his '88 Chief, the Jeep that got me hooked). Aside from minor trim changes, the XJ remained unchanged until 1995 when it got a driver's side airbag. For '97 the Cherokee got a totally new dash with dual airbags, new door trim, a slightly rounder front fascia, and a new steel liftgate, along with a bunch of other minor improvements.
Pick-up truck versions (for civilian and military use) of the full-size Wagoneer/Cherokee, called the Gladiator, J-10, and J-20, were produced from 1963 to 1987. A pick-up version of the downsized Cherokee, called the Comanche (MJ) was also produced until 1992.
The Grand Cherokee (the ZJ series) was introduced in 1993 to replace the Wagoneer. The Grand Cherokee had its "big" redesign in 1996--the most noticeable changes a new front fascia and new wheels. The Grand sports luxo amenities, coil springs on all four corners, and an optional V8.
For more on the Cherokee's heritage, visit JeepUnpaved.com's Cherokee Heritage.
As for the company/manufacturer itself, it's changed hands three times. In 1953 Kaiser took over Willys-Overland to form Kaiser-Jeep (the name didn't change to Kaiser- Jeep until 1963), in 1970 American Motors Coroproation (AMC) took over Kaiser-Jeep, and in 1987 Chrysler bought AMC.
As one avid reader pointed out, it is AMC that was responsible for the CJ-7, the Wrangler, the downsized Cherokee/Wagoneer, the incredible 4.0L straight-six engine, Quadra-Trac and Selec-Trac, the CJ-8 Scrambler, most of the Grand Cherokee's design (it was being worked on as early as 1985), and the fact that Jeep still survives today, as under the faulty management of Kaiser, the company surely would have gone out of business in the early 70's. But, it was Jeep that kept later kept AMC in business in the late 70's and early 80's.
Now you too can amaze your friends and fellow Jeepers with your wealth of knowledge on Jeep History.
If I got any of my history wrong, or you feel I left something out, let me know.
Definition: The Jeep Wave
An honor bestowed upon those drivers with the superior intelligence, taste, class, and discomfort tolerance to own the ultimate vehicle - the Jeep. Generally consists of vigorous side-to-side motion of one or both hands, but may be modified to suit circumstances and locally accepted etiquette.
It's not what you buy, it's what you build and what you do with it.
In keeping with this cardinal rule of Jeeping, categories have been established to account for each part of the equation.
These categories are:
The Jeep Waving Hierarchy: Based on the vehicle itself. Takes into account the nostalgia factor, the discomfort tolerance quotient, and the amount of owner dedication required to maintain the steed. The Modifying Sub-categories: Based on what you do with your Jeep. Equipment Adjustments: What you build.pGeneral Rules:
1. All Jeepers are responsible for upholding the tradition of the Wave. Upon contact with a higher scoring Jeep, a Jeeper is required to initiate the Wave, and continue the Wave until: a. The Wave is returned b. The Wave is blatantly disregarded c. The higher scoring vehicle has passed by and is out of sight
2. All Jeepers are required to return the Wave, unless the initiating vehicle clearly has a negative (below 0) score.
3. All Jeepers are encouraged, but not required, to return the Wave to negative balance vehicles, and take any opportunity presented to guide and mentor them about their responsibilities to their Jeeps in the hopes that they can correct the error of their ways.
4. When unsure of status or wave requirements of a particular encounter or unable to completely assess the other Jeep's score quickly enough to ensure that the proper Jeep Wave Etiquette rules are followed, immediately initiate wave. It is the spirit of waving that is most important so when in doubt, Just Wave!
The Modifying Sub-Categories (MSCs):
(What you do with it)
1. MSCs must be considered during all Jeep encounters, and wave patterns must be adjusted accordingly.
2. MSC 5 is the median - the accepted norm.
3. MSCs from 1 through 4 will increase score as listed.
4. MSCs 6 and 7 will decrease score as listed. MSC 1: Top off; vehicle, driver, and all occupants covered with mud: +30 MSC 2: Top partially off; vehicle and some occupants covered with Mud: +20 MSC 3: Top on; vehicle covered with mud: +10 MSC 4: Top off during snow, sleet, hail, or heavy rain: +5 MSC 5: Somewhat dirty: 0 MSC 6: Obviously recently washed, but immediately re-muddied a little: -10 MSC 7: Clean, dry, unscratched, untested: -30
Equipment Adjustments (EAs)
(What you build)
Consideration must be given to the current mechanical condition of the vehicle, including all modifications for trailworthiness, comfort, appearance, and spouse-appeasal. These are known as Equipment Adjustments (EAs). EAs are only granted after the work has been completed. We all have plans for EAs, but only the ones actually implemented can be scored.
EAs are a complicated category, and often difficult to appraise under certain conditions (passing head-to-head at 60 mph, when covered with mud, etc) but must be used to modify score when feasible. If a vehicle is so covered with mud that you are unable to ascertain any of the EAs, you MUST assume that the EAs, when combined with the MSC 1 adjustment, would place the vehicle in a higher scoring position than any non-MSC 1 Jeep, and immediately initiate the wave. Otherwise, EAs will adjust score as follows:
Engine: Stock, Pre-CJ, Working Condition: +2 Stock, 8-cyl: +2 Stock, 6-cyl: +1 Stock, 4-cyl: 0 Replaced, 8-cyl: +3 Replaced, 6-cyl (replacing 4-cyl): +2 Replaced, 6-cyl (replacing 6-cyl): 0 Replaced, 6-cyl (replacing 8-cyl): -1 Replaced, 4-cyl: -1
Improved internal mechanical parts (crank/cam/etc): +2 each Upgraded Transmission: NV4500 or Turbo400: +3, All others: +2 Upgraded Transfer Case: +2 Improved exterior mechanical parts (headers/manifolds/pumps/filters/etc): +1 each Stone stock in a pre-1970 vehicle: +3 (for nostalgia and historical analysis) All Comfort enhancements removed for more power: +2
Stock or unremarkable: 0 Original Tires on Pre-CJ: +2 Slightly oversized (up to 31"): +1 Over 31, with other appropriate mods: +2 Any size, currently covered with mud: +2 Working tires > 31" with original donut spare: -2 Low-profile: -10
Stock, Pre-CJ: +2 if driver can still walk after an hour in the saddle Body lift: +1/inch Suspension lift: +2/inch Spring-Over Lift: +3 High-quality shocks: +2 Lowered: -20
Winch, heavy-duty, obviously used: +2 Winch, heavy-duty, use unclear: +1 Other winch, obviously used: +1 Little, chrome-covered, toy winch: -1 Lockers: +2 Upgraded axles: +1 Upgraded transfer case: +1 Each chrome accessory currently shiny: -1 Each neon accessory: -2 Fire extinguishers: +1 Block and Tackle, anchors, etc: +2 Ropes, straps, tow chains: +1 Tow Hooks: +1 Nerf Bars/Rock Rails, used and scarred: +2 Nerf Bars, shiny, no scars: -1 Heavy duty bash/skid plates: +1 Other protective plating (diamond plate, etc): +2 if scarred, -2 if unscarred Extra fuel tanks/oversize fuel tanks: +1 External Gear Carrying Rack: +1 Multi disc-CD Player: -1 More than one subwoofer: -1 each First Aid Kit: +1 Backpack, food, emergency gear (just in case): +2 On-board air compressor: +1 On-board Welder: +2 Girly, shiny chrome center caps: -1 Krylon home-made paint job: +1 (for realizing it's just going to happen again) Blackout Headlight Covers: -1 Any little flippy interior vanity mirrors: -1 Children in vehicle: +1/each (for proper training/indoctrination), +2 if muddy, an immediate correction if not belted in. EARNED trip stickers/badges/etc: +1/each Unearned stickers/badges/etc: -2/each Stickers advertising for other than 4wd-related businesses: -2 (except No Fear: -5) MSC 1 vehicle in corporate lot sharing with neighbor vehicles: +1 per vehicle decorated Correct mental attitude, seen or proven: +3 Windshield down: +1 (+2 if raining/snowing) Bugs left on face/teeth as evidence of recent windshield down driving: +1 (+2 if more than a week old) CB radio or other communication tool (for emergency only): +1 Hi-Lift Jack: +2 Flexible caulking to fill leaks and body damage: +2 Dogs as passengers, properly secured: +1 (sharing the joy of Jeeping) Bringing a new Jeeper into the Family: +5 Extra Lighting, used for night-wheeling, not pastel or neon colored: +1/ea
Mashed hood, top, etc., obviously from roll-over: +3 Holes above glove box where passenger ripped grab-bar out: +3 Heavily gouged rocker panels: +2 Bloody seats: +2 V-bent front bumper from being pulled out of that REALLY bad one: +2 Scarred sides from those mis-judged rocks: +1 Any small parking lot dent/scratch still identifiable: -1 Other accessories bent, folded, mangled or mutilated: +1, EXCEPT: See above, but said item is owned by your spouse: +2 No scars whatsoever: -3 (Unless Pre-CJ restored, then: +3) New body due to rust only: -5 (unless a rescue, see discussion below) New body due to damage: Previous damage points carry over (see discussion below) Fire Damage (bubbled paint, singed seats, etc): +2 Limbs, Shrubs, etc attached well enough to remain at highway speed: +1/each
Each Jeeper must interpret the rules as they see fit. If there is a dispute, or if you have a question regarding your score, I will be happy to give you my opinion, however, Jeepers are strongly encouraged to follow the spirit of the rules and Just Wave whenever in doubt.
I hope you had fun and maybe even learned a few things here and there while wheeling this site.Come back again,this trail will never be closed!
Keep safe,Have fun,And be smart(DRIVE A JEEP).THANKS FOR VISITING.....
Jeep Cherokee Replacement due for 2001... This is possibly a picture of the replacement Jeep Cherokee (XJ), due to be launched in 2001. The existing Cherokee's boxy looks are to be replaced with a more rounded shape, with the front styling looking remarkably similar to that of the Jeep Jeepster, a recent Jeep concept vehicle. The existing Cherokee's chassis layout will be retained, along with the current range of engines.