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Another Jeep history, compiled & researched by Robb Hindle, Page 5


23 May 2008 08:45:48



Even during the late stages of the war, Willys knew that there would be a demand for Jeeps after the war and made plans to produce them. Willys-Overland targeted the agricultural market with their 1st civilian Jeep calling it (depending on who you talk to) the Agri-Jeep or the Universal Jeep. This marketing strategy remained for only a couple of years, until Willys decided to just stick to the CJ name which lasted until 1986. The Jeep was manufactured in a number of other countries, also. The jeep was widely copied around the world, including in France by Hotchkiss et Cie (after 1954, Hotchkiss manufactured Jeeps under license from Willys), and by Nekaf in the Netherlands. There were several versions created, including a railway jeep and an amphibious jeep. (5) Another little-known factoid; after the war, Jeeps were built by Mitsubishi for use in Japan (12), and by Mahindra in India. Jeeps are also built in Argentina. (13) As noted by Jeep historian Jim Allen on the TV show Man and Jeep, sometimes folks in other countries don’t want us there, but they’re happy to have our Jeeps! (10)

                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 (ChryCo). 

                The 1997 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) 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 liter (241 cubic inch) OHV engine delivers 130 kW (180 horsepower) and was 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. Another addition to Jeep’s lineup include the TJ-L, or Unlimited model, a stretched wheelbase version of the everyday TJ. The additional 15 inches of length, coupled with a more civilized ride has seen this model enjoy very popular sales numbers. And now, Jeep has introduced the JK model Wrangler, a wider, somewhat longer redesign. By all accounts, it is at least the equal of anything Jeep has built before, and certainly the most capable out of the box off-roader built. (3)         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 merger the Jeep trademark belongs to Daimler Chrysler. (3) And at this date, Chrysler has shed Daimler-Benz from its back and is now Chrysler, LLC. 

I hope that you enjoyed reading this compilation as much as I did in putting it together.


(1 ) (Accessed 14 march08)

(2) ( (Accessed 14 march 08)

(3) (Accessed 14 March 08)

(4) (accessed 14 March 08)

(5) ( – (accessed 16 Mar 08)

(6) (accessed 17 March 08) (7) (accessed 17 March, 2008)

(8) (accessed 16 March 08) (9) (accessed 16 March 08)

(10) Man and Jeep, Television show, History Channel (Jim Allen quoted)

(11) (accessed 16 March 08)

(12) (accessed 16 March 08)

(13) (accessed 16 March 08)