Jeep Through the Years: From Willys Quad to the Compass

May 30th, 2018 by

For more than 75 years, Jeep has enabled drivers to push the limits, exceed the boundaries, and not only create adventure but be the adventure. Jeep life is about the freedom to explore, to go anywhere and do anything, to take the road less traveled no matter the terrain. Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat wants you to have your own Jeep adventure this summer. But before you know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.

1940s – Designed for the battle field, the Jeep staked a claim on honor, freedom, and adventure as a hero to soldiers across the globe. Prior to WWII, the military called for a 1/4 ton “light reconnaissance vehicle” tailored to Army specifications. Only three companies responded — Bantam, Willys, and Ford — but, within a year’s time they collectively produced the template for the vehicle known worldwide as the “jeep”. After Jeep established its name on the battle field, it became an icon that held its values and subsequently earned rank among civilians. Its capabilities and attention to drivers’ needs made Jeep the leader in 4×4 technology. The Jeeps of the 1940s include:

1940 – Willys Quad

1941 – Willys MA

1941 – Willys MB

1945 – Jeep CJ-2A

1946 – Willys Wagon

1947 – Willys-Overland Truck

1948 – Jeep Jeepster (VJ)

1949 – Jeep CJ-3A

Mount Airy Jeep Rubicon Red

1950s – The “Jeep” name became a registered trademark in 1950 to Willys-Overland. In 1953, the company was sold for $60.8 Million dollars to Henry J. Kaiser. Its new name was Willys Motor Inc. The company proudly became known for being the largest production of four-wheel-drive vehicles. These years made Jeep famous for being a recreational vehicle, and the Jeep hit new records in sales. The unique models of the 1950s include:

1950 – Jeep M38(MC)

1952 – Jeep M-38A1(MD)

1953 – Jeep M-170 (MD-A)

1953 – Jeep CJ-3B (Universal)

1955 – Jeep CJ-5

1955 – Jeep CJ-6

1957 – Jeep FC-150 (FC)

1957 – Jeep FC-170 (FC)

1960s – The 1960s brought luxury to transportation. Designed by Brooks Stevens, the all-new Jeep Wagoneer saw incredible refinement and innovation along with the first 4×4 automatic transmission and independent suspension. Along with the new standards for luxury, Jeep increased the power and capabilities in many vehicles. The Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-6 both featured the V6 engine. The 1960s introduced these models:

1961 – Fleetvan (FJ-3/FJ-3A)

1963 – Jeep Wagoneer (SJ)

1963 – Jeep Gladiator/ J-Series Truck

1964 – Jeep CJ-5A/CJ-6A Tuxedo Park

1965 – Jeep J-2000 & J-3000 Series Pickup (SJ)

1966 – Jeep Super Wagoneer (SJ)

1967 – M-715

1967 – Jeepster Commando (C-101)/(C-104)

1969 – Jeep Gladiator / J-4000 Series Pickup (SJ)

1970s – Jeep continued to lead in its technology and design for 4×4 vehicles and introduced the first full-time 4×4 system in 1972 in the Quadra-Trac 4×4 System. The Jeep Cherokee (SJ), a sporty, two-door, full-size vehicle, won 4×4 of the Year. In 1970, Henry Kaiser sold Jeep for $75 million to American Motors (AMC). Jeep continued to hit record high sales, and by 1978 the company was producing more than 600 vehicles a day. The Jeep models of the 1970s include:

1970 – Dispatcher Jeep (DJ)

1972 – CJ-5 Renegade

1974 – Jeep J-10 Pickup

1974 – Jeep J-20 Pickup

1975 – Jeep Cheerokee (SJ)

1975 – Jeep Cherokee Chief (SJ)

1976 – Jeep CJ-7

1980s – The All-New Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was a big step for Jeep and the automotive industry. Pushed by the energy crisis and need for a smaller wagon style vehicle, the new model introduced the first compact SUV with four-doors, the first uniframe construction, and first shift-on-the-fly capability for the full-time 4×4 system. Sales continued to increase, and the legendary Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1986. In 1987, Chrysler Corporations bought American Motors Corporation. Vehicle models of the 1980s include:

1980 – Jeep CJ-5 Laredo

1981 –Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler

1982 –Jeep CJ-7 Laredo

1984 – Jeep Grand Wagoneer (SJ)

1984 – Jeep Cherokee (XJ)

1986 – Jeep Comanche (MJ)

1987 – Jeep Wrangler (YJ)

1990s – The All-New Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced in 1993. Larger and more luxurious than the standard Jeep Cherokee, the Grand also brought new capabilities to the vehicle on and off-road. The 1997 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) was very similar to the CJ-7 but used four-link coil suspension and had an updated interior. Sales continued to rise and the corporation merged with Germen Daimler-Benz for $36 billion. The Jeeps of the 1990s include:

1993 – Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ)

1993 – Jeep Grand Wagoneer (ZJ)

1997 – Jeep Wrangler (TJ)

2000s – Merging with Daimler-Benz began to prove its value as the Jeep brand produced several new models including the smaller Compass, Liberty, and Patriot. The Jeep vehicles produced in the 2000s include:

2002 – Jeep Liberty (KJ)

2004 – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (TJ)

2005 – Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK)

2006 – Jeep Commander (XK)

2007 – Jeep Compass (MK)

2007 – Jeep Patriot (MK)

2007 – Jeep Wrangler (JK)

2007 – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK)

2008 – Jeep Liberty (KK)


Mt Airy Jeep Off Road

2010s – Sales increased to an all-time record in 2016, hitting 1.41 million units sold worldwide. All-new models of the Grand Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass were released. The new Jeep models released in the 2010s include:

2014 – Jeep Cherokee (KL)

2014 – Jeep Renegade (BU)

2017 – Jeep Compass (MP)

Now that you know the history of the Jeep Brand and have seen the timeline of Jeep production, it’s time to write your own story with Jeep. If you are ready to make summer 2018 unforgettable, come down to Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat. One of our knowledgeable sales associates can help you find the perfect Jeep vehicle that fits your lifestyle. Whether your adventure includes a long daily commute, hauling children to soccer practice, or heading off-road, there’s a Jeep that will fit. To schedule an appointment, call Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat at 336.429.5462.

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