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Jeep History

A quick history of Jeep 4x4's and their manufacturer.

The Company

  • 1953: Kaiser take over Willys-Overland. ? 1963 ? -->
  • 1970: American Motor Co. (AMC) take over Kaiser Jeep.
  • 1982-1986: Renault owned AMC Jeep (I remember this well because I worked for Jeep in those years as a parts counterman for a dealership & hated the way they set up their microfiche for parts. We also had to deal with the cars Renault made. It was a nightmare. 4wheeldrive.guide at about.com --> - Kern L. Napoletano).
  • 1987: Chrysler take over AMC (and Jeep).
  • 1998: Mercedes Benz and Chrysler merge to form Daimler Chrysler.

Early Years

1940: Jeep specification issued and prototypes built by Bantam, Willys-Overland and later Ford; see the Rifkind report.

1941-1945: Jeep MB, built by Willys- Overland and Ford, Willys 2.2L 4cyl side-valve engine.
Pictured is a 1942 Jeep MB.

42 Jeeep M-B

1942: Ford GPA - Amphibious Jeep or Seep.

Civilian Jeeps - CJ


CJ2A: 1945-1949, first civilian Jeep.
Right, Chris Lewis' heavily modified 1947 CJ2A [7/'00].


CJ-3A: (a) 1948-1953
Right is a 1951 model - David Wallis [2/'97]


CJ-3B: (b) 1953-1964, one piece wind-screen, low wipers.
Note the high bonnet (hood) to clear the taller F-head (ioev) motor.

CJ-4: [ ? ? ? ]

CJ-5: (a) 1955-1969 one piece windscreen, high wipers.


CJ-5: (b) 1970-1983 low wipers. Terminated after the '83 year due to safety questions[MK].

CJ-6: 1955-1969 one piece windscreen, high wipers, 101" wheelbase.


CJ-6: 1970-1976 low wipers, 101" wheelbase.
1974 Jeep CJ-6 (right):
Many people believe that 100" is the ideal wheel base, 90" being a bit short, restricting load capacity and giving a choppy ride on-road, 110" restricting manoeuvrability off-road. Despite that, the CJ-6 was one of the less popular Jeeps. Terminated in 1976 after the introduction of the popular CJ7 [MK].


CJ-7: 1976-1986 S/T or removable plastic hard-top.

1985 Jeep CJ-7 (right) courtesy of Dick Salsbury [5/97] Last year was 1986 as the Wrangler YJ came in in 1987 [MK].


CJ-8: a 1985 CJ-8 or Scrambler (right) belonging to Alex Gephart. Last year was 1986 as the Wrangler YJ came in in 1987 [MK].



1987...: Wrangler YJ [MK]


Military Jeeps

MC M38: 1950-1951 military, one piece wind-screen, low wipers. MD M38A1: 1951-1971 military, two piece wind-screen, high wipers. M151 Jeep (Mutt) and HMMWV (Hummer or Humvee) in Military Vehicles /Mil/Mil.html RST-V 2000...

Jeep Commanche


The Commanche is the ute (pickup) version of the Cherokee. This 1986 model is fitted with the V6 and automatic transmission.


Thanks to R.Walker, members of the Military Vehicles Club, [MK] Michael Kittleson and many others for background information.

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