It began life as a no frills, tough as nails military vehicle to aid the United States forces in its war effort during the second World War. Since then, the Jeep brand has gone on to become an automotive icon, particularly when it comes to off-road adventures.
Back in 1941, Willys Overland Motors Corporation was tasked by the US military to come up with a capable, nimble, and low key vehicle that would help ferry soldiers to and from the battlefield, perform reconnaissance missions, and even help move wounded personnel to hospital safely, despite the absence of paved roads. This, the Willys MB did perfectly all throughout World War II.
When the war ended in 1945, that little military vehicle which had now been christened the Jeep, soon became available to the public in the form of the relatively more livable yet still capable CJ or Civilian Jeep. It spawned several iterations from the mid 1940s all the way to the 1980s.
The CJ was soon joined by models like the luxurious Wagoneer in the 1960s, as well as the Cherokee in the 1980s. Eventually, the CJ was replaced with the Wrangler. And the rest, as they say, is Jeep history.
Today, Jeep has a full range of capable vehicles such as city-slickers Renagade and Compass, luxurious yet still off-road capable Cherokee, and the full-on off-roaders Wrangler and Gladiator pick-up (which can also be used as grocery getters if called upon).
Throughout its 80 year history, one can see a common thread that binds all these vehicles together—that go-anywhere capability that has become synonymous with a spirit of adventure. While it may not necessarily be used to tackle the harshest wartime paths, it is still able to tread uncharted territory in peacetime. It’s a vehicle that has taken many an adventure seeker to places where regular cars or even soft-roaders would freeze in their tracks.
Even its city-bred Renegade and Compass, which don’t come with gear like QuadraTrac and QuadraDrive in our market, are still meant for those folks that love the great outdoors or want to feel safe within the urban jungle. And yes, they all come with the trademark 7-slat grille, UConnect infotainment system, and that robust Jeep chassis and construction.
With 80 years of going anywhere with a true spirit of adventure, we can expect more of the same from Jeep in both war and peace, in whatever shape or form it may come in.