The original servant to the military, the Jeep experienced an explosive evolution in the consumer market. Today, the Jeep is one of the most well-known vehicles on the roads. How did the Jeep go from serving in wars to taking everyday users across town? Let’s look at the brief history of how the military Jeep evolved into a modern luxury.
The early days of Jeep included a call to action from the US government and a need for military advancements during World War II. Jeep vehicler were orginally named Willys from the years 1940 to 1946. The lineup included Willys MB, Willys Wagon, and Willys Overland Truck.
With much success during the second world war, these vehicles expanded into the Korean War and the consumer market. Farmers were among some of the first civilians to snag a Jeep. They considered them to be work vehicles because they were under the impression it would never fail to complete a job.
In the 50s, the Willys namesake became a permanent fixture after Henry Kaiser declared the company’s name as Willys Motors Inc. During this time, Willys Motor Inc. became the world’s supplier of four-wheel-drive vehicles. The popularity grew rapidly, and CJ versions of the Willys flooded the civilian market.
One of the most interesting builds for civilian Jeeps was the Jeep FC-150, which appeared as a pickup truck utility hybrid vehicle. This unique concept was both appealing and fascinating for consumers at that time.
The Jeep of the 60s and 70s
After the civilian Jeep experienced birth and criticism, the 60s and 70s became a pivotal period for the Jeep’s evolution. The automaker took on more experimentation and created new models for the everyday American. The 1963 Jeep Wagoneer was the American dream because it was the first of its kind. It was a large SUV with a 4x4 rating, which was an outright luxury for this time.
The special edition Jeep 4800 Camper broke consumer barriers in the 70s, in addition to various models of the work truck ideology with a J-10 and J-20. These models were small pickup trucks featuring four-wheel drive.
Spiraling out of the 70s and into the 80s and beyond, the Jeep’s evolution from a simple military design in a large consumer market comes with an onslaught of SUV variations, each meeting an ideal target market.
The common Jeeps you can find today include:
- Jeep Cherokee XL
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Patriot
- Jeep Compass
- Jeep Renegade
While many will not rush to restore a newer civilian model, Jeep enthusiasts and hobbyists alike are working on bringing pieces of military history to life. To learn more about original Willys Jeep restoration parts, contact Army Jeep Parts today. We work with all restoration types and feature a complete lineup of authentic parts and paints.