If you’ve ever watched television shows or movies, odds are you’ve seen some pretty iconic vehicles in your time. Some of the most famous of these vehicles have been Jeeps! Jeeps have stood the test of time, proving their rugged durability and multi-purpose use over and over again—even to the point that movies taking place in the future still have Jeeps driving around! There have been many iconic cars driven in motion pictures ever since the dawn of the medium. Today we’re going to be taking a look specifically at the most iconic Jeeps from film and television.
Probably the most famous use of the Jeep in film, the 1992 Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara used in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster masterpiece Jurassic Park became an instant pop culture icon. While it is presented to us simply as a means of convenient transportation over the expansive and ill-fated resort, it is used throughout the later parts of the film as the setting for both the film’s most thrilling and terrifying chases. This is by far the most iconic Jeep from film and television. The franchise has lasted for nearly 30 years at this point, and each time out, we get an updated version of this iconic beauty.
The third biggest film of 2015 and the ninth highest-grossing film of all time, Furious 7 is the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise. During one of the most famous parts of the film, Ludacris’s Tej backs a Jeep Wrangler out of a plane in mid-air to perform a car chase on the ground 30,000 feet below them. This absolutely ridiculous event is one of the most famous and memorable moments in the entire franchise, which now has ten theatrical films, video games, a theme park ride, and a whole lot of family.
The Dukes of Hazzard
While the Hazzard County delinquents known as the Duke boys drove the renowned Dodge Challenger “The General Lee,” fans of the show were still very interested in the show's female lead. Although Daisy Duke was honored with having a pair of famous super-short-shorts made for her, she drove a '79 Golden Eagle Jeep CJ-7. Devoted fans loved seeing this sleek vehicle appear in practically every episode.
This TV show was about a medical unit that operated during the Korean War, which can mean only one thing: other than the vast majority of army green, they got a couple Jeeps to play with. The show's characters can be seen zooming anywhere and everywhere in models from the M38 military jeep to the Willys MB to the CJ2A Willys Jeep. The majority of the show’s vehicles have the well-known front grille. While the helicopter was the main attraction, the Jeep played a respectable supporting role.
There may have been other Jeeps used as background in the 2006 Disney/Pixar film, but there was one that stood out from the rest, very noticeably. He was characterized as a straightforward World War II veteran who had bravely fought in the Battle of the Bulge earning the “Grille Battle of Ture Mettle” award for his service. Keep your eyes peeled because you will catch it if you pay attention to the little details in the movie. In this case, the celebration of military history was more than a simple gesture; it was a tribute to the fact that one of the Jeeps had actually received a Purple Heart honor in World War II.
While James Cameron’s 1994 sci-fi masterpiece may be just a hair overshadowed by its even more masterful first sequel, the first film was still a massive success as one of the top grossing films of 1984, beating out future classics Scarface, Yentl, and Sixteen Candles. At the end of the film, after Kyle Reese sacrifices himself to save the future, Sarah Connor drives out to the desert. What is she driving? None other than the 1983 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade. This slick automobile would unfortunately not make its way into Terminator 2: Judgment Day, swapping it out for a Ford LTD Country Squire, but we can surely forgive Cameron of this sin due to the pure spectacle that is T2.
Tornado chasers attempting to design an enhanced weather alert system are the heroes of Jan de Bont’s 1996 film Twister. De Bont seems to be a fan of cool vehicles doing crazy things, as this was the director’s follow-up to the bus-based action thrill ride Speed, starring Keanu Reeves. So, what kind of vehicle did they use to carry out this daring operation where they had to drop a device into a massive tornado? Naturally, a Jeep was used the film; in this case a 1982 J-10 pickup.
Back to the Future
You might be thinking, “A DeLorean isn’t a Jeep!” And you’re totally right. The DeLorean is maybe the most iconic of all of cinema’s vehicles. But there is a Jeep in the film that is used in a very famous scene. Who could forget the sequence near the beginning of the film where Marty is riding his skateboard through town to get to school? If you remember that, surely you remember that at one point, Marty latches onto the back of a Jeep CJ-7 to boost his speed. This gag is repeated in Back to the Future Part II, but with a hoverboard and a futuristic 2015 Jeep.
The popular series Breaking Bad is commonly thought of as one of the greatest TV shows ever made. The automobiles that appear most frequently in the show are the RV (used by Jesse Pinkman), the 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Professor Carsen, and the El Camino shown in the movie that just came out on Netflix. But Jeep vehicles make up a significant part of the show's cars, like in the Grand Wagoneer driven by Skyler, or the Commander DEA driven by Hank Schrader around Albuquerque.
While there are certainly many more famous Jeeps scattered throughout the history of film and television, these are arguably the most recognizable and remembered. The classic look of the Jeep makes these vehicles instantly stand out, which likely points to why they are so often used in media. If reading this list has inspired you to look into your own classic Jeep, get in touch with us at Army Jeep Parts to find information about Willys, M38, or Kaiser Jeep parts.