Most people in today’s world think that Jeeps started out a mass produced consumer-aimed passenger vehicle, but the truth is they were created to be used by the U.S. Military. There are also a lot of other things many people don’t know about Jeep. So we have decided to do a little fun fact-filled entry with some trivia about collector Jeeps.
The first Jeeps, called Willys, were produced in 1941 by three different companies after the United States Military asked American companies to design a four-wheel drive vehicle that could be used during a war. The companies that made them were Ford, the American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland.
The first passenger/consumer-aimed Jeep was produced in 1945 and model was called the Civilian Jeep or as we know it today…the CJ.
After having great success with the Willys Jeep set-out to design a model that would be able to be used in water based deployments. They modified the engine and added a snorkel so the Jeeps could drive off a boat and through shallow water without the engine getting flooded and shutting off. This edition was built off the CJ model and it was known as the CJ-V35/U.
Willys-Overland also made a splash in 1946 with the first all-steel station wagon called the Willys Jeep Station Wagon. Many people hail it was the first Sports Utility Vehicle.
Willy-Overland made their first foray into a real “passenger” vehicle with what was called the Willys-Overland Jeepster. In appearance it looked much more like a traditional passenger vehicle. It was also the first Jeep to have a 2-wheel drive transmission. It had two doors and a convertible top. It was produced from 1948-1950. The name was revived from 1966-1972 in the form of the Jeepster Commando.
One of the most sought after Jeep products is the Jeep FC (forward control). It is a “pick-up” style vehicle with a short van-styled cab and a bed in the back. It was produced from 1958-1967.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Tomb Raider edition is one of the rarest Jeeps simply because the manufacturer only made 1005 of the vehicles.
The least produced Jeep was the CJ-6A Tuxedo Park. Jeep only adorned 459 vehicles with this moniker from 1964-1967.
Collectors often confuse the CJ-2A with the military version it was based on, but a quick way to tell the difference is to look at the grille. The Military version has recessed headlamps and nine slots while the civilian version has larger headlamps mounted flush with the grille which only has 7 slots.