Jeep History

January 10th, 2019 by

2019 Jeep Compass Limited Two ToneDrivers from Kenosha to Libertyville know that the Jeep brand has been synonymous with quality, durability, and style for well over 75 years. Take a look back in time at Jeep history throughout the years, and you might be surprised by what you find out!

Military Beginnings

  • 1940: The original Jeep Brand 4×4 was created in response to a bid from the U.S. Army during World War II. Over 100 automakers were asked to submit prototypes, and the Willys-Overland vehicle was born.
  • 1941: The upgraded Willys MA featured a reduction in weight and shift in design to accomodate the strict guidelines of the military, but the results paid off in a full contract with the United States military.
  • 1945: Jeep made its way into the civilian sector and modified to meet the needs of the everyday driver. Seven unique models were offered to American drivers, and the brand was an instant hit.

Civilian Life

  • 1953: Jeep was sold for a whopping sum of nearly 61 million dollars. Known as “Willys Motors Inc.” at the time, the brand made itself known as the largest manufacturer of four-wheel drive autos.
  • 1954: The CJ-5 hit the scene, drawing inspiration from both military vehicles and off-road machines. It retained the strength of its inspirations, while delivering greater comfort.
  • 1965: The Dauntless V6 engine rocked the auto world with its 155 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque, nearly twice the power of the standard 4-cylinder.

2018 Jeep Cherokee Exterior Gallery 3Innovation

  • 1979: The Jeep Cherokee XJ of the 1980s ushered in a new era of vehicles as the first compact 4-door SUV, first UniFrame construction body, and first full-time 4×4 system.
  • 1991: The brand continued to set new standards in the 1990s with the Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ, pioneering on- and off-road versatility.
  • 2003: The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon hits the scene, advertised as the most capable vehicle in the Jeep lineup yet.
  • 2007: A surge in new models brings the Wrangler, Compass, and Patriot into the Jeep family.
  • 2016: Jeep hits an all-time sales high with a remarkable 1.4 million units sold as of 2016. And this dynamic brand shows no sign of slowing down!

Test Drive a Jeep Today

Experience a piece of Jeep history with a test drive at Gurnee Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM, near McHenry, and you’ll see why this brand continues to outperform the competition! Want to take a test drive? Contact us today!