The History and Origin of the Jeep Wrangler

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THE HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF THE JEEP WRANGLER
Technical Research Report for WR227
Dylan Gutierrez
Fall Term, 2011

Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..….3 Government Qualifications………………………………………………………………………………………………3 Main Military Jeeps…………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………….3 Willys MB…………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………….3 Ford GPW……………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………4 CJ Models……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………..4 CJ-2A…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4 CJ-3A………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5 CJ-5……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5 CJ-7……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….5 Jeep Wrangler (1987)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5 Switch from CJ to Wrangler…………………………………………………………………………………….………5 YJ(1987-1995)………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….6 TJ(1997-2006)……………………………………………………………………………………………………….………….6 JK(2007-Present)………………………………………………………………………………………………………………7 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7 Works Cited………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….8

Introduction

During the Second World War the United States Military put out a request to many vehicle manufacturers for a versatile vehicle that would meet a set of specifications. They wanted a four-wheel drive vehicle, weighing in at 1,300 pounds, with an 80 inch wheelbase, a maximum tread of 47 inches, 85 pound-feet of engine torque, minimum 6.25 inches of ground clearance, able to hold a 600 pound payload and a cooling system to drive low speeds and prevent overheating. This vehicle was to be designed and built in 49 days from the requested date. The company now known as Jeep along with ford accepted this challenge and manufactured the first Jeep called the Willys MB in 1941 (Fetherston).

The Willys MB sparked the beginning of the Civilian Jeep series also known as the CJ series. The CJ series gave influence to the current Wrangler Series including the YJ, TJ and JK. Then lastly the company JGMS or Jeep Government and Military Sales brings the return of the military Jeep with the Jeep J8. From the first Willys MB to the Jeep J8 many things have changed and have been improved to continually better the Jeep Wrangler (Origin of the Term Jeep).

Primary Military Jeeps

Willys MB

Though the Bantam car company met all of the desired requirements and well within the required deadline the United States Army decided that Bantam would not be able to produce the amount of Jeeps needed. Willys was chosen to manufacture and add any necessary changes or modifications to Bantam’s designs (Doyle). Scripps Howard WWII Reporter Ernie Pyle once said, "It did everything. It went everywhere. Was a faithful as a dog, as strong as a mule, and as agile as a goat. It constantly carried twice what it was designed for and still kept going." Between 1941 and 1945 335,531 Willys MBs were produced and used in every aspect of the Army (Discover Jeep History. Below in figure 1 is an original Willys MB.

Figure 1. 1941 Willys MB
(IFCAR 2007)

Ford GPW

Even though Willys was a larger car company, they still would not be able produce the number of Jeeps needed by the U.S. Army. So Willys sought out Ford Motor Company to be a sub-contractor. Ford accepted and manufactured 281,578 Ford GPW, the only difference was that the Ford GPW had from the Willys MB was that the tailgate had the ford logo on it (Doyle).

CJ Models

The CJ or Civilian Jeep was the first Jeep to be manufactured for the public. The CJ was in production from 1944 to 1986. During these years the ownership and manufacturers started with Willys-Overland from 1944 to 1953, and then Kaiser-Jeep took over from 1953 to 1970 and then from 1970 to 1987 American Motors Corporation manufactures the CJ. The primary models being produced over these years were the CJ-2A, CJ-3A, CJ-5, CJ-7 and CJ-8 (Chilton's Jeep CJ/Scrambler,...
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