The Jeep brand isn’t about quality alone, but also about a rich history and solid experience in the automotive industry. The Wrangler model is designed to overcome any obstacle. Automobile lovers consider this legendary and iconic car the best off-road jeep. It’s also worth mentioning that the Wrangler is the direct descendant of the legendary Willys MB automobile.
Let’s discover, in detail, the origin of the Jeep brand and review the most successful Wrangler model. AutoBidMaster will guide you through this captivating journey.
The Origin and History of the Jeep Brand
Until the middle of the previous century, the company had the Willys name. And only in 1950, the Jeep brand was officially registered.
According to one version, the brand’s name came from an abbreviated version of the “general purpose” phrase, which means that you can use a vehicle for both everyday and off-road driving. However, there is one more interpretation. It says that the name came from the popular comic book of that time, “Eugene the Jeep”. The Americans said of a person with ingenuity: “A real Jeep.” It was also customary to talk about impressive technology.
The history of jeeps begins in the mid-30s, when the American army needed a simple and reliable vehicle that could overcome almost any off-road environment. A competition was announced in which three manufacturers participated: Willys-Overland, American Bantam, and Ford Motors. The first company received an order for 1,500 vehicles, after which Willys became the main manufacturer of military vehicles.
After the war ended, Willys-Overland had to modernize their military models into civilian vehicles. The first such configuration was the Willys CJ-1A from 1944.
From 1953 to 1987, Willys was a part of various companies. At first, it was Kaiser. The newly formed company was named Willys-Overland Motors, which was then transformed into the Kaiser Jeep Corporation.
In 1970, Kaiser Jeep Corporation was sold to new owners—American Motors Corporation (AMC). During this time, one of the most iconic models in history, the Jeep Wagoneer, entered the market.
In 1987, the company launched another iconic model—the Jeep Wrangler. This off-road vehicle received almost all the technical stuffing from the Wagoneer. In the same year, Chrysler Corporation bought out the AMC Jeep concern, along with the Jeep brand owned by it. From that moment to the present, it’s been the property of Chrysler.
The Jeep Wrangler Generations
To understand the development history of the Jeep brand better, let’s look over the Wrangler’s generations.
Jeep Wrangler YJ
In the spring of 1986, the YJ series car was launched, which got its new name “Wrangler.” The vehicle has been manufactured since 1987 at a plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and since 1992 its production has been moved to Toledo, Ohio. From previous CJ7 series cars, it was primarily distinguished by rectangular headlights, an increased wheelbase, and, technically, it was more similar to the Wagoneer configuration.
The automobile was equipped with the 2.0, 4.0, and 4.2-liter gasoline engines and a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Although the Wrangler model didn’t look like a real Jeep to true Jeep fans, they gradually came to love this car, which proved to be adaptable to its owner’s needs. The manufacturer offered everything that the soul of the owner could wish for.
Jeep Wrangler TJ
From 1997 to 2006, Chrysler manufactured the Jeep Wrangler TJ series. It was equipped with the 2.4- and 4.0-liter gasoline engines, or a buyer could get the 2.5-liter diesel configuration. Since 2003, the Rubicon model release has begun, and in 2004, the Jeep fans met the Wrangler Unlimited.
The TJ garnered favorable reviews before its introduction in early 1996, when Jeep proved it was determined to make the Wrangler more attractive. TJ has proven to be extremely adaptable to upgrades, as a wide range of accessories and parts are already produced by third parties in countless numbers.
Jeep Wrangler JK
In 2007, Chrysler launched a new generation of the Jeep Wrangler JK series. The manufacturer offered a four-door for the first time. The new model has a large wheelbase and track and is equipped with a removable roof, which is divided into three parts. The JK configuration can offer a six-speed manual transmission and a five-speed automatic transmission with the 2.8-liter diesel or 3.8-liter petrol engine.
The Jeep Wrangler JK is significantly different in comfort compared to its predecessors. First, there are the larger dimensions and carrying capacity of the car (up to 454 kg, or around 1,000 lb), an increased luggage compartment, and four airbags. The car is equipped with disc brakes and ABS with dynamic stabilization when driving, as well as the function of monitoring the possible rollover of the vehicle. The interior is characterized by a high level of comfort.
Jeep Wrangler JL
The new Jeep Wrangler first appeared before the public at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in 2017. It’s not difficult to distinguish the novelty of the JL series from its predecessor. It has a neoclassical appearance, referring to the model of Willis from World War II. Round headlights and elegant eyeliner LED daytime running lights catch the eye. The radiator grill is made in the form of a plurality of vertically oriented slots in the front panel. A power bumper with two round fog lights in special recesses is visible beneath it. In general, the car has received a lot of pleasant appearance changes, but at the same time, it hasn’t lost its brand identity and is still perfectly recognizable on the road.
The basic Jeep Wrangler JL configuration is equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine that produces 270 hp. The vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission and all-wheel drive exclusively. Due to its features and specifications, the car is able to cover most of the needs of a potential buyer.
Why the Jeep Wrangler Has Become So Popular
The Jeep Wrangler obtained its high popularity and great reputation due to a number of factors, such as:
- all-wheel drive;
- excellent maneuverability in hilly and mountainous terrain;
The model has undergone changes in four generations and still remains an iconic vehicle today. Chrysler conducted the last modernization of the Jeep Wrangler in 2017.
One more factor that indicates the Jeep Wrangler’s popularity is the various fan groups on social media. Among the most popular ones on Facebook are JEEP WRANGLER JK / JKU, Jeep Wrangler TJ, Jeep Sales, and Jeep Wrangler JK Parts Buy/Sell/Trade. You can find a lot of photos, service tips and recommendations, or buy and sell the vehicle as well as its parts.
We are sure that some interesting facts about the Jeep Wrangler model will elevate your interest in this vehicle and prove its power. In 2007, the Extreme Events team on two Jeep Wranglers conquered the summit of the highest volcano in the world on the Argentina-Chile border, Ojos del Salado, which reaches 6,893 m (22,615 ft). It was a record ascent by car. In 2011, a Jeep Wrangler passenger capacity record was set in Lodz, Poland—32 people.
In the End
As we discovered, the history of the Jeep brand goes back to World War II, and nobody could have imagined that it would achieve such success. One of the most popular Jeep Wrangler models has gathered all the benefits of the previous configurations, and now it still stands out with high quality.
Along with that, AutoBidMaster has a lot of great and affordable Jeep Wrangler models to offer our customers. If you want to get one, we invite you to register on our website, provide us with a copy of your government-issued ID or passport, place a security deposit, and then you can participate in our online car auctions! You are free to contact us online in case of questions or concerns, or call us at: +1 (503) 298-4300 (4:00 AM–4:00 PM PST, weekdays).