Saturday, January 9, 2016

Nothing More, Nothing Less: Sweet Photos of Old Jeeps!

2016 marks the 75th anniversary for the Jeep brand, and to celebrate the maker recently unveiled a series of tribute models. Remarkably restrained in execution, the diamond-anniversary Jeeps got us thinking about the many great models in Jeep's past, and how the maker has managed to progress without losing sight of its core values. As luck would have it, just as we were pondering the deeper aspects of Jeep’s legacy, we stumbled upon a collection of elegantly composed photographs featuring some of our favorite Jeeps of all time. Enjoy.Before the Jeep was released for civilian life, it spent a few years liberating humanity from tyranny. Built by Willys-Overland and under license by Ford, the pair turned out some 600,000-plus Willys MB models for the war effort. Willys trademarked the Jeep name after the war, and figured they could sell a few to farmers and the like. Many decades and millions of four-wheel-drive vehicles later, it appears to have been a wise decision.Willys-Overland MB, 1941–1945The first civilian Jeep vehicle arrived in 1945 as the CJ-2A. Although this sounds hilariously quaint today, the CJ-2A included among its civilizing new features an external fuel cap, a tailgate, and a side-mounted spare tire. Its 134-cubic-inch inline four-cylinder engine, T-90A transmission, Spicer 18 transfer case, and Dana axles would continue to appear in Jeep vehicles long past the CJ-2A’s four-year production run.Jeep CJ-2A, 1945–1949Although the names ”Jeep” and “Willys” are almost synonymous with four-wheel drive, the Willys Wagon didn’t get it until 1949. Given its classic hunting-lodge woodwork interior and bench seat, however, we can’t think of better place to be on a snowy evening—as long as we're equipped with the proper companionship and libations, of course.(Jeep) Willys Wagon, 1946–1965Based on the 1951 Korean War M-38A, the CJ-5 is what springs to mind for anyone over 40 when someone says “Jeep.” Introduced in 1955, the CJ-5 featured softer front fenders and corners, and at 81 inches, a slightly larger wheelbase than the CJ-3B. Sold in the U.S for nearly 30 years, more than 600,000 CJ-5s were sold by the time production ended in 1983.Jeep CJ-5, 1955–1983Featuring the first mass-market four-wheel-drive system with an automatic transmission, the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer was arguably the vehicle that brought four-wheel drive to the suburbs. Jeep’s Quadra-Trac, the first automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system, was introduced in 1973, and an independent front suspension was optional. With rugged good looks, a large interior, and big-time utility, it's no wonder the Wagoneer stayed in production for 20 years.Jeep Wagoneer, 1963–1983Aimed at a younger demographic than the Wagoneer, the two-door Cherokee was built for the growing off-road and recreational vehicle market and was marketed accordingly. Similar to the four-door Wagoneer in overall design, it featured a Gladiator grille and had several tape stripe and bright color combinations, including on everyone’s favorite variant, the Chief.Jeep Cherokee SJ, 1974–1983The vaunted XJ Cherokee arrived for the 1984 model year, and was the first all-new Jeep wagon since the Wagoneer. Using a hybrid of body-on-frame and unibody construction, as well as a new “Quadra-Link” front suspension, the Cherokee XJ was a approximately a half-ton lighter, four inches lower, six inches narrower, and 21 inches shorter than the previous Cherokee, yet retained with 90 percent of the prior version’s capacity. Although it remained in production well past its expiration date, many Jeep fans wept when the XJ went out of production in 2001.Jeep Cherokee XJ, 1984–2001While the Jeep Wagoneer was put to rest in 1983, its spirit lived on in the highfalutin, luxury-lined Grand Wagoneer that arrived in 1984. Featuring the same off-road chops as the Wagoneer, it added standard features such as leather upholstery, air conditioning, AM/FM/CB stereo radios, increased sound insulation, and woodgrain exterior trim to appeal to Jeep’s increasingly affluent demographic. Equipped with a 360-cubic-inch V-8, the Grand Wagoneer for a time boasted the highest towing rating in its class. So beloved is the Grand Wagoneer that at least two companies currently offer fully refurbished and restored models.Jeep Grand Wagoneer, 1984–1991Although the development of the Grand Cherokee started under AMC’s watch, the Jeep brand was owned by Chrysler when it launched in 1993. Famously introduced to the world by crashing through the convention center glass at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit (the stunt would be repeated several weeks later in Jeep’s hometown of Toledo, Ohio), the Grand Cherokee set new standards for on-road ride, handling, and comfort in an SUV. The second-gen WJ was replaced by the all-new Grand Cherokee WK for the 2005 model year.Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ/WJ, 1993–2004
from Car and Driver Blog

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