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History of: Jeep Wrangler

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jeep wrangler driving through the water

Photo Credit: Petr Magera

American vehicles have been pushed by the wayside by international models in more recent years, but one brand continues to succeed as one of the most iconic American brands ever created: Jeep. Once described as "America's only real sports car" by the great Enzo Ferrari, Jeep has been around since the early 1940s and has consistently been a staple on the roads. From the early creation to modern takes, the Jeep has a rich and storied history over seven decades and counting.

Military Days

During the later 1930s, the military was desperate for a better 4x4, AWD vehicle to allow to better scout and maneuver areas during war. The military reached out to 135 different manufacturers to meet their requirements for the vehicle. While Bantam Car Company originally won the bid, the modifications made by Willys-Overland would eventually become the Jeep that would see the battlefield. 

Known as the wartime limousine, the Jeep was strictly a military vehicle at first. Making its debut in 1941, the Willys MB Jeep was everywhere on the battlefront with 600,000 in production, taking commanders from camp to camp where they needed to be. It didn't take long for the Jeep to hit the streets on the homefront, however, as the first civilian models were on the roads just four years later in 1945

jeep wrangler driving through the snow

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito

Civilian Use

The Willys MB was a war hero in itself following World War II, even being awarded a Purple Heart for its beach landings during the war. This recognition created a huge demand for it on the roads. Following several modifications, the CJ-2A made its official civilian debut in 1945, with the CJ-3A debuting three years later as the first recreational vehicle in production. By the year 1948, Jeep was producing a wide range of different models including a steel wagon, pickup truck, sedan, and iconic Jeepster.

While these models were popular, the one which dominated the early years was dominated by the CJ-5 in 1955 which was produced for the next 30 years following its initial introduction.

Jeep Wrangler

When you think Jeep, the image of a Jeep Wrangler is most likely the first image to come to mind. While this model didn't go into production until the late 1990s, it is arguably the most recognizable model ever produced by Jeep is easily one of the most successful. We've sold hundreds of halo headlights for Jeep Wranglers over the years- their popularity is almost unmatched!

orange jeep wrangler by the ocean style=

Photo Credit: zombieite

If the CJ-3A was the first off-road, recreation vehicle, the Wrangler took it to a whole different level as the ultimate vehicle for an off-road escape. The first model, the 1997 Jeep Wrangler (JT) featured the best on and off-road capability available in a vehicle, winning the "4x4 of the Year" award. With the classic removable doors and feature of soft or hard top, the Jeep Wrangler stayed true to its roots with some of the best fan-favorite features.

In 2003, the Rubicon first appeared, Jeeps most capable Wrangler ever produced at the time. Three years later, in 2007, a slightly larger Wrangler first went into production, available with four-doors for even more cargo space and a more comfortable ride for passengers without sacrificing its iconic off-road performance and design.

From top to bottom, the Wrangler has proven itself as the best off-road vehicle available today and shows no signs of slowing down.

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