Celebrating 80 Years Of Jeep: Jeep Through The Ages
For over 80 years now, Jeep has become synonymous with freedom, adventure, authenticity and passion.
It’s been 8 decades since the legendary 4x4 manufacturer burst onto the scene with the iconic Willys MB.
To commemorate the tremendous achievement of providing stylish, innovative and incredibly capable off-roading vehicles for eight decades running, we’ve decided to look back at some of Jeep’s major milestones over the years...
Any Jeep fan knows that the brand was born to provide military vehicles, to ‘Go Anywhere. Do Anything.’
Designed to be a small reconnaissance model capable of tackling rough terrain in World War Two, the iconic Willys MB went into production.
The Willys MB proved fast, agile and robust – easily gaining a reputation for speedily reaching places other vehicles couldn't. It soon became a favourite among soldiers and after the war, was seen as a confident and reliable vehicle for rural farming or for transport across challenging terrains.
The 1950s saw the rise of the recreation vehicle, as well as superior engineering.
Grass-roots enthusiasts helped launch Jeep Jamborees and took the original freedom machine to new heights in sales, thanks to seven unique models.
Jeep even developed a waterproof 24V ignition system, making the Jeep fully submergible – the brand continued to showcase their innovative and practical advancements in 4x4 manufacturing.
Throughout the ‘60s, the newly launched Jeep Wagoneer represented unparalleled refinement and innovation.
Prestige and individuality ruled the day. The Jeep line-up grew to harbour over 14 different models, including the Wagoneer – a benchmark at the time for premium 4x4 SUVs.
By the end of the decade, there was a Jeep vehicle for work, play, recreation and luxury, yet capable, transportation.
In the 1970s, Jeep 4x4 leadership progressed with the introduction of the first full-time 4x4 system.
Jeep’s sporty two-door full-size Cherokee continuously took over the spotlight at the 4x4 of the Year awards.
Six additional models help elevate sales, as Jeep begins to appeal to an even more wide audience.
When the ‘80s came, the refreshed Jeep Cherokee helped revolutionise the 4x4 market.
The mighty XJ introduced many industry firsts, including: the first compact 4-door SUV, first UniFrame construction, and first full-time 4x4 system with shift-on-the-fly capability.
The legendary Wrangler also became more comfortable to drive, despite still being an off-roading champion.
The 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee set a new industry standard, thanks to its unique prowess in tackling both road and off-roading seamlessly.
In 1997, the Wrangler was updated to include new coil suspension, making it more smooth to drive.
Notably, in 1999 the latest Grand Cherokee was marketed as the most capable SUV ever. Consequently, sales soared to over 629K units over that decade.
The early 00s saw the launch of the incredible Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The 2003 Wrangler Rubicon was the most capable vehicle ever produced by Jeep.
In addition, a new 4-door Wrangler took the industry by storm.
The Compass and Patriot were the first Jeep vehicles to reach into the small cross-utility segment. The Compass features front-wheel-drive and the choice of two electronically controlled 4x4 systems for all-weather use. It quickly becomes popular in more urban environments, so helps widen the appeal of the Jeep brand
The Jeep Brand resonates with consumers around the world as global sales increase to highest point in over 75-year history with 1.41 million units sold worldwide for 2016.
The Jeep range we now know and love offers something for everyone - whether you’re looking for a tough off-roader or a more urban-friendly commute companion.
Strategic launches of the all-new Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Compass vehicles have begun to shape Jeep’s electrified future.
2020 and Beyond
With an all-electric Jeep model set to burst onto the scene later this year, the brand continues to innovate and push the boundaries of 4x4 motoring. Learn more about the upcoming all-electric Jeep, here.
Currently, the Jeep Renegade 4XE offers an impressive blend of off-road capability with outstanding efficiency and innovative interior, so you don’t have to compromise. You can learn more about the Renegade 4XE, here.
Throughout Jeep’s history, the drivers of their cars have learned that the ‘Go Anywhere. Do Anything.’ slogan is actually a way of life. The Jeep badge stands for more than a brand, it’s a badge of honour.
Jeep themselves are celebrating reaching ‘80 year of success’ by launching two new special editions here in the UK. If you’d like to learn about the Jeep Renegade and Wrangler 80th Anniversary Series models, click here.
If you would like to ask any Jeep related questions or enquire about purchasing one of these special editions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of experts:
Shop the latest and greatest Jeep line-up right here at Vertu Motors, then go off and create your own history in a vehicle that won’t hold you back: