When you talk about the Jeep marque, the first thing that will probably come into your mind would be military vehicles. Indeed jeep vehicles were initially manufactured to serve as service vehicles for the US Army Department. The first producers of these vehicles were the American Bantam, Willy's-Overland Motor Company, and Ford. Soon, the jeep design was copied in different countries, which later on became an automobile marque called "Jeep".
The Jeep CJ or Civilian Jeep was first introduced to the public in 1944 by Willys. It was just the commercial version of the popular Military Jeep during the Second World War. Through the years, the same vehicle was offered in different variants until it was finally replaced by the Jeep Wrangler in 1987. The first in the CJ variants is the CJ-2 that was based on the Military Willys MB using the latter's same powerplant. It was produced in a very limited number, 40 units to be exact. Distinctive feature for it are larger headlights, being equipped with spare tire mounted on the side, opening tailgate and the use of an external fuel cap.
The CJ-2 was succeeded by the CJ-2A that was introduced in 1945 and had a full production until 1949. A split windshield from the CJ-2 and its Military version is still being featured by the CJ-2A, but it nevertheless underwent some changes such as the use of column shifter and full floating rear axle leading to floor shift T90 and semi-floating rear axle. The CJ-2A was discontinued in 1949 to give way for the CJ-3A which now had a one-piece windshield. A Farm Jeep version of the CJ-3A was offered in 1951 showcasing a power takeoff device.
Came 1953 when the CJ-3A was replaced by the CJ-3B. This time, a higher grille and hood was seen on the vehicle for the purpose of clearing the new Hurricane engine. Its production ended in 1968 with almost 156, 000 units sold. The Jeep CJ3, both CJ-3A and CJ-3B were indeed a revolutionary design model for the other CJs or even manufacturers to follow. Its design was licensed so several international car makers including Japan's Mitsubishi (ceased to produce in 1998) and India's Mahindra. The rest of the CJ variants, as they say, are history.
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