A “civilian jeep.”
A “civilian jeep.” (Tim Tomkinson)


A “civilian jeep.”

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle first produced for the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1940, the Army requested prototypes for a lightweight off-road vehicle; it gave contractors just 49 days to turn theirs in. Willys-Overland Motors won the job and manufactured 330,000 jeeps over the next five years, contracting out about the same number to Ford. After the war, Willys-Overland began producing the CJ series (for “civilian jeep”), which quickly became popular with farmers and outdoorsmen. Willys was soon renamed Jeep, and in 1963 the brand debuted the Wagoneer, which added features like automatic transmission and power steering, thus inventing the SUV.

From Outside Magazine, August 2015
Filed to:
Lead Photo: Tim Tomkinson