History Of The Jeep Wrangler | Yukon, OK

The Jeep Wrangler has a long, decorated history on the auto market. Here’s a look back at its storied legacy.

1941-1954: Willys MB & Willys-Overland CJ

The Jeep Wrangler has its roots in a military contract secured by Willys-Overland to make all-terrain vehicles for the U.S. army during World War II. Called the MB, the vehicle was often jokingly nicknamed the “jeep.” After its success in the army, Willys-Overland made the CJ, a civilian version of the vehicle, which made it a great agricultural and commercial vehicle. The CJ enjoyed three generations of models — the CJ-2A, CJ-3A, and CJ-3B.


1954-1986: Willys CJ-5, CJ-7… and Jeep CJ-7

A CJ-4 model was built, but never made it to production before Kaiser Motors bought Willys-Overland. Under the Kaiser-Jeep name, the CJ-5, CJ-6, and CJ-7 were produced all the way up until American Motors Corporation bought Kaiser-Jeep in 1970. The Jeep CJ-7 continued to be produced under new ownership until 1986.


1987: Birth of the Wrangler Name

1987 marked the first-ever use of the Wrangler nameplate applied to the original Jeep model. This model focused on both on- and off-road performance, with design elements like reduced body roll and a wider track for a more sophisticated driving experience. Shortly after the Wrangler was introduced, the model and its company changed hands once again when Chrysler finally bought Jeep.


1997-Present: Jeep Wrangler TJ, JK, and JL

When the Jeep Wrangler TJ came out in 1997, it was characterized by new suspension, more rigid construction, and a better-sealed interior, creating a more refined driving experience. It kept the previous generation’s powertrain options until 2002, when it got a new AMC four-cylinder. The Wrangler TJ lasted on the market until its 2007 redesign, the JK, which continued to improve upon the Jeep’s more comfortable, practical design. The JK was manufactured until 2018, when Jeep completely revamped the Wrangler for its latest generation — the 2019 model year.


The Jeep Wrangler has been blazing trails for over 75 years. Come test drive this legendary vehicle at Westpointe Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Ram, and learn more about Wrangler parts and accessories.