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Get Off Your Horse - Here's A Real Jeep

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Jeep Wrangler

Get Off Your Horse - Here's A Real Jeep

Geoff Maxted
November 20, 2013

Jeep Wrangler Willys Jeep
The roots of America’s love affair with Jeep can be traced to the Second World War, as the one-of-a-kind vehicle dutifully served the United States military with durability and ruggedness. The affinity for Jeep gained traction as the first civilian Jeep (“CJ”) vehicles – the Willys-Overland CJ-2A – reached the public in 1945. The CJ-2A, and successor CJ-3A, were immortalised for their go-anywhere capability and strictly functional (i.e. sparse) amenities.

Beginning early next year, when the new 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition arrives in the U.S. showrooms, customers can connect with the original Jeep vehicle’s rugged and purely functional capability. The latest Wrangler special edition makes its debut this week at the Los Angeles Show. The company believe that this Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition is a Jeep purist’s dream, offering a vehicle that harks back to the original, classic CJs of the 1940s. “This new Jeep vehicle delivers pure functionality and rugged capability in a unique package that recognizes the origins of the brand”, so they say.

Based on the Wrangler Sport model, the new edition features upgraded hardware, including a Dana 44 rear axle with a limited-slip rear differential, BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tyres, rock rails and a new Jeep Trail Rated Kit that includes a D-Ring, tow strap and gloves (!) in a Jeep-branded bag. These days the formerly obligatory pack of Lucky Strikes is down to you). Also featured are the Jeep Command-Trac 4x4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio both helping to give the Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition its improved ability off-road.

Special exterior design cues include a gloss black grille with black Jeep badge, gloss black front and rear bumpers, ‘historic’ satin black “4 Wheel Drive” rear tailgate decal and “Willys” bonnet decals coupled with unique high-gloss black 17-inch aluminium wheels. The Willys Wheeler Edition comes standard with a Sunrider soft top and deep-tint sunscreen rear windows. A premium Sunrider soft top and black-splatter Freedom Top are available as options.

Despite its historic demeanour the Willys Wheeler also features the Jeep Connectivity Group with SiriusXM satellite radio (presumably for calling in air-strikes) and Sport S-based models have the Power Convenience

Group and Premium Tyre Pressure Monitoring System as standard. Jeep Wrangler’s iconic half doors are shown as an option but clearly are a must-have essential purchase.

The 2014 Jeep features the award winning 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that produces 285bhp and 260 torques. It is available with a standard six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, and delivers up to 21 miles per gallon on the highway. Available in any Jeep Wrangler colour, the Willys

Wheeler Edition retails at $25,795 (just shy of £16k) for two-door models and $29,595 (£18300) for the four-door models, although you can bet your life if you want to buy one in the UK they’ll cost a goodly bit more than the above conversion amounts - if they're available at all.

Having driven the Jeep Grand Cherokee recently, I can say that Jeep have made great strides forward and buyers can spend with confidence. So go ahead - make your day. Bring out that your inner John Wayne ruggedness and imagine driving this blast from the past.\

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