1950-1952 JEEP M38 (MC)
1950 1952 jeep m38 2 Jeep History (1950s)
1950 1952 jeep m38 4 Jeep History (1950s)

Essentially a combat-ready version of the CJ-3A, the M38, or Willys Model MC, was the first post-WW II military Jeep® vehicle.

The M38 included several key changes including: stronger frame and suspension. It could be driven completely submerged thanks in part to a new waterproofed 24-volt ignition system (replaced the CJ-3A’s 6-volt system), and a unique vent tube system that connected the fuel tank, transfer case, transmission, and engine to the air cleaner.

The 1950 Jeep CJV-35/U, a derivation of the M38, was the first production Jeep 4×4 with factory-included deep water fording capability. The CJV-35/U was made primarily for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Later models would add black out lamps, headlight guards, and ability to carry tools on the side of the M38 similar to the original Willys MB. The M38 is known by many as, “the best of the flat fenders”.

The M38 served honorably in the Korean War, all along the 38th parallel.

1952-1971 JEEP M-38A1 (MD)


1952 1971 jeep m38a1 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1952 1971 jeep m38a1 2 Jeep History (1950s)
1952 1971 jeep m38a1 3 Jeep History (1950s)

The M-38A1, also known as the MD, the design would later be the foundation for the classic CJ-5. The M-38A1 featured a two-piece windshield, longer wheelbase, softer ride, more powerful engine, and new, more rounded body. The “round-fender” Jeep® vehicle would eventually become the foundation for the CJ-5.

In 1951, Museum of Modern Art declared the Jeep 4×4 as a cultural icon and saluted it as one of the world’s eight automotive masterpieces. In 2002, a 1952 Willys M-38A1 was added it to its permanent collection of significant vehicles, describing it as the best Jeep vehicle ever built.

The M-38A1C, a specially modified Army Jeep 4×4 produced through 1971, was designed to transport 106mm and 105mm recoilless rifles. A unique channel opening in the windshield allowed the barrel of the rifle to rest on the front hood.

What was the most “powerful” Jeep vehicle ever built? Some would say the M-38A1D — it was equipped with a Davy Crocket missile launcher that could fire tactical nuclear weapons. The user could launch the 279mm 1-Kiloton-yield atomic projectile to a range of 2,000 meters from its 120mm recoilless gun.

The M-38A1 was one of the most enduring military Jeep vehicles. Some called it the last “true” military Jeep vehicle.

1953-1964 JEEP M-170
1953 1964 jeep m 170 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1953 1964 jeep m 170 2 Jeep History (1950s)

The Jeep® M-170 could be fitted with several different body packages. One was a light troop carrier. Because the wounded could be carried inside, M-170 was also heavily used as a field ambulance.

A long-wheelbase four-wheel drive prototype Ambulance was released to the U.S. Army in 1951 for testing (project 6396). The CJ-4MA-01 (earlier known as Model MC-A) featured skirted flat fenders, a large passenger door and lengthened tub. This vehicle bridges the gap between the M-38 and the round fender M-38A1.

1953-1968 JEEP CJ-3B (UNIVERSAL)
1953 1968 jeep cj 3B universal 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1953 1968 jeep cj 3B universal 2 Jeep History (1950s)

Willys dramatically updated its CJ line on January 28, 1953 with the CJ-3B — the first CJ with a dramatically different style from its military ancestor, the Willys MB. The CJ-3B featured a higher hood to accommodate a taller “Hurricane” “F-head” engine.

If ever there was a complaint with the CJ-2A and CJ-3A it was with the lack of power. The new engine put that complaint at rest. The “F-head” style overhead-valve engine, designed by Barney Roos, produced a remarkable 25% more horsepower and 9% more torque.

The fresh powerplant was mated to a new transfer case that was designed to offer longer life and quieter operation.

The CJ-3B remained in production for fifteen years. By 1968, over 155,000 are sold. Also, a one-off CJ-4 was produced in 1951, a hybridization of the M38-series and soon-to-come CJ-5.

1955-1983 JEEP CJ-5
1955 1983 jeep cj 5 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1955 1983 jeep cj 5 2 Jeep History (1950s)
1955 1983 jeep cj 5 3 Jeep History (1950s)

In October 11, 1954, Kaiser announced the arrival of the Jeep® CJ-5, and featured softer styling lines, including rounded body contours based on the 1952 Korean War M-38A1. The CJ-5 was better on every front: it was stronger, more comfortable, more versatile, and more off-road capable.

It was slightly larger than the CJ-3B, as it featured an increased wheelbase and overall length. Improvements in engines, axles, transmissions and seating comfort made the 81-inch-wheelbase CJ-5 an ideal vehicle for the public’s growing interest in off-road vehicles.

Big news in 1965 was getting a new “Dauntless” V6 engine that produced 155 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. The V6 nearly double the power of the standard four-cylinder engine. Beginning in 1973, all Jeep CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines.

Spanning thirty years, the CJ-5 had the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle, and in the sixteen years of Kaiser ownership, Jeep vehicle manufacturing plants were established in thirty foreign countries, with Jeep vehicles marketed in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Many special editions were offered, including the 1964-1967 “luxury” Tuxedo Park, the 1969 Camper, the 1969 “462″, the 1970 Renegade I, the 1971 Renegade II, the 1972-1983 Golden Eagle, and 1973 and 1976 Super Jeep. A two-wheel driver version DJ-5 was offered through 1974. A popular and enduring legend, the CJ-5 has probably logged more trail miles than any other Jeep vehicle.

1955-1975 JEEP CJ-6
1955 1975 jeep cj 6 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1955 1975 jeep cj 6 2 Jeep History (1950s)
1955 1975 jeep cj 6 3 Jeep History (1950s)

A common complaint of early CJ owners was the need for more room for passengers and gear. Willys Motors responded with the CJ-6. Basically a CJ-5 with a 20-inch-longer wheelbase (101 inches), the CJ-6 combined greater storage capacity, improved comfort, and superior off-road capability.

The commercial two-wheel drive version was called DJ-6. The export version remained in production until 1981. The Jeep® brand also introduced a forward-control (FC) cab-over-engine variation to the CJ line in 1957.

AMC equipped the CJ-6 with heavier axles, bigger brakes and a wider track. In 1965, a new “Dauntless” V6 engine was introduced as an option on CJ-5 and CJ-6 vehicles. The 155-hp V6 almost doubled the horsepower of the standard four-cylinder engine. Beginning in 1973, all Jeep CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines.

A chrome-trimmed Tuxedo Park model was offered in 1964 through ’67. A 192ci Perkins I-4 diesel engine was an available option (as it was on the CJ-5) from 1961 to ’69. AMC would later equip both the CJ-5 and CJ-6 with heavier axles, bigger brakes and a wider track. CJ-6s are prized by collectors.

1957-1965 JEEP FC-150 (FC)
1957 1965 jeep fc 150 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1957 1965 jeep fc 150 2 Jeep History (1950s)

In a bold departure from previous designs, Willys Motors unveiled its highly-maneuverable Forward-Control (FC) series of Jeep® four-wheel drive trucks. These highly maneuverable workhorses featured a unique cab-over-engine design gave them a hoodless, flat-nose appearance. While its “cab forward” styling had little in common with traditional Jeep vehicle body design, the FC-150 was actually built on top of the existing CJ-5 chassis.

Essentially work trucks – the cab-over-engine Jeep vehicles came in two models: an 81-inch wheelbase FC 150 with a four-cylinder F-head engine, and the 103.5 inch wheelbase for the FC 170 with a six-cylinder L-head engine.

Both models included pickup, stake bed, chassis & cab, and assorted specialty editions, with the FC-170 also available in a heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel version.

“More cargo space! On less wheelbase! And goes ‘anyplace’!” chirped FC ads of the time. And indeed, with the FC-150/170, workers and farmers had a vehicle that could go virtually anywhere (due to its eighteen-foot turning radius) while also hauling a load.

The FCs were remarkably convenient trucks—their unusually low beds making them easy to load and unload—that enjoyed popularity in foreign markets.

1957-1965 JEEP FC-170 (FC)
1957 1965 jeep fc 170 1 Jeep History (1950s)
1957 1965 jeep fc 170 2 Jeep History (1950s)

In a bold departure from previous designs, Willys Motors unveiled its highly-maneuverable Forward-Control (FC) series of Jeep® four-wheel drive trucks. These highly maneuverable workhorses featured a unique cab-over-engine design gave them a hoodless, flat-nose appearance. While its “cab forward” styling had little in common with traditional Jeep vehicle body design, the FC-150 was actually built on top of the existing CJ-5 chassis.

Essentially work trucks – the cab-over-engine Jeep vehicles came in two models: an 81-inch wheelbase FC-150 with a four-cylinder F-head engine, and the 103.5 inch wheelbase for the FC-170 with a six-cylinder L-head engine.

Both models included pickup, stake bed, chassis & cab, and assorted specialty editions, with the FC-170 also available in a heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel version.

“More cargo space! On less wheelbase! And goes ‘anyplace’!” claimed FC ads of the time. And indeed, with the FC-150/170, workers and farmers had a vehicle that could go virtually anywhere (due to its eighteen-foot turning radius) while also hauling a load.

The FCs were remarkably convenient trucks-their unusually low beds making them easy to load and unload-that enjoyed popularity in foreign markets.

They were virtually unchanged throughout their production runs, save 1959 when the FC-170 received HD rear springs, which increased GVW to a max. 8,000 pounds: additionally, a few ’67 170s were offered with dual rear wheels and a four-speed manual transmission option that bumped GVW up to 9,000 pounds; some ’59-’60 FCs came with full-floating front and rear axles as well.

1950 DJ-3A Gala Surrey
1950 dj 3a gala surrey Jeep History (1950s)

This two-wheel drive only Jeep® “Dispatcher” version of the CJ-3A was available in hardtop, Soft Top convertible and half- and full-top models and was called the DJ-3A. It was available with or without a tailgate. Other distinguishing features were its four bolt wheels and steering-column gearshift. A Gala Surrey model with fringe around its Soft Top was introduced primarily as a vacation rental vehicle at resort destinations.

Source: Jeep Official Site

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