7 Fun Facts Every Jeep Enthusiast Should Know
Every group of friends always has that one guy that's full of random facts. Most of the time, it’s some obscure statistic... like you’re more likely to die working out while listening to M.C. Hammer versus getting struck by an actual hammer. (Don’t quote us on that one. #HammerDontHurtEm)
So, we’re helping you out with some Jeep trivia that you can bust out on your next 4x4 outing. While you might not win "Jeopardy" with these seven factoids, they just might come in handy around the campfire.
1. What You Talking 'Bout?
Before Jeep was, well, Jeep, there was Willys. It's most commonly pronounced "Willies," despite the fact that John North Willys — the man for whom the vehicle is named after — pronounced his last name Willis. While it’s been pronounced both ways by Jeep historians and enthusiasts for years, it’s hard to argue with the man whose name is on the vehicle.
2. Leap Year!
The year 1995 marked the end of the square-headlight Wrangler. Since the TJ didn’t hit the scene until 1997, there technically was never a 1996 Jeep Wrangler offered.
3. A Shade of Trash
The popular Anvil color that can be seen on the Mighty FC concept vehicle was actually inspired by a trash can in the Jeep design studio. The color was so popular that it later made it into the mix for the Jeep Wrangler JK.
4. Slot So Fast
Despite being known for its trademark seven-slot grille, Jeep didn’t stick by that rule until the mid-'90s. While the lawsuit against the now defunct Hummer put the seven-slot grille history in the headlines, Jeep ultimately lost that suit due to various models through its history having a different number of grille slots. Another fun fact: Ford is responsible for the original grille design (shown here).
5. Truck Yeah!
While there’s excitement about the potential for a new truck offering with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, Jeep actually has a long history with pickups. The first was the 1947 Willys. The more stylized V-shaped grille didn’t appear until 1950. Another interesting note: There’s never been a four-door Jeep pickup offered from the factory.
6. No Frame Fame
In 1984, Jeep presented a pretty radical mid-sized SUV called the Cherokee. It would be the first time in Jeep’s history that a Unitbody 4x4 would be offered. It ultimately set the ground work for many of Jeeps modern SUVs.
7. You Say 'LJ,' Jeep Says 'Huh?'
Many Jeep enthusiasts reference their rides by the model code. For example, JK is used for the 2007 to 2017 Wrangler, while ZJ represents the 1993 to 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Most of these are even used by Jeep at a corporate level, all except one. The 2003 to 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited platform, commonly known as the LJ, is in fact a TJ-L according to Jeep. The seven-slot organization is known only use TJ-L to describing it on both internal and outgoing literature. It’s be noted that the LJ namesake gained moment when a handful of automotive journalist began referring to the “Long Jeep aka LJ” in print.