History of the Jeep CJ5

by Rob Wagner

The Jeep CJ5 (or CJ-5, the formal designation) is a version of the original World War II and Korean War era military Jeeps produced by Willys. The CJ, which stands for "Civilian Jeep," is the most enduring marque used for both off-road and city driving, spawning imitators like the International Harvester Scout, the early Chevrolet Blazers and even the later Jeep Cherokees under Chrysler.

History

The 1966 Jeep CJ-5 is almost identical to the military version.

The CJ5 was produced between 1954 and 1983 by Kaiser, American Motors and Chrysler, ultimately selling 603,303 units. Willys was sold to Kaiser in 1953. During its lifetime 11 versions of the Jeep CJ5 were sold.

Significance

A 1970 CJ-5 performing tough duty.

The CJ5 is the first civilian vehicle manufactured specifically for off-road use.

Identification

A 1979 Renegade can handle any environment.

It's nearly identical to the iconic military Jeep, with no doors, a fold-down windshield and a canvas top.

Types

An advertisement for the 1979 Silver Anniversary Limited Edition.

Models were the Tuxedo Park Mark, the Camper, the 492, Renegades I and II, Super Jeep, Golden Eagle, the Golden Eagle California Edition, Golden Hawk and the Silver Anniversary Limited Edition.

Features

The 1983 Jeep Renegade was one of the last CJ-5s produced.

One model, the Tuxedo Park Mark IV, offered a sports-style version with chrome bumpers, tail lamp trim, hood latches and a selection of seat and convertible top cover colors.

Size

The 225-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine in a 1960 CJ-5.

Engine sizes were the 225-cublic-inch V-6 and 304-cubic-inch V-8 on an 81-inch wheelbase through 1971, then the 83.5-inch wheelbase.

Fun Fact

The Jeep CJ5 traversed the jungles of South America in the 1984 Michael Douglas movie "Romancing the Stone."

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Chrysler LLC