The Jeep CJ (or Civilian Jeep) was a commercial version of the famous Military Jeep from World War II. The first CJ (the CJ-2) was introduced in 1944 by Military Jeep, and the same basic vehicle stayed in production through seven variants and three corporate parents until 1986. In fact, a variant of the CJ is still in production today under license. The last CJs, the CJ-7 and CJ-8, were replaced in 1987 by the reworked Jeep. The CJ-7 is very popular in the sport of mud racing, both with the stock body or a fiberglass replica.


Although it bore the CJ name, the CJ-2 was not really available at retail. Military Jeep produced less than three dozen CJ-2 Agrijeeps in 1944 and 1945, forty in all [1]. It was directly based on the military Military Jeep, using the same Military Jeep, but stripped of all obviously military features, particularly the blackout lighting. Apart from having larger headlights, a side-mounted spare tire and an external fuel cap, most importantly this was the first jeep to have an opening Tailgate. Eleven of these have survived to this day [2].


Lessons learned with the CJ-2 led to the development of the first full-production CJ, the 1945-1949 CJ-2A. Like the CJ-2 and the Military version, the CJ-2A featured a split windshield. An early Column shifter and full floating rear axle gave way to the more familiar floor shift T90 and semi-floating rear axle. The three speed column shifter was introduced because it was thought that troops returning from WWII needed a change in the Jeep; ironically many of the earlier CJ-2As were produced using leftover military parts. The CJ-2A was intended as a farm vehicle so it was geared lower than its military couterpart. In the end, 214,202 CJ-2A's were produced.


The CJ-3A was introduced in 1949, and replaced the CJ-2A by the next year. It featured a one-piece windshield with a vent. A bare-bones Farm Jeep version was available starting in 1951 with a Power takeoff. 131,843 CJ-3A's were produced before the series ended in 1953.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan owned a 1952 M38A1.


Only one CJ-4 was ever built, as an experimental concept, in 1951. It used the new Military Jeep and had an Wheelbase.
The CJ-4 body tub design was a kind of intermediate between the straightforwardly raised hood on the CJ-3B and the all new curvy body style of the CJ-5.
The design was rejected and the vehicle eventually sold to a factory employee.


The CJ-3B replaced the CJ-3A in 1953, the same year Willys was sold to Kaiser (automobile). It introduced a higher grille and hood to clear the new Military Jeep. The CJ-3B was produced until 1968 with a total of 155,494 produced, although the design was licensed to a number of international manufacturers, including Mitsubishi of Japan and Mahindra of India. Mitsubishi ceased production of vehicles derived from the CJ-3B design in 1998, but Mahindra continues to produce Jeeps today.


The CJ-5 was influenced by new corporate owner, Kaiser, and the Korean War M38A1 Jeep. It was intended to replace the CJ-3B, but that model continued in production. The CJ-5 repeated this pattern, continuing in production for 3 decades while three newer models appeared. 603,303 CJ-5's were produced between 1954 and 1983.

In 1965, Kaiser bought the casting rights to the Buick 225 CID V6 Buick and the CJ-5 and CJ-6 got a new engine with supplementing the Military Jeep.

The company was sold to American Motors in 1970, and the GM engine was retired after the 1971 model year. (GM's Buick division repurchased the engine tooling in the early 1970s which served as the powerplant in several GM vehicles.) AMC began using their inline six-cylinder engines, the 258 in 1972 offering one V8 in the same tune as a base V8 muscle car, 304 CID.

To accommodate the new I6 the fenders and hood were stretched 3 inches starting in 1972. Other minor drive train changes took place then as well.

In 1976 the tub and frame were modified slightly from earlier versions. The windshield frame also changed meaning that tops from 1955-1975 will not fit a 1976-1983 CJ-5 and vice-versa.

In the early 1980s, the CJ used a "Hurricane"-branded version of the GM Iron Duke I4.

Several special CJ-5 models were produced:

  • 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
  • 1969 Camper
  • 1969 462
  • 1970 Renegade I
  • 1971 Renegade II
  • 1972-1983 Renegade Models — featuring a 304 CID V8, Alloy wheels and a Limited-slip differential
  • 1973 Super Jeep
  • 1977-1983 Golden Eagle


The CJ-6 was simply a longer-wheelbase (101 in) CJ-5. Introduced in 1955 as a 1956 model, the CJ-6 was never very popular in the United States. Most CJ6 models were sold to Sweden and South America. The U.S. Forest Service put a number CJ-6 Jeeps in to use. American sales ended in 1975. Just 50,172 had been made when the series went out of production completely in 1981. Just as in the CJ-5, the V6 and V8 engine choices appeared in 1965 and 1972. Former President Ronald Reagan owned a CJ-6 and used it on his California Ranch.

CJ-5A and CJ-6AEdit

From 1964-1968 Kaiser elevated the Tuxedo Park from just a trim package to a separate model for the CJ-5A and CJ-6A. A Tuxedo Park Mark IV is signified by a different prefix from a normal CJ-5 with a VIN prefix of 8322, while a normal CJ-5 VIN prefix is 8305 from 1964-1971.



  • AMC 150 I4 (2.5L)
  • AMC 258 I6 (4.2L)
  • AMC 304 V8 (5.0L)
  • Isuzu Diesel C240 (2.4L)


  • Warner T-18 (4 speed)
  • Borg-Warner T-4 (4 speed)
  • Borg-Warner T-5 (5 speed)
  • Tremec T-150 (3 speed manual
  • Tremec T-176 (4 speed manual)
  • Borg-Warner SR-4 (4 speed)
  • GM TH-400 (3 speed automatic)
  • Chrysler TF-999 (3 speed automatic transmission - 4.2L)
  • Chrysler TF-904 (3 speed automatic transmission - 2.5L)

Transfer Case

  • Dana 20 (1976-79)
  • Dana 300 (1980-86)
  • Borg-Warner QuadraTrac #1339 (1976 -1979)


  • Dana 30 Front (1976-86)
  • 2-Piece AMC 20 Rear (1976-86)
  • Dana 44 Rear (1986)

The CJ-7 featured a longer wheel base than the CJ-5 and lacked the noticeable curvature of the doors previously seen on the CJ-5. It was introduced in 1976 and 379,299 were built in 11 years of production. The CJ-7 featured an optional new automatic All-wheel drive system called Quadra-Trac, as well as a part-time two speed transfer case; an automatic was also an option. Other comfort features were an optional molded hardtop, and steel doors. There was a Renegade model and an upgraded Laredo model for the CJ-7. Noticeable by their different body decals, the upgraded Laredo model featured nicer seats, steering wheel tilt, and a chrome package that included the bumpers, front grill, and mirrors. An optional Trak-Lok differential was available for the rear. Ring and Pinion was typically 3.54, but later went down to 2.73. Isuzu Diesel version was made in the Ohio factory for US export only, The Isuzu engines were provided via General Motors who were partners in AMC and then owners of Isuzu Motor Cars. Production of this diesel version is believed to have been only between 1980 and 1982.

Jeep Scrambler (CJ8)Edit

The (CJ-8) Scrambler was a Pickup truck version of the CJ-7, introduced in 1981. It featured a wheelbase and a pickup bed. Only 27,792 were built in the five years of production before being replaced by the similarly-sized Jeep.

The Jeep Scrambler(CJ-8) did not offer the Quadra-Trac system. The majority of Jeep Scramblers (CJ-8) used the traditional transfer case and manual front-Locking hubs to engage the four-wheel drive. Most Scramblers(CJ-8) used a four- or five-speed standard transmission but a three-speed automatic transmission was an available option.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan also owned a blue Scrambler (CJ-8) and used it on his California "Rancho del Cielo" property(image) with the license plate "Gipper."


The CJ-10 was a CJ-based Pickup truck. Produced from 1981 through 1985, it was sold mainly as an export vehicle, though some were used by the United States Air Force for use as an Aircraft pulling vehicle. They featured square headlights mounted in the fenders and a 9-slot grille, a homage to the old Jeeps of WWII which originally had a 9 slot grille (the civilian model, the CJ-2 and 2a, were given a 7 slot grille as a distinction between the military and civilian models).

Image link

See alsoEdit

  • FMC XR311, similar vehicle designed to compete with the Hummer H1
  • Jeep (which replaced the CJ series in 1987)
  • Sarge (Cars), an Anthropomorphic automobile based on the Jeep.
  • Daisy Duke and The Dukes Of Hazzard.

Notes Edit

External linksEdit

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