Firstly, I’d like to start off by saying something that I’ve been saying ever since I moved to the United States; If you don’t know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle then you really don’t know how to drive. It is always a huge disappointment when I get into some of my mates Jeeps and they have an automatic. It goes against the history of the wrangler! The beauty of it’s off-road versatility goes to waste, and what the hell do you do with your left foot? And for those that were wanting to learn, you have two options: I’ll teach you, or you can watch this YouTube Video and hope you have a dumb enough friend that will let you blow out their clutch. This is the real Jeep Wrangler.

Before 1945 the Jeep “Wrangler” was considered solely a military vehicle. The military had about 50 different kinds of Jeep models, but I will stick to the three most important:

  1. Willy’s Quad 2. Willy’s MA 3. Willy’s MB

All military models of the Jeep Wrangler ultimately had the same engine:
A Cast Iron L134cu Straight 4-Clylinder, which put out a whopping 60 horsepower. These vehicles were known for their off-road capabilities and world renowned for their reliability. So, why not make it a consumer product for all to enjoy?

Well, in 1945 Jeep came out with a Wrangler model called the “CJ” which meant “Civilian Jeep”. Through the years there were a crazy amount of different sub-models of the Jeep CJ which were in production from 1945-1986. Here is an in depth list of these models if you are interested.

BUT, something a lot of CJ’s did have in common was their engine. This engine changed the way Jeeps drove. This engine gave the Jeep a crazy 150-190 horsepower and enticed people who wanted a fast and robust vehicle. This engine was a Jeep staple for decades and is actually the engine that my Rubicon has.

Possibly the most reliable engine every invented. Picture of modern CJ below.

The CJ lasted all the way up until 1986 where it met its successor: The YJ. The YJ had more horsepower, comfier interior, better handing, more agile suspension, AND RECTANGULAR FRIGGIN HEADLIGHTS. This is what she looked like:

The YJ met its successor in 1996 when the TJ was released (this is my girl). The TJ was the first model to release the Rubicon. The Rubicon was geared EVEN MORE towards offroading capabilities and came complete with a more powerful transfer case, low gear range, rocker protection, and Dana 44 axles which gave it a much wider wheel base, along with much more.

The successor to the TJ was the JK. The JK was the same as the TJ except they changed a couple dimensions around, we can forget about this one.

And finally, the successor to the JK and the newest Jeep Wrangler model; The JL:

The JL is a BEAST. It said goodbye to the 4.0L straight 6-cylinder engine and said hello to the 3.6L V6, some even have a turbo. The V6 -engine puts out a monstrous 300 horsepower and allows for a lower center of gravity, a more compact/lighter front end, and has less vibration. All these things are vital when you need to go 100 mph through the woods, #morebrawnthanbrain, #JeepLife.

The history behind the Jeep Wrangler is a weird one, but if it can bring us from 60HP I4, to a 300hp V6 in less than a century, then jeep did something right. They appealed to the consumer and kept both reliability and versatility in mind. The Jeep Wrangler is enjoyed by millions around the world and continues to be a hot commodity. I hope you guys learned a little something about the Jeep Wrangler, and I hope it makes you want to learn how to drive stick.

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