The Evolution of the Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Evolution

The Evolution of the Jeep Wrangler

What started out as a vehicle made for the U.S. Army has now become a name associated with freedom, trailblazing, and adventure. Through the decades, the Jeep Wrangler has continued to revolutionize the market with its legendary capability and superior off-roading skills. At Big 4 Motors, we are proud to be one of Alberta's first Jeep stores. As the original Jeep-certified dealership in Calgary, Alberta, we are excited to showcase one of the most iconic Jeeps in the lineup: the Jeep Wrangler. Here is a glimpse of how the Jeep Wrangler developed throughout the years to become the outstanding SUV it is today!


In 1940, the Willys Quad was designed in just 75 days and presented to the U.S. Army. It featured the now infamous 4x4 system. While only two prototypes were developed, the Willys Quad made way for the Willys MA, a lighter version of the Willys Quad. The Willys MA triumphed, with a weight of just around 2,500 pounds. Today, only about thirty Willys MA models are known to exist, making it one of the rarest of all pre-production Willys models. The Willys MA was further improved to create the Willys MB. With this model, the company succeeded in securing a contract with the U.S. Army to produce 16,000 Willys MB models. From thereon, the first civilian Jeep, the CJ-2A, was developed in 1945. The CJ-2A featured enhanced shock absorbers and springs as well as more comfortable seats. It even had an automatic windshield wiper on the driver's side. In 1949, Jeep designed and improved the CJ-2A model and created the CJ-3A, which was distinguishable by its one-piece windshield. In the wake of its previous success, Jeep proceeded to develop a variety of versatile vehicles that catered to different needs. In 1946, it introduced America's first all-steel station wagon, the Willys Wagon, which could even be had in commercial configurations and was in production for 19 years. In 1947, the Willys-Overland Truck was created and revolutionized the pickup truck market until 1965. Finally, in 1948, the iconic Jeep Jeepster (VJ) emerged. This open-bodied sports car has since become a valuable collector's car.

1940's Jeep Willys
1950s Jeep


As part of Jeep's continued innovation, in 1950, Jeep developed the M38, which could be driven completely submerged underwater with a waterproof ignition system and unique vent tube system. This model kickstarted Jeep's legendary water fording capability, as seen in the 1950 Jeep® CJV-35/U, the first production Jeep 4x4 with factory-included water fording capability. The 1950s was a busy decade for Jeep as it introduced more than nine incredible vehicles, all ahead of their time. The Jeep M-38A1 was developed and dubbed an automotive masterpiece. The M-38A1 was the most powerful Jeep ever to be built and was on the market for almost 20 years. Today, the Museum of Modern Art displays a 1952 M-38A1 as part of its collection of significant vehicles. A true chameleon, Jeep continued to provide the industry with an array of vehicles, including the 1953 Jeep M-170, an ambulance and light troop carrier! 1953 also brought the Jeep CJ-3B, an updated version of the Jeep CJ. The CJ-3B was more powerful than ever, with 25% more horsepower and 9% more torque. By 1968, over 155,000 CJ-3B models were sold! Jeep introduced two civilian vehicles for the masses in 1955, the Jeep CJ-5 and the Jeep CJ-6. Both were extremely successful and were in production until the 1980s! Jeep continued to invent new vehicles for the rest of the 1950s, including the Jeep FC-150, the Jeep FC-170, and the Jeep DJ-3A.

Experience the Jeep Wrangler

The current Jeep Wrangler is the culmination of decades of research and innovation. Jeep has worked tirelessly to develop today's model, making it the best Jeep Wrangler ever to exist. At BIG4, we make it easy to get behind the wheel of this monumental SUV. From a wide inventory of Jeep vehicles and a variety of Jeep Wrangler trims to easy and competitive financing, our dealership in Calgary, Alberta, is a one-stop-shop for all things Jeep. Visit us today to experience the iconic Jeep Wrangler for yourself!

  1. Big 4 Motors Ltd.

    7330 MacLeod Trail South
    Calgary (Highfield / Burns Industrial), AB T2H 0L9

    • Sales: 403-252-6671
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