Registered: December 2007
LAs Best after the war, Ford unsuccessfully sued Willys for the rights to the term “Jeep," leaving Willys with full rights to the name. Afterwards, Willys took its four-wheel drive vehicle to the public with its CJ (Civilian Jeep) versions, making these some of the first mass-produced 4x4 civilian vehicles ever. Willys were granted the Trademark in 1950.
The first CJs were essentially the same as the MB, except for such alterations as vacuum-powered windshield wipers, a tailgate (and therefore a side-mounted spare tire), and civilian lighting. Also, the civilian jeeps had amenities like naugahyde seats, chrome trim, and a variety of colors. Mechanically, a heftier T-90 transmission replaced the Willys MB's T84 in order to appeal to the originally considered rural buyers demographic.
Before Willys-Overland company was absorbed into other companies over the years (currently called Jeep and part of Chrysler LLC), it supplied the War Department as well as friendly nations with military jeeps for several more decades.
In 1950, the first postwar military jeep, the M38 (or MC), was launched, based on the 1949 CJ-3A. In 1953, it was quickly followed by the M38A1 (or MD), featuring an all-new "round-fendered" body in order to clear the also new, taller, Willys Hurricane engine. This jeep would later be developed into the CJ-5 launched in 1955. Similarly, its ambulance version, the M170 (or MDA), featuring a 20-inch wheelbase stretch, was later turned into the civilian CJ-6.
Before the CJ-5, Willys offered the public a cheaper alternative with the taller F-head engine in the form of the CJ-3B, a CJ-3A body with a taller hood. This was quickly turned into the M606 jeep (mostly used for export, through 1968) by equipping it with the available heavy-duty options such as larger tires and springs, and by adding black-out lighting, olive drab paint, and a trailer hitch. After 1968, M606A2 and -A3 versions of the CJ-5 were created in a similar way for friendly foreign governments.