75th Anniversary Jeep Wrangler

75th Anniversary Jeep Wrangler

Jeep is celebrating its 75th anniversary by bringing out a series of special editions. However, not all models are coming Australia, only the ‘real’ Jeep models are coming downunder (more about that ‘real’ in a moment).

Though the first Willys Jeeps were introduced 75 years ago in 1941 these were purely military vehicles. The first models available to civilians, appropriately tagged as CJ for Civilian Jeep, didn’t hit the road until 1945. These were built by Willys, later by Kaiser, followed by American Motors Corporation (AMC). It wasn’t until 1987 that Chrysler took Jeep into its fold.

Chrysler is justifiably proud of the Jeep brand and is holding worldwide celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the military Jeep. Jeep Australia is very much part of the action, importing special editions of the Wrangler (a direct descendent of the wartime Jeep), Renegade, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

75th Anniversary Jeep Renegade

75th Anniversary Jeep Renegade

The only models not taking part in the 75th anniversary in Australia are the Jeep Compass and Patriot that are sold in other countries. These may have Jeep like styling but are really only family wagons intended for on-road use. Hence Aussie Jeep purists don’t regard them as ‘real’ Jeeps.

There’s an exception to this ‘real’ Jeep theme; the Renegade 75th Anniversary being sold in Oz is the 2WD, not the 4WD Trailhawk. Something to do with keeping down prices, we suspect, as the Renegade was criticised for being pretty expensive at its launch.

Appearance means a lot to Jeep owners and the 75th Anniversary models centre around a military-green-and-mud look. Different shades of green are specified depending on which model you choose. However, if you’re not adventurous enough to go for military green you can choose other colours.


The one exception is the Wrangler two-door, being the closest to the WWII Jeep in its ancestry, it’s green or nothing – we like that!

The ‘mud’ part of the 75th’s looks is by way of bronze wheels, roof rails, grilles, foglight and taillight surrounds. Dark bronze ’75 Years 1941’ badges are an excellent design,

Inside, the seats have a debossed (the opposite of embossed) 75th Anniversary logo, seats are in a black and vinyl combo, there are bronze details, as well as Moroccan Sun coloured items in some models.

The 75th special theme varies slightly from model to model. May we suggest a visit to your local Jeep dealer to get an idea of the what’s on offer?

75th Anniversary Jeep Grand Cherokee

75th Anniversary Jeep Grand Cherokee

As part of the Australian 75th celebration, we took a number of Jeeps on an outback test route set by Jeep Australia. We began on sealed roads in the Flinders Ranges north of Adelaide. Then onto serious trail driving, even stages with no trail at all, you simply had to work out which was the best way to cover ground at where, perhaps, no one had ever driven on before. Low-range, first-gear, both-feet-off driving – love it…

Flat tyres were par for the course as sharp shingle sliced into sidewalls that were a compromise between on-road tyres and serious off-road units. Perhaps not the way Jeeps should be, but with the exception of Wrangler the reality is most Jeeps won’t really venture seriously away from sealed roads.

75th Anniversary Jeep Cherokee

75th Anniversary Jeep Cherokee

Finally we did some enjoyable drifting on claypans and sand work that included steep dune climbs that really challenged the drivers.

All-in-all a great day was had by all.

Jeep enthusiasts will notice substantial changes to the appearance of the 75th Grand Cherokee, particularly at the front. This isn’t a feature just for the 75th edition, but rather is a preview of the revised Grand Cherokee that will be launched late this year. We won’t go into too much detail here other than to say it will have an engine upgrade, lightweight materials and electric power steering amongst other changes.

All our driving was done in rugged Aussie Outback conditions. We will borrow some 75th Anniversary special editions later and put them up against real world conditions – that is boring traffic, shopping centres and the like to give you our reviews afterwards.

Prices of the Jeep 75thh Anniversary models are:
Renegade 1.2-litre turbo-petrol 2WD: $33,500
Cherokee 3.2-litre 4WD: $45,000
Wrangler 3.6-litre 4WD two-door: $51,000
Wrangler 3.6-litre 4WD four-door: $55,000
Grand Cherokee 3.6-litre 4WD: $64,500
Grand Cherokee 3.0-litre diesel 4WD: $71,500
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Toyota dealer for driveaway prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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