The Jeep Wrangler is one of the few vehicles on the market today that can trace its roots all the way back to the 1940s. Following World War II, the civilian version of the Jeep CJ was launched, but it bears little resemblance to the Jeep Wrangler of today. Modern Jeeps come chock full of amenities like air conditioning and audio systems, while the original Jeeps has four wheels, an engine and two differentials. As for safety equipment, the original Jeep didn’t even have seat belts, let alone air bags.
One thing has stayed true to form over all this time: modern Jeeps are designed to shed their top and doors for a true open air experience, just like the original models. They’re still capable off-road, and few stock 4x4s will get you into the same number of remote locations that even a base Wrangler Sport can. While they’re a lot more civilized than their 1940s counterparts, Jeeps are still a handful to live with on a daily basis. To those who actually take their Jeeps off-road, a little road and wind noise, plus a somewhat harsh ride, is the price to pay for go-anywhere versatility.
Enjoy the side by side comparison video of the 1945 Jeep CJ and the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, courtesy of MotorTrend.