The Custom Jeep SUV: A Legacy of Adventure

If there’s a car on the market that has potentially the most uncompromising history and legacy of excitement and adventure, it’s Jeep. This is a vehicle that has been around for over 75 years, and linked to action, adventure, trailblazing and freedom that entire time. Even to this day Jeep vehicles offer class-leading off-road capabilities and an unmistakable profile.

It’s not surprising, given their legacy, that Jeep owners also love to customize their vehicles and show off their own personal tastes. Learn about the history of the Jeep SUV, the first ever sport utility vehicle, and where you can get a custom Jeep designed to meet your adventuring needs.

1940s: The First Jeep SUV

The first Jeep SUV arrived in the 1940s, on the battlefields of World War II Europe as the Willys. It was the crossover that Allied soldiers counted on to go anywhere and do anything. After the war, the legacy continued, making the leap to civilian roadways, where it was an instant hit. 

1950s: The Custom Jeep Arrives

In the 1950s, the recreational vehicle started to become a class of its own, featuring superior engineering and off-road-oriented performance. The launch of the Jeep Jamboree and similar models led to the first custom Jeep vehicles, a trend that continues today.

1960s: The Wagoneer

During the 1960s when station wagons ruled the family roads, Jeep again took the lead with the Wagoneer, which offered outstanding prestige, refinement, luxury and performance. At this time, the brand grew to a whopping fourteen different models, to suit every need from recreation to work and basic transportation.

1970s: Full-Time Four-by-Four

In the 1970s Jeep introduced the first full-time four-wheel drive system, and the introduction of the new 2-door Jeep Cherokee, which swept awards shows across the company. Jeep found its feet during this time and focused on six specific models, which took sales to record highs for the company.

1980s: Wrangler YJ and Industry Firsts Arrive

The 1980s brought the arrival of the Jeep Wrangler YJ, the first-generation model of Wrangler with a legacy going all the way back to the Willys. In addition, this decade saw a number of industry firsts taking Jeep engineering to the next level. These included the first UniFrame construction, the first shift-on-the-fly full-time 4×4, and the first compact four-door sport utility vehicle.

1990s: Enter the Wrangler TJ

The 1990s continued the legacy of innovation with the arrival of the new Jeep Wrangler TJ with coil suspension, as well as the Grand Cherokee, setting a new industry standard for SUVs. Together, these form the most capable SUVs ever.

2000s through Today: Wrangler Rubicon

In 2003, the Wrangler Rubicon arrived, tearing up trails like never before, including a four-door model. We’ve also seen the introduction of the Compass and the Patriot, taking on the small crossover segment. Of course, this legacy and performance brings true enthusiasts with it, and that means the history of customizing your Jeep SUV continues.

If you’re interested in a true custom Jeep to show off your enthusiasm, spirit of adventure, and personality, Summit 4X4 Company is here to help. Get in touch with us today and find out about our extensive list of parts and customizations, and how we can make you the Jeep of your dreams.