The first Jeep CJ-5 — the civilian version of the M-38A1 made famous during World War II — was produced Oct. 11, 1954, helping to launch what would become one of the most American of consumer brands, influencing competitors and popular culture for decades.
Willys began designing civilian vehicles in 1944. With no auto stamping capacity, designs were limited to those that could be stamped by appliance manufacturers, resulting in a boxy, flat appearance. The first was the CJ-2A.
In 1956, Willys introduced the CJ-6, adding 20 inches to the wheelbase of the CJ-5.
More than 1.5 million CJ's — which stands for Civilian Jeep — were built since the model first appeared.