Each Friday on the Jeep® Blog, we explore the Jeep brand’s iconic heritage by highlighting a different historical vehicle. This week’s vehicle is the 1953 Jeep Willys CJ-3B.
1953 was a big year in Jeep vehicle history, as the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation bought Willys-Overland and changed its name to Willys Motors. Beyond the change in control (and name), the Jeep Willys CJ-3B “Universal” was introduced.
The defining features of the CJ-3B were twofold (but related). In replacing the CJ-3A (manufactured from 1949 to 1953), the CJ-3B adopted the more powerful F4-134 “Hurricane” inline-4 piston engine that Jeep Willys Pickup Trucks and Jeep Willys Wagons already used. As a result, the CJ-3B features a noticeably higher hood and grille to accommodate the larger engine.
Manufactured until 1963, the Jeep Willys CJ-3B represents another important step in transitioning the brand and vehicles into postwar American civilian life. Still ultra-capable like the military models, the CJ-3B was a progression of vehicle power and fuel efficiency, which remain core to the Jeep brand to this day.
Keep following the Jeep Blog for Heritage Fridays as we dig into the Jeep brand’s iconic history, including more about vehicles from the 1950s.