It’s one of those legendary marques and this year Jeep celebrates its 75th anniversary.
In the UK, it decided to do something a little different, creating the world’s first pop-up showroom, it claims, to be accessible only by 4x4. The ‘dealership’ opened for three days at Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, installed on the edge of the famous cliffs, looking out over the North Sea.
The three-and-a-half-tonne mobile showroom was towed to the location across the rugged North York Moors terrain by Jeep’s 75th Anniversary Grand Cherokee, while the rest of the 75th Anniversary range and an example of the famous Willys Jeep were displayed on-site.
The Willys Jeep was, of course, where it all began in 1941, with American soldiers using the famous 4x4 as their workhorse vehicle of choice during World War Two.
And, while passing trade wasn’t expected at the remote location, walkers and ramblers were welcomed into the ‘dealership’ to discover more about Jeep’s famed 4x4 credentials.
“Jeep has a long and illustrious off-road history,” said Damien Dally, head of brand for Jeep UK.
“In our 75th year, a landmark moment, it seems fitting that we’ve demonstrated that our vehicles really do go anywhere and can do anything by creating the world’s first pop-up dealership which you can only get to in a 4x4.”
It was in 1940 that the US Army commissioned the construction of a 4x4 reconnaissance vehicle. In 1941 Willys came up with the MA, which soon became known as the Jeep. It also provided the inspiration for another off-road legend, the Land Rover.
Jeep continued to innovate after the war ended, capitalising on the prosperity of the 1950s with both work and military vehicles – and greeting the change in lifestyle with new civilian models that were ideal for people’s growing recreation time.
In the 1960s it tapped in to the free spirit ideal that was sweeping America, while in the 1970s it launched some of its most successful models, such as the J10, which would last for more than a quarter of a century.
In the 1980s image became more important, with buyers looking for looks and a bit of luxury alongside their rugged capability and Jeep’s models like the CJ-8 and CJ-7 proving popular.
The image of image grew stronger still in the 1990s and Jeep’s brand expanded with new models and new technology, before the 2000s saw the combination of off-road capability, on-road performance, comfort and luxury come to the fore.
Jeep’s 75th Anniversary range includes limited edition versions of the Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Wrangler and Renegade.