It was 75 years ago in the month of July that the US Government awarded a contract to Willys-Overland to build the Willys MB for military use. To celebrate the anniversary, Jeep has unveiled a commemorative concept. Dubbed the Wrangler 75th Salute, the one-off is based on a Wrangler Sport model, powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Jeep says the concept will see function taking precedence over form, and borrows heritage design cues seen on original; military Jeeps. A modern interpretation of the Willys MB, the Wrangler 75th Salute concept sports an olive green paint scheme similar to the one seen on military vehicles from the World War II era. So are features like 16in steel wheels wrapped in 32in military non-directional tires, bonnet latches, a rear-mounted spare tyre, steel front and rear bumpers with tow hooks and low back canvas seats. It also features custom wood bonnet blocks and side mirrors, as well as bronze commemorative fender badges.
“We are creating this unique Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle in celebration of the brand’s legendary history, and to demonstrate that 75 years later, today’s iconic Jeep Wrangler is instantly recognizable and clearly connected to the original Willys MB,” says Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Since they were first produced in 1941, Jeep vehicles have been the authentic benchmark for off-road capability, having mastered more terrain, led more adventures and provided drivers more freedom than any other vehicle before or since.”
Late last week, the brand also announced a raft of enhancements for its Wrangler model. The changes effected on various trims of the Wrangler include, front side airbags, deep-tint sunscreen glass, 18in wheels, and 3.73 rear axle ratio for the Sahara, front side airbags and 3.73 rear axle ratio for the Overland, and 18in Rubicon satin alloy wheels, Mopar slush mats, and black, heated leather seats for the Rubicon version, along with side airbags and tinted glass.