The Chrysler Group announces the opening of "The Mighty Jeep®: A Legend Turns 60" exhibit at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, commemorating six decades of unrivaled Jeep 4x4 leadership, innovation and success. First opening to the public on October 2nd, this five-month display is comprised of historical vehicles, vintage Jeep brand collectibles and a sampling of books through the decades.
"Time after time Jeep vehicles have defined the sport-utility segment with industry firsts, yet however innovative the technology, the legendary Jeep brand never wavers from its roots of authentic four-wheel drive capability and exceptional on-road performance," said Bernard Robertson, Senior Vice President, Engineering Technologies and Regulatory Affairs and Chairman of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum Board. "The Walter P. Chrysler Museum display features six decades of Jeep vehicles and collectibles, providing the public a wonderful opportunity to see the making of the Jeep legend."
With planning beginning early last year, this special exhibit includes 26 historical Jeep vehicles, Jeep toys and novelties and display boards with Jeep advertisements, cartoons and famous Jeep owners. The toys and novelties have origins from around the world, with a stainless steel cigarette box and lighter in the shape of a Jeep vehicle from Germany and a Dinky die cast toy Commando Jeep from England. Books including the 1944 children's story "The Little Jeep" by Peggy Griffin Ayers and "Jerry the Jeep" by Edith Thacher Hurd are also on display. The progression of Jeep slogans from the 1940's "The Sun Never Sets On The Mighty Jeep" to the current "Jeep, There's Only One," will hang from the ceiling.
This collection of 25 historical Jeep vehicles includes representation from the very beginning of the Jeep brand with the Willys MB and CJ-2A. The Jeep brand began its journey on July 23, 1941, when Willys-Overland of Toledo, Ohio, landed a contract with the United States Army to produce the Willys MB during World War II. The first civilian Jeep vehicle, the versatile CJ-2A, was introduced in 1945. Priced at $1,090, it offered luxury features like a tailgate and automatic windshield wipers.
A number of other vehicles representing industry firsts are also on display. A 1949 Jeep All-Steel Station Wagon, first introduced in 1946, was the industry's first all-steel station wagon. From the 1960's, a 1969 J series Gladiator pickup is an example of the J series Jeep vehicles that were the first in the automotive industry to offer the combination of four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. A 1977 Wagoneer, first presented in 1973, introduced another Jeep exclusive: Quadra Trac® , the first completely automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system. A 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is part of the exhibition as the model that started the compact SUV boom. It was the only compact unitized construction SUV with four doors and a choice of shift-on-the-fly Command Trac® or Selec Trac® four-wheel-drive systems.
Originally planned to replace the Cherokee, Jeep once again established itself as a benchmark for the industry with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee for 1992. The 1991 Concept 1, the predecessor to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is on display as part of this special collection.
Six decades worth of innovative technologies, continuous refinement and a solid reputation have made the Jeep brand the most widely known and respected, go-anywhere, do-anything name in the entire sport-utility vehicle market. As more automakers add sport-utility vehicles to their product lines, Jeep stands out as the only U.S. brand that has been producing four-wheel drive vehicles for 60 years. Be it a compact, mid-sized or luxury sport-utility vehicle, the Jeep brand's focus is to provide a trademark design, hallmark ruggedness and capability, and a new level of refinement.
The Walter P. Chrysler Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Parking is free and available on site. General admission is $6, senior citizens (62 and over), children (6-12) are $3, DaimlerChrysler employees and retirees and children five and under are free. School groups and tour buses are welcome. Special rates are available. Please call 888-456-1924 or visit www.chryslerheritage.com for more information.
The Walter P. Chrysler Museum opened to the public October 5, 1999 and is the only full-fledged museum maintained by an active North American auto manufacturer. The tri-level building covers approximately 55,000 square feet and rests on 10 acres at the southeast edge of DaimlerChrysler's North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Along with showcasing 65 vehicles that illustrate the American heritage of DaimlerChrysler, the Museum educates and engages visitors with interactive exhibits and displays that bring life to the automaker's rich history.