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Jeep Jeepster
Jeepster Commando
Jeep Commando

Dcp_2893.jpg (63872 bytes)The Jeepster was an automobile sold under the Jeep marque. The original Jeepster, introduced by Willys-Overland in 1948, failed to find a market and was soon dropped. The Jeepster name was revived in 1966 on a new model, the VJ2 Jeepster Commando. Once again, sales failed to meet expectations, and American Motors (successor to Willys-Overland) removed the Jeepster name for 1972 and halted production after 1973.

Contents

 

 

 

Jeepster VJ

1948 Willys VJ Jeepster

The original Jeepster ("VJ" internally) was produced from 1948 through 1950, although some leftover models were sold under the 1951 model year. After World War II, Jeep trademark owner, Willys, believed that the market for the military-type Jeep would be limited to farmers and foresters, therefore they began producing the "CJ" (or Civilian Jeep) to fill this growing segment as well as producing the new Jeep Wagon in 1946, and then the Jeep Truck in 1947. Realizing a gap in their product line up, Willys developed the Jeepster to crossover from their "utilitarian" type truck vehicles, to the automobile market. The car (form 1948 to 1950) was originally only offered with rear wheel drive, limiting its appeal with traditional Jeep fans. While its distinctive boxy styling (created by industrial designer Brooks Stevens) was a hit with critics, it did not catch on with the intended market. Sales were also limited by sparse advertising. In the end, just 19,132 original VJ Jeepsters were sold.

The VJ Jeepster was powered by the 62 hp (53 kW) "Go Devil" engine, a 134 in (2.2 L) straight-4 also used in the CJ. A 3-speed manual transmission with optional overdrive was used, as were drum brakes all around. The vehicle's front end and single transverse leaf spring suspension, was from the Willys Station Wagon, as was the rear driveline. The flat-topped rear fenders were copied from the Jeep truck line, as were the pair of longitudinal rear leaf springs.

Engines:

  • 1948-1950 - 134 in (2.2 L) L134 Go Devil I4
  • 1949-1950 - 148 in (2.4 L) L148 Lightning I6
  • 1950 - 134 in (2.2 L) F134 Hurricane I4
  • 1950 - 161 in (2.6 L) L161 Lightning I6

Jeepster Commando C101

The Jeepster was revived in 1966 in the form of the Jeepster Commando ("C101"). The F-head Hurricane straight-4 was used, a direct descendent of the original Go Devil engine, and four wheel drive was finally added. This engine produced 75 hp (55 kW) at 4000 rpm and 114 ftlbf (154 Nm) at 2000 rpm. The 160 hp (119 kW) Dauntless V6 was optional and preferred with its 235 ftlbf (318 Nm) of torque. 57,350 Kaiser-spec "C101" Jeepster Commandos were sold between 1966 and 1971.

Drive Train:

Engines:

  • 1966-1971 - 134 in (2.2 L) F134 Hurricane I4, 75 hp (55 kW) and 114 ftlbf (154 Nm)
  • 1966-1971 - 225 in (3.7 L) Dauntless V6, 160 hp (119 kW) and 235 ftlbf (318 Nm)

 

Engine

The Jeepster/Commando was originally offered with the "Hurricane" F-Head 134 I4. During the late 60's the "Dauntless" Buick 225 V6 was an optional engine. When AMC purchased Jeep from Kaiser, the AMC 232, 258, and 304 became available in the Commando C104 in 1972 and 1973.

Transmission

The T-90 3 speed was the standard transmission for the Jeepster with the F-Head engine and the T-86 3 speed was used with the Dauntless V6. The T-14 replaced the T-86 with the 6 cylinder engines and later the T-15 was used with the 304 equipped Commando. The TH400 was the optional automatic available for the Commando only with the Buick and AMC engines.

Transfer Case

The Jeepster/Commando was only available with the Dana 20 transfer case.

 

 

yellow_commando.JPG (63129 bytes)

Jeep Commando C104

Dcp_2944.jpg (53346 bytes)The Jeepster name was removed after 1971, with the vehicle living on for two more years as the Jeep Commando. The Commando used one of three AMC engines, the 232 in (3.8 L) or 258 in (4.2 L) AMC Straight-6 or 304 in (5.0 L) AMC V8. 20,223 AMC-spec "C104" Jeep Commandos were made in 1972 and 1973.

Engines:

  • 1971-1972 - 232 in (3.8 L) AMC I6, 100 hp (74 kW) and 185 ftlbf (250 Nm)
  • 1971-1972 - 258 in (4.2 L) AMC I6
  • 1971-1972 - 304 in (5.0 L) AMC V8
 

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All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

 
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The Jeep Timeline

Jeep road car timeline, 1945 to Present  -  Jeep, A subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler

Vehicle
Type
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Traditional CJ-2A
1947-1949
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1949-1953
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1953-1968
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1976-1986
Wrangler YJ
1987-1996
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1997-present
     
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                    CJ-5 - 1955-1983                                             Wrangler JK
                    CJ-6 - (stretched CJ-5) - 1955-1981                                                   JK Unlimited
                    Jeep DJ Postal / Dispatch Jeep / Surrey Gala Package                                                  
                                                                        CJ-10                                                
Mid SUV       VJ
Jeepster
                              C101 C104                                                       Liberty KJ
Large SUV                                     Wagoneer / Cherokee SJ Grand Wagoneer   Gr. Cherokee ZJ Gr. Cherokee WJ Gr. Cherokee WK
                                                                              Cherokee XJ         Commander
Pickup                                     Gladiator Honcho
SJ
Comanche
MJ
                                 
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Crossover                                                                                                                             Compass
                                                                                                                            Patriot
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