A lot has changed since Willys-Overland won the contract to build off-roaders for the US Army in 1941, but the basic Jeep formula has remained largely the same. That clear family lineage is thrown into sharp focus with the Wrangler Salute concept, a modern car dressed up to celebrate its 75 year-old forebears.
Based on a Wrangler Sport, the Salute design turns back the clock by dropping the b-pillars and doors of the regular car and adding styling elements that bring World War II to mind. That means the exterior is finished in olive-drab green, and the whole package sits on 16-inch steel wheels wrapped in 32-inch non-directional tires.
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There are latches on the hood, a rear-mounted spare wheel, steel bumpers with integrated tow hooks and commemorative badging on the flanks. Inside, comfort and safety is set to 1940s levels with passengers treated to low-back canvas seats. The drivetrain, on the other hand, has a modern flavor, with power coming from a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, mated to the six-speed manual gearbox standard in the Wrangler Sport.
"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 Hanley, Head of Jeep.
While the Salute might make it to the Easter Safari, there's no indication that it could actually reach market, which regulators will be happy to hear. Besides, civilians keen to cash in on Jeep's military heritage already have access to special editions of the Wrangler, Cherokee and Renegade.
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