Subscribe to a magazine

Understanding Your Jeeps Model Code - Identity Crisis

Posted March 1, 2009

Cracking Jeep's DaVinci Code

Most people with a pulse know what a CJ is. Some have heard the term TJ. Not too many have heard of a VJ. And then just when you start to get the XJ, YJ, ZJ, and whatever-J designations down, Jeep goes and throws you a curve with the WK, the JK, and the XK? Are you joking? Nope. So to shed a glimmer of light on the subject, here is a little cheat sheet of which designation goes with which model. But don't go patting yourself on the back if you memorize it 'cause it changes again for the foreign market. Don't believe us? Just ask an Australian Commander owner about his XH.

Model Designation: BRC-60
Vehicle: Bantam pilot jeep prototype
Years Built: 1940
Fun Facts: Models include the company's "Old Number One" pilot vehicle - the first jeep ever.

Model Designation: BRC-40
Vehicle: Bantam pre-standardized jeep
Years Built: 1940-1941
Fun Facts: Pre-standardized jeep. Of the 2,605 built, most were shipped overseas for combat duty.

Model Designation: MA
Vehicle: Willys-Overland pre-standardized jeep
Years Built: 1941
Fun Facts: Most collectible of all the early jeeps since only 1,555 were built.

Model Designation: GP
Vehicle: Ford pre-standardized Jeep
Years Built: 1941
Fun Facts: Most likely to still be found in a barn somewhere. Look for F-Script markings on all the components.

Model Designation: MB
Vehicle: Willys-Overland standardized jeep
Years Built: 1941-1945
Fun Facts: Early models will have rare slat grilles built with flat stock before the more common 10-slot stamped grilles introduced.

Model Designation: GPW
Vehicle: Ford standardized jeep
Years Built: 1942-1945
Fun Facts: Most '42 models have "Ford" stamped in lower rear of body before the army told them to stop it.

Model Designation: GPA
Vehicle: Ford floating flattie
Years Built: 1942-1943
Fun Facts: It's basically a WWII jeep with a body shaped like a boat and a propeller in the rear. It could crawl, drive, and swim.

Model Designation: M-38
Vehicle: Willys-Overland post-war flattie
Years Built: 1950-1952
Fun Facts: A militarized CJ-3A. Marks the first use of 24 volt electrical system in a Jeep or jeep.

Model Designation: M38A1
Vehicle: Willys Military Jeep
Years Built: 1952-1957
Fun Facts: It's the first Jeep with the familiar round fenders and bulgy proportions that would soon be introduced to the CJ lineup.

Model Designation: M-170
Vehicle: Military ambulance
Years Built: 1953-1957
Fun Facts: The ambulance version of the M38A1 with a wheelbase stretched from 81 inches to 101 inches. Had an elongated passenger-side door opening and holes in the tailgate for stretcher handles.

Model Designation: M-715
Vehicle: Kaiser 1 1/4 ton pickup
Years Built: 1967-1969
Fun Facts: Not actually the only Jeep to come with a Dana 70 rear axle.

Model Designation: M-725
Vehicle: Kaiser Army ambulance
Years Built: 1967-1969
Fun Facts: The only production military Jeep on which the windshield doesn't fold down.

Civilian Utility Jeeps
Model Designation: CJ-2
Vehicle: Willys-Overland Agri-Jeep
Years Built: Late 1944-1945
Fun Facts: Willys basically took the MB, stuck PTO attachments to the T-case, added farm tires and a tailgate, and sold them to farmers after the war.

Model Designation: CJ-2A
Vehicle: Willys-Overland Jeep "flatfender"
Years Built: 1945-1949
Fun Facts: CJ stands for Civilian Jeep. The 2A marks Jeep's first 7-slot grille, designed to use larger headlights.

Model Designation: CJ-3A
Vehicle: Willys-Overland Jeep "flatfender"
Years Built: 1949-1953
Fun Facts: Windshield glass no longer flips out for ventilation like the 2A but Willys added a vent in the center of the redesigned windshield frame with 1-piece glass. Rear axle upgraded from Dana 41 to Dana 44.

Load More Read Full Article