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A Look Back At 25 Years Of Wrangler

Posted in Project Vehicles on November 1, 2010
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Maybe we are dating ourselves, but we remember when the Wrangler was introduced and ended the 40-year reign of the CJ. It is hard for us to come to terms with the introduction of the '11 Wrangler. The Wrangler name that we once hated so much has run the course for 25 years. It has become one of the most capable and reliable Jeep vehicle to ever wear the Jeep name.

We all agree that the Wrangler has done nothing but get more capable from the factory as time has gone by, and it got us thinking about how much the Wrangler has changed since it was first introduced. Base power has risen from 117 hp pushing around a 3,050-lb Jeep to 202 hp pushing a 3,782-lb Jeep. Base price has gone from $9,899 to $21,165, which isn't too far off of inflation considering that a dollar in 1986 would be worth about $2.04 today.

The YJ sat about 2 inches lower than the CJ it replaced and was ridiculed for being too car-like. The wider and flatter springs made it ride nicer than any CJ ever did, and the 21/2-inch by 4-inch box tube frame was a huge improvement over the pieced-together CJ frame. The rectangular lights are the single most noticed feature and the most-often criticized aspect of the Wrangler, but there were a lot of other innovations as well.

One thing that inflation hasn't impacted is the value of the Wrangler. Today's Wrangler is packed with more value than the Jeep of yore. It has more power, better on- and off-road performance, more safety features, and more creature comforts than the first Wrangler. So, tie on your walking shoes and join us for a stroll down the Wrangler's memory lane.

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