A Short History of the Jeep Wrangler

A Short History of the Jeep Wrangler - TopLift Pros

The Jeep Wrangler is perhaps one of the most iconic vehicles in American history. They are widely known for their versatility and offroading capabilities. Wranglers are also very popular because of their four-wheel drive capabilities in the winter months, and the freeing nature of being able to easily remove the roof and doors in the warmer summer months. In today’s blog here at TopLift Pros, we are going to give a brief history of the Jeep Wrangler and where it came from. If you are interested in how the Jeep Wrangler got its name, check out our blog about the origin of the Jeep name!

Is summertime making it so that you are ready to take your roof off, but you don’t have the time to round up your friends and take the hardtop off? Check out our Jeep hoist here at TopLift Pros. The Jeep hoist allows you to quickly and easily remove and store your hardtop for your Jeep by yourself in less time than ever!

Willys MB

Many people are familiar with the beginning of the Jeep lineage — the Willys MB. During World War II, the United States government asked well over 100 automobile manufacturers to come up with a lightweight, multipurpose military vehicle that checked off a long list of their size, weight, and feature requirements. The vehicle that the U.S. military decided to go with was the Willys MB, also known as the quad. The vehicle was so popular and successful that auto manufacturer Ford was brought in to help meet the demand. Because of this popularity, Willys went on to develop civilian versions of this vehicle, now known as the Jeep.

Though the design has largely remained the same since WWII era, the tools we use with our Jeeps have changed drastically. Here at TopLift Pros, we’ve created a revolutionary Jeep hoist that helps you remove the hardtop shell from your Jeep by yourself, in a manner of minutes, and with unprecedented ease. Learn more and shop for our Jeep hoist here!


Right after the war had ended in 1945, Willys focused their efforts on making a popular civilian car modeled after their incredibly successful Willys MB. The CJ series featured a number of upgrades and luxuries to make it a more attractive civilian vehicle. Compared to the Willys MB, the CJ series had larger headlights and wiper blades. Additionally, the CJ series added more comfortable seats, upgraded suspension, and more durable frame. 


  • 60 horsepower
  • 105 pound-feet of torque
  • Four-cylinder engine


The YJ Jeep Wrangler is the first official Jeep Wrangler to ever enter production. First released back in 1987, the YJ created the iconic new look that many Jeep enthusiasts are familiar with. It had rectangular headlights that gave it a distinguished new look, and came with a number of upgrades over the previous generation. Overall the YJ was more comfortable due to Jeep using the suspension and interior from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it handled better than the previous generation due to the anti-roll bars that came on the YJ series. 


  • Depending on the year, a 2.5L straight-four, a 4.2L straight-six, or a 4.0L straight-six engine
  • Improved comfort
  • Improved handling


The TJ acted more as an update on the YJ Jeep rather than a complete redesign. In 1997, this Jeep Wrangler was released with the round headlights and grill structure that many recognize as being in the modern day Jeep logo. The biggest changes from the YJ to the TJ is the switch to coil-spring suspension. Other than that, much of the vehicle remained the same until 2003, when Jeep made a new 2.4L four-cylinder engine. Other smaller changes included an improved climate control system, interior noise, and ride quality. 


  • New iconic grill and headlights
  • Coil spring suspension
  • 2.4L four-cylinder or 4.0L six-cylinder engine


In 2007, the Jeep Wrangler JK brought some of the biggest changes the Wrangler had seen in nearly 30 years. The JK Jeep Wrangler had a new, larger frame, a new design language, came in a new four-door model, and sat up to five passengers. There was also only one engine available when the JK first launched — the 3.8L V6. This engine made 205 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. In 2012, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine replaced the 3.8L V6. The new engine made 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. 


  • Major engine improvements
  • Four-door options
  • 285 horsepower V6

The Jeep hoist at TopLift Pros is designed to work with Jeep models JK (2007) and newer! Our Jeep hoist at TopLift Pros makes Jeep hardtop removal easier than ever by giving you the freedom to easily remove your hardtop with just one person. Learn more about the Jeep hoist here!


The newest iteration of the Jeep Wrangler as of the time of this blog is the JL Jeep Wrangler. The hood and doors on the JL are made of a lighter-weight aluminum rather than steel, and the tailgate is formed from magnesium. Additionally, the JL Jeep Wrangler offers a turbo four-cylinder option, a 3.6L V6 option, and soon, a 3.0L diesel V6 option. The JL includes modern luxuries like bluetooth audio, an 8.4 inch touchscreen entertainment system, blind-spot sensors, and more. Jeep also claims to have improved its off-road capabilities. 


  • Modern technology
  • Turbo engine option (268 horsepower, 295 pound-feet torque)
  • Improved off-road capabilities

TopLift Pros

Here at TopLift Pros, we make quality Jeep hoists and Jeep door storage options for your 2007 and newer Jeep Wrangler. Our Jeep hoist and Jeep door storage options make Jeep ownership even more fun and enjoyable than ever before. For the first time ever, you can take your hardtop off your Jeep in a manner of minutes — and all by yourself nonetheless! Once the hardtop is off, you can roll the Jeep hoist and the hardtop shell into your garage for quick and easy storage. Learn more about our convenient Jeep options and shop for yours here at TopLift Pros