And Then There Were Seven!!!

Of the MANY topics Jeepers argue and debate, the origin of the sevenslat/seven opening grille that is now THE definitive symbol of the Jeep brand.

The origin of the sevenslat grille is VERY simple!!! It is is not a romantic and mysterious story, it was created out of simple manufacturing necessity.

After WWII, Willys-Overland re-engineered the Jeep for civilian use by upgrading the transmission with gears better suited for civilian use, as well as larger headlamps.  To accommodate the larger headlamps, the stamping die was reworked, stations were removed and reworked to allow the original tooling to be utilized.  The remaining seven openings provided sufficient airflow, just as the nine opening grille did.

Look at the photos below, it’s clear that the overall shape/size of the CJ grille is the same as the MB grille.

  • Ford did not patent the nine opening grill

Henry Ford did not want to have anything to do with the war build-up and only entered the war movement when his son Edsel began working with the Army Air Corp to mass-produce B-24 Liberator bombers.  A.J. Baime chronicles Henry Ford’s ambivalence about getting involved in WWII in his book The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War.

The U.S. Government needed to ensure a reliable supply of Jeeps, and enlisted Ford to produce the Jeep under license.  Henry Ford insisted that parts produced for the GPW were stamped with an F on them, so Ford could not be held responsible for Jeeps produced by Willys-Overland.

Why would Ford patent the nine opening grille?  And if Ford did, why was this design never seen on a Ford product after the war?

  • The Jeep was not the first vehicle on all seven continents

The idea that the Jeep was the first vehicle to traverse all seven continents sounds good, however, I believe that the VW Beetle was the first vehicle to set a tire on all seven continents.

 

If the Jeep was the first vehicle on all seven continents, why didn’t Willys-Overland use that in their marketing of the CJ Universal after the war?

  • It was a simple tooling change to allow for larger headlamps!!!

As boring as it sounds, Willys-Overland needed to sell vehicles to the civilian population after the war.  The CJ needed larger headlamps, and with limited funds, Willys-Overland reworked the existing tooling

It was just a simple necessity that gave the Jeep the sevenslat grille!!!

What I’m Reading – The Road Chose Me – Volume 1

While attending the 3rd Toledo Jeep Fest this past Summer, I had the opportunity to meet Dan Grec – theroadchoseme.com and purchased Dan’s first book, The Road Chose Me Volume 1: Two years and 40,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina.

I quickly finished Dan’s book and must say that it was a GREAT read!!!  Even if someone reading it is not into Jeep’s, it’s a GREAT story and very well written!!!

Dan completed his 40,000 mile journey in a bone-stock 4-cylinder TJ without a winch or a Hi-Lift jack!!!

Dan’s story really is inspiring and informative as to what can be done with a stock Jeep!!!

In speaking with Dan at Jeep Fest, he mentioned that he was working on Volume 2 based on his nearly 3 year overlanding trip around Africa.  I am looking very forward to reading that!!!

Dan has released a coffee table / photo book from his Africa trip, 999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me that I am going to order next, even though it’s just photos.

Dan has written a few other books that I plan on checking out as well!!!


Project XJ

I stumbled across a 1999 XJ Classic that I could not pass up!!!

It’s a non-runner, Seller said it is just a radiator, so I am taking a chance that it’s not one of the more serious 4.0L issues that cause overheating.

However, it’s one of the cleanest XJ’s that I have seen in the Mid-West!!!

So, leave it unmolested and keep it “Classic”, or build a wild XJ???

FAKE NEWS!!!

FAKE NEWS gave us the Wrangler name!!!

Contrary to popular belief American Motors Corporation, AMC, the parent company of the Jeep brand from 1970 – 1987, and NOT Chrysler Corporation, created the Wrangler as the replacement for the CJ-7.  I recall at the time when Chrysler Corporation purchased Jeep in 1987 that they were “blamed” for “ruining” the CJ-7 and giving us the Wrangler.  

New vehicles are in development for several years, between 5 and 7, prior to launch, therefore Chrysler Corporation could never have pulled off a CJ-7 replacement in less than a year!

So, why did AMC drop the CJ naming?  Because of FAKE NEWS!!! Yes, FAKE NEWS existed long before the Communist, or Clinton, I mean Cable News Network (CNN).  Before CNN, we had good ole’ 60 Minutes, with that stupid stopwatch!!!

60 Minutes did a piece in December of 1980 based on rigged vehicle tests and miss-leading studies, helping to create the idea that the CJ was an unsafe vehicle.

The 60 Minutes segment was based on a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on “the extremely hazardous tendency of the Jeep CJ utility vehicle in highway use.”  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found during a 1981 review of the testing that Dynamic Science Incorporated performed for IIHS, used “abnormal test conditions and unrealistic maneuvers…generated by an automatic control device which…which was programmed to provide input not entirely representative of driver input”.

Several lawsuits followed, some involving the tragic loss of life, alleging that the CJ was the cause of the incident and not simply the risks associated with motor vehicle travel?!

More than one insurance company either refused to issue policies to new Jeep CJ owners or sent warnings to existing policyholders.

The CJ may have also suffered from the bad press that the completely unrelated, however still military “jeep”, M151, did justly receive due to its propensity for rollovers due to a new and unproven front/rear independent suspension system.  Because of the rollover issues, the US Military experienced with the M151, NHTSA did block the sales of the M151 for civilian use, which it had not done to the CJ-based military jeep so that certainly did not help the image of the CJ!!!

AMC began development of the Wrangler in the early 1980s making the vehicle more “user-friendly” with a lower center-of-gravity, softer ride, and added creature comforts, and the square headlights!!!

I am unsure of why the name Wrangler was chosen, however, the CJ name was killed due to FAKE NEWS, and after 30+ years, the Wrangler name has now morphed into us calling our Jeep’s TJ, JK, JL, and JT.

RESOURCES

The Liability Maze: The Impact of Liability Law on Safety and Innovation

edited by Peter W. Huber, Robert E. Litan

The Strangest Jeep I have ever seen!!!

While at Jeep Fest last weekend, I came across the strangest Jeep that I have ever seen!!!  And maybe one of the rarest!!!

With the arrival of the jet age in the 1950’s, the Jeep was again part of a pioneering effort, as less than 100 Jeeps were used as auxiliary power units (APU) to effectively jump start military jets.

Two companies, O.E. Szekely & Associates and Valentine Welder & Mfg. Co produced these APU Jeeps for the US Military.  The APU Jeep at Jeep Fest was a version used on aircraft carriers.

I really cannot add anymore commentary to a REALLY unique Jeep!!!

 

High Beam Off Road

It’s well known and well documented that the Jeep Wrangler comes from the factory with poor headlamps – https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/jeep/wrangler-2-door-suv/2017#headlights

While walking the vendor area of the 3rd Toledo Jeep Fest, I came across High Beam Off Road, and it looks like they have a solution!!!

High Beam Off Road offers LED lighting solutions for XJ, YJ, TJ. JK and JL!!!

All of High Beam Off Road’s products come with a Lifetime Warranty!!!

High Beam Off Road has some GREAT looking products, at GREAT prices!!!

Check out High Beam Off Road today to upgrade your Jeep’s lighting, and tell them you heard about them from sevenslats.com!!!

It’s a Jeep, NOT a boat!!! IT ALREADY HAS A NAME!!!

As my buddy Dan demonstrated at Bundy Hill last year, a Jeep is not a boat, they don’t float!!!

Boats were given names, THOUSANDS of years ago when humans still believed in all kinds of superstitions such as the world was flat, and there were Gods of every season and any other unexplainable phenomenon.

RiverKeepers.org explains the origins of boat names very well.

You DO NOT need a name for your Jeep, and stop asking this INSANE question on social media!!!


Tube Doors/Trail Doors

It finally stopped raining here in the mid-west and I was able to install my Motor City Aftermarket Jeep Wrangler JK, Tube Doors, Trail Doors and I like them!!!

Motor City Aftermarket is a fresh new player in the Jeep accessories space, brining nearly 50 years of manufacturing experience products for the military to the Jeep aftermarket!!!

Motor City Aftermarket offers Tube Doors/Trail Doors for the JK, JL and even the BU – Renegade!!!

Motor City Aftermarket Jeep Wrangler JK, Tube Doors, Trail Doors are made from the same #TankDNA and exceed General Motors OEM AND military standards for manufacturing processes and coatings!!!

Order your Motor City Aftermarket Jeep Wrangler JK, Tube Doors, Trail Doors directly from Motor City Aftermarket today and get free shipping!!!