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Happy birthday, Jeep! Automaker celebrates its 75th with a squad of special editions

If we were to look back through the annals of American automotive history, a few names would undoubtedly stand out: Model T. Bel Air. Corvette. GT40. Mustang. But few nameplates have a bigger place in world history than the iconic Jeep.

The Jeep began its life 75 years ago, just months before the United States officially entered World War II. America knew it was a matter of time before it was forced into the global conflict, so in anticipation, the government solicited domestic automobile manufacturers to build a light, four-wheel drive workhorse to replace the Army’s aging fleet. American Bantam Car Company initially received the bid and created a prototype, but it was a small, struggling company. Eventually, Ford and Willys-Overland Motors were awarded production contracts (and Bantam’s blueprints), and built the GPW and MB, respectively. Later on, the 4x4s became known as U.S. Army Jeeps, and the rest is history.

2016 Jeep 75th Anniversary edition full lineup

2016 Jeep 75th Anniversary edition full lineup

In honor of the vehicle’s birthday, Jeep has debuted a full lineup of 75th Anniversary models that extend over the automaker’s entire range. The unique Patriots, Renegades, Compasses, Wranglers, Cherokees, and Grand Cherokees benefit from a variety of exclusive green finishes (Sarge Green, Recon Green, or Jungle Green), as well as low gloss bronze wheels, bronze and orange exterior accents, unique interiors and upgraded seats. All models feature 75th Anniversary badging and will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

Related: Happy 70th Birthday (sort of) to the original Volkswagen Beetle

“Jeep vehicles have defined the authentic SUV and set the benchmark for off-road capability and freedom since they were first produced in 1941,” said Mike Manley, Head of the Jeep brand. “Today, Jeep SUVs continue to deliver 4×4 leadership, as well as fuel efficiency, world-class craftsmanship and premium on-road dynamics.

“In honor of the brand’s 75th anniversary,” he continued, “We have created eye-catching, special-edition models of each vehicle in our lineup that celebrate the unparalleled history of the legendary Jeep brand.”

For more information and a price breakdown of the 75th Anniversary models, click here.