The JEEP Grille – A fundamental icon in JEEP’s evolution
There are many legends regarding the seven-slots in the Jeep grille: some say it is for the seven wonders of the natural world or because a Jeep vehicle was the first to uphold seven continents, for the seven seas, the seven summits, the seven pillars of wisdom, the colours of the rainbow or maybe the fact there are seven direction: up, down, right, left, forward, back and centre.
But it doesn’t really matter what inspired the choice of number 7 for the Jeep grille. What is really important is that for 75 years the Jeep brand has inspired men to dream and dare, to go further and explore every corner of the world and it will continue to inspire them to go beyond their limits and enjoy their spirit of freedom and the adventure that belong to every true Jeep enthusiast.
At JEEP, form follows function - a fixed component of Jeep’s DNA since the very first vehicle, the one that started it all, the Willys, the original Jeep. Besides the 7-slotted grille, the style of every model includes key elements that are well defined, clearly identifiable and truly representative such as the round headlights, trapezoidal wheelarches and vertical windshield. All these features, today, belong to the collective imagination and make JEEP immediately recognizable.
The vertical-slotted grille and the trapezoidal wheel arches in particular are design elements dating back seventy-five years that can be seen in almost every Jeep vehicle today. The traditional ventilation slits, that in the Jeep language are called slots, were introduced in the first Willys-Overland MA in the early’40s when Willys Overland together with American Bantam and Ford answered the call of the US Army and designed the first prototypes of off-road vehicles. In this milestone vehicle, forefather to all Jeep models coming afterwards, the grille was made up of vertical bars. Ford introduced the stamped steel 9-slot grille on their prototype models. The US Army preferred the latter version and it was standardized on all MB and Ford GP models.
After the war, with the introduction of the CJ-2A (1945) produced for civilian purposes, Willys-Overland introduced the classic 7 slot grille. As a matter of fact, one of the licensing requirements for the Civilian Jeep was that the vehicle had larger headlights in comparison to the military one. To make room for the larger headlights, the outer slots were removed and 7 were left to form the grille.
Since then, all CJ models have featured the 7 slot grille while many other classic Jeep models, including the Willys Wagon, the Jeep pick-up, the Wagoneer and the Cherokee, used vertical slots but with a number varying from 8 to 13. The only exceptions were the FC series and the 1966 - 1973 Jeepster models featuring 7 slots. Other than that, since 1998, all Jeep models have sported the iconic 7 slot grille.
For more information about JEEP and for a test drive of its latest models, kindly contact our JEEP Showroom in Valley Road Msida on 23823500 or visit the showroom which is open every day from Monday to Friday between 9am and 1pm and between 2.30pm and 6.30pm. On Saturdays, the showroom is open between 9am and noon.