The JEEP Grille – A fun­da­men­tal icon in JEEP’s evo­lu­tion

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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