70 years of Warn
‘Hey – it’s our 70th too!’ Martin Domoney looks back on seven decades of an iconic US company
The winch company is as old as Land Rover
1948 Warn Industries is born
Arthur Warn opens Warn Industries in Seattle, producing freewheeling hubs for military-surplus Jeeps, which became popular civilian 4x4s after WW2.
1959 Warn’s first winch
The M6000 was also known as the Belleview – after the engineering company Warn worked with.
1974 Enter the M8274
The instantly recognisable topmotor M8274 winch shared the same basic layout as the M6000, but featured more modern components and had the ability to power out, which the earlier model lacked. It’s aged well; you can still buy them new.
1980 Riding the Camel
Tobacco firm RJ Reynolds introduced the Camel Trophy, an annual event pitting crews and vehicles against some of the world’s harshest terrain. The first event used Jeep CJ5S, but Land Rover products were used from 1981 – all with Warn 8274s up until the ’90s, and even then the support vehicles were fitted with them.
1993 Challenging times
Off-road challenge events were now very popular – and their extreme nature meant at least one winch was vital to success. The 8274s reigned supreme, and a whole aftermarket has formed on upgrading them.
2002 Hot stuff
A big development was introduced with the 9.5Ti – a thermometric indicator that displays how warm the motor is running under heavy loads.
2006 The Powerplant
In ‘06, Warn mated a winch with an air compressor, and the Powerplant was born. This innovative unit is as happy inflating tyres and running air tools as it is recovering vehicles.
2018 Seventy years and counting
The Zeon Platinum winches now make up the company’s flagship series. Equipped with the latest tech, the Platinum is faster than any of the other low-line models and sports a remotely-controlled clutch, which is ideal for discreet winch mounts with limited access. LRO
2009 Branching out
Although still specialising in recovery winches, Warn expanded its growing product line into attachments for quad bikes and side-by-side UTVS. These included snow ploughs, bumpers, dedicated winches and demountable platforms.
2003 G4 Adventures
Warn were involved again when the fleet of orange Land Rovers needed preparing for the G4 Challenge series. 9.5XP, 9.5Ti and M6000 Portables winches all featured on the vehicles.
There are two main styles of electric winch; top-motor type like the 8274 and planetarygeared ‘lowline’ winches. MARTIN DOMONEY WORKSHOP EDITOR
The introduction of the electric winch transformed how people went about moving heavy objects – including stuck Land Rovers. A winch gives peace of mind when offroading. WINCHING LINES