Willys Jeep

Fancy a Falcon engine in your Jeep?

LOT TOCAR$

BACK in the 1960s, you could have a Geelong-made six-cylinder under the bonnet of your rugged Jeep, which was produced in Queensland for many years.

The basic Willys Jeep was developed at the tail end of WW2 with post-war administration in mind, thus the CJ designation, which stood for Civilian Jeep.

Some surplus army Jeeps came to Australia, but they were all left-hand drive. Only a few importers saw the appeal of the tough machine, brought them in and had them converted.

Then, in 1958, Kaiser Industries (which owned half of Willys) started producing the CJ3 Jeep at a plant in Brisbane. In 1965, it opened a new plant in Rocklea.

Instead of importing the Buick V6 installed in US models, Jeep began fitting the Falcon's straight-six, gearbox and pedal box to the longer-wheelbase CJ5 and CJ6 models.

This tie-up also led to Ford Australia purchasing the locally made Jeep chassis, which was used as a base for the peculiar XY 4x4 Falcon Ute.

The local Jeep producer started off with about 40 percent local content and aimed to reach 90 percent, but that wasn't achieved before local production ceased in 1985, when the Australian dollar was floated.

Jeepís subsequent history as an importer was chequered until sales took off two years ago.

AUSSIE PRIDE

Go anywhere ability and Falcon grunt. Hurrah

ITíS A SHAME

Basic cars for basic folk and hard work to drive