Best Jeep Ever Must have Willys on the VIN
by Mike Adams
1963 Willys Utility Wagon 4x4, 230-6
It obvious and very well documented that the Willys Overland (WO) and Jeep brand of vehicles are some of the very best, most original utility vehicles in automotive history. Since they were not originally designed as daily drivers for a mass audience, they did not enjoy the large production numbers of Ford or Chevrolet. No loss to WO as this allowed them to focus on their market niche and become the very best at what they did: manufacture utility vehicles with solid engineering. Now fast forward to modern day, and the "Jeep" brand which is the most widely recognized automotive brand in the world...and one of the most profitable.
That being said, my vote (and my opinion) for the best "Jeep" model ever produced for starters must have Willys Overland on the VIN. As Benjamin Franklin once said..."think of your forefathers, then think of your posterity..." The forefather of all good things to come from WO was of course the MA and then the MB used by the military. However, not everyone was able to drive, use, and enjoy this vehicle as it was not designed for the general public, but no one can deny that this was the catalyst for future of WO and the Jeep or "posterity."
In second place, it’s got to be the Willys Utility Wagon. Introduced about the same time as the CJ, it appealed to a broad audience but still retained its utility roots. You could drive it to Church or you could take it elk hunting. It was and is outstanding and America's First SUV.
Finally, we all should note that there are several potential second place winners as "best Jeep" in the WO family since these vehicles shared so much of the same engineering. There is no wrong answer for "Best Jeep" but just remember when making your unbiased choice, your Wranglers and XJ's were built upon the backs of the forefathers, which deserve all the credit for what we have today. Without the MA/MB we may be restoring and driving Bantam's or Fords.
My apologies for not including a picture of an MB. I don't yet own one so I inserted my '63 Wagon.Editor's Note
: Nice wagon, Mike...and great choices