Was there a Jeep CJ4? If so, why don't we hear more about it?
Maybe it's just human nature, or maybe it's just me, but I like things that start out in some sort of sequential order...to maintain that order with no gaps.
So, as you may have read, if you're keeping up with these pages, we've identified the Jeep CJ's starting at number 1 and progressing on to the CJ10. (There apparently was no CJ9 designation at least not in the U.S.)
There are unclear reports regarding the Jeep CJ4 almost as much as the origin of the "Jeep" name.
The research seems to lead to the development of a prototype in 1950 which was indeed intended to follow the CJ3A.
This CJ4 concept was built around the time of our involvement in the Korean War. Therefore it was built at the same time as the military Jeeps were being produced.
During war-time, military contracts have taken priority over civilian projects and the CJ4 development was apparently a victim of those circumstances.
Adding to the confusion surrounding the Jeep CJ4 was the fact that Willys had licensed Jeeps to be built in India by the Mahindra and Mahindra Company. The East Indian company produced a longer wheel-based Jeep Universal sold as a CJ4 into the 1990's. Needless to say these CJ4's are seen mostly in Europe and Asia, yet they are not recognized in the U.S. as CJ4's...being known by there manufacturer's name as Mahindra Jeeps.
So...you might expect that the one and only CJ4 prototype produced in the United States would be long gone after over 60 years.
You would be wrong ol' lover of Jeeps!
The original (only) CJ4 Jeep survives today. It was purchased in 1955 by a Willys-Overland engineer who used it as a work vehicle. The CJ4 was sold upon the Willys employee's death in 1977 and was placed in storage for another 20 years until it surfaced again in 1997. It is reportedly being restored.