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Wait, Mitsubishi made a Jeep?

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Mitsubishi Jeep

“Mitsubishi 1955 Jeep” by Mitsupicture via Wikimedia Commons

The Jeep became the world’s first mass-produced 4×4 civilian vehicle after WWII ended and apparently the folks at Willys were pretty generous with licensed manufacturing.

In 1953, Willys allowed Mitsubishi to manufacture and market the car as the Jeep J3. If that’s not surprising enough, they let them produce them for 45 years. That’s right. Mitsubishi produced over 200,000 of these between 1953 and 1998 in short, medium, and long wheelbases with a gas or diesel engine. They were sold in a chain of stores named “Galant Shop”. They only stopped producing them because of stricter emissions and safety standards in Japan.

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These Jeeps were based off the CJ-3B, which Willys produced from 1953 to 1968. They had a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that put out just 69 horsepower. The diesel had even less power.

They also loaned the design out to Mihindra in India, who produced it until 2010. That’s a pretty damn impressive production run.

The fact that these simple Jeeps were produced for so long kind of illustrates the very spirit of Jeeps, they’re just simple, durable 4×4 vehicles. They got us through WWII, so they had a bit of an impressive track record.

Our minds are blown. Did you know the old Willys Jeeps were produced for so long? Let us know in the comments.