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Jeep celebrates 70th birthday in Moab

by Bill Cawthon on

In celebration of 70 years of rugged offroad tradition, Jeep took a trip to Moab, Utah in early June. The caravan included 17 special vehicles to showcase the past, present and possibilities of the legendary four-wheeler.

Honoring the past were seven classic Jeeps that recapture the growth and evolution of the brand from the small reconnaissance vehicle that replaced the motorcycle and horse for scouting missions and helped the Allies win the Second World War through its development as a go-anywhere-anytime icon known around the world. Shown in the wilderness they were meant for were the 1944 Willys-Overland “Jeep” MB, 1945 Willys-Overland Jeep CJ-2A, 1949 Willys-Overland Jeep Station Wagon, 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, 1984 Jeep Cherokee, 1987 Jeep Wrangler and the 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Highlighting the present were the the Jeep 70th Anniversary Edition models – Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Compass, Patriot, Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited – photographed against a a backdrop of red rock and the glistening waters of the Colorado River.

Showcasing the possibilities in a true Jeep setting were five customized Jeep vehicles fresh from the 45th annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari. The lineup of Jeep “image” vehicles included the Wrangler Pork Chop, Wrangler Renegade, Compass Canyon, Cherokee Overland and the Grand Cherokee Off-Road Edition.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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