The Jeep 4x4 is perhaps the most famous and recognized of all 4x4 vehicles. Beloved during World War II, the Jeep 4x4 entered civilian life in 1945. It seemed an odd vehicle for public life; post war predictions were of sleek, exotic space-age like cars that would be powered by strange fuels at amazing speeds. The Jeep 4x4 was pure function—from its engine to its seats to its wheels. Yet the Jeep 4x4 found its niche on American farms, ranches and wherever a vehicle was needed that could perform well on the road and off.
The civilian Jeep 4x4 offered in 1945 differed greatly from its military ancestor. It now had revised transmission, a power take-off, shorter overall length and a different axel ratio. It was powered by a side-line, four-cylinder engine that provided 60 horsepower 4000 rpm and displaced 134.2 cubic inches. The three-speed manual transmission was a Warner Gear model T090A, a much large transmission than the military version. Available in grey, tan, blue and brown (it didn’t completely discard its military past), the Civilian Jeep 4x4 could seat two to five passengers. For work, the Jeep 4x4 was available with a variety of basic farming or industry tools, including plows, welders, generators and mowers; and, for inclement weather, Jeep 4x4 offered several top-kits made of duck canvas.
The Jeep 4x4’s design is so distinctive and its role in American history so important, it was placed in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition of exceptional automobile design. Alongside the glamorous and luxurious, the Jeep 4x4 has held its own, for its entire appeal has been its no nonsense approach to motoring. From its civilian debut in 1945 until today, the Jeep 4x4 continues to attract the general public, both as a workman-like vehicle, as well as an automobile that now implies a world of fun and freedom. Now, the civilian Jeep 4x4 that debuted in 1945 takes the stage once more in an authentic die-cast replica crafted in the popular 1:43 scale. Precision-engineered and meticulously crafted, the 1945 Jeep CJ2A is produced by—and available only from Matchbox Collectibles.