Jeep Returning to Military Roots?

September 24th, 2010

Jeep’s military career began in 1941 when an early production unit was driven up the steps of the United States Capitol by a Willys test driver. Many years of legendary combat performance brought fame to the brand.

Fast forward to 2010, and Jeep’s military presence has been overtaken by suburban moms ushering kids to soccer practice and ballet performances.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but perhaps Jeep should return to the glory days of its military roots. Glory days that included the above 1965 CJ5 Military Gun Jeep. Look carefully and you might see a small rifle mounted through the windshield. See it? That’s a recoilless rifle, added in 1990 for service in Operation Desert Storm. The Jeep also has a .50 caliber Browning machine gun, just for good measure.

In my humble opinion, that’s what a Jeep should be! Maybe Chrysler agrees…

Jeep J8 ballistic test

According to Jeep’s Facebook page, Chrysler has just put its J8 through ballistic and blast certification. Yes, that’s as cool as it sounds: it means the vehicle can drive through all sorts of gunfire and still get its occupants to work on time and in one piece. I don’t know if it would survive a shot from that recoilless, but I suppose your odds of an encounter with that are fairly slim.

The company says that it’s using a new manufacturing technique by hot-forming steel to create a protective shell for the vehicle, which evidently makes it tough enough to be awarded BRV 2009 VR7 ballistic protection certification. What does that mean? To put it simply: If a single  bullet fully or even partially penetrates the vehicle’s armoring during testing, it constitutes as a failure.

Naturally, the J8′s target customers are military, government and private security operations. No word on if Jeep will sell you one if your weekly trip to ballet includes driving through a hail of small-arms fire, but maybe that 1965 CJ5 will come up for sale soon…

I’d love to take that CJ5 Gun Jeep to Costco on a Saturday afternoon. Where would you take it?

-tgriffith

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