The Jeepster name goes back as far as 1948. It was first developed by Willys-Overland as a "civilian" class vehicle, and advertised to American families or soldiers who had recently returned from the war. It was hoped that the reputation of the MB's
and various Military Jeeps would cross over to the other Willys-Overlands vehicles in their line. This was also around the same time they started to make the more familiar CJ (Civilian Jeep) series, though those were marketed more to farmers, ranchers, and forestry duties in the late 40's and into the 50's. The Jeepster lines was only produced from 1948 to around 1951. Any 1951 models were actually left over 1950 cars. The name hasn't been heard of since then. But it looks like that's going to change. Fiat-Chrysler has been testing a vehicle using the Jeepster name recently. Possibly the vehicle will come to production in 2014-2015. Like the original Jeepster, which was designed to be a low cost alternative to the other vehicles in the Willys-Overland paddock, Fiat-Chrysler will probably / might base this new Jeepster on their 500 / Panda chassis. This will make it competitive with other small compact cars in it's class. It will also help get a Jeep name brand product in the hands of a new, hip, younger generation of Jeep fans. Some information lists that the platform will be available with both 2WD or 4WD options. Engine choice will be either a gas or diesel power plant, but there's no concrete specs on the size of the engines or horsepower numbers they will provide. I suspect they will use something pulled from the Fiat 500 line that's already being used to keep the cost of the vehicle down. While called a Jeepster in name, the new Fiat-Chrysler offering is really a small SUV crossover vehicle, rather than a "car" like the original Jeepster. From a few spy images, it appears the new Jeepster may actually sit higher that the original Willys-Overland models, with more ground clearance, so that may be a plus, in case the owner wants to do at least some minor trailing outdoors (hopefully with the 4WD option of course). With it's smaller size, and fuel economy, is there a Jeepster in your future?