Tag: SUV

Jeep Could Have Offered the First Crossover 30 Years Before Everybody Else – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

Jeep Could Have Offered the First Crossover 30 Years Before Everybody Else – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


Ask any longtime Jeep fan when the company started to lose its way, and the answers will vary. It could be 1979, when Renault gained a controlling interest in AMC; 1987, when Chrysler bought the brand and when the square-headlamp YJ Wrangler debuted; 2002, when the KJ Liberty replaced the XJ Cherokee and the 4.0L six-cylinder went away; 2007, when the transverse-engine MK Compass and Patriot debuted; or the early 2010s, when the Cherokee nameplate returned on a Fiat chassis and the brand once again fell under the control of a European carmaker.

Or, if things had gone a little differently, it could have been 1966 with the introduction of the Model H, a proposed vehicle that would have beat every other carmaker to the crossover segment by decades.

Nowadays, crossovers – sometimes called CUVs, sometimes called cute-utes, sometimes called soft-roaders – dominate dealership lots. Depending on how one defines a crossover, Toyota has as many as five in its current U.S. market lineup, Chevrolet as many as six. For some automakers, crossovers have entirely supplanted the conventional sedan and station wagon

How one defines a crossover and what models one considers to fall under that definition also provides a basis for when the crossover debuted. Using the generally accepted definition – a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle built on a car platform rather than a truck platform – some have suggested the 1996 Toyota RAV4 as the first while others have pointed to the 1980 AMC Eagle or the 1972 Subaru Leone. Other likely candidates include the 1995 Honda CR-V and the 1995 Suzuki X-90. Which is all to say that Kaiser Jeep’s mid-Sixties collaboration with Renault on the Model H would have handily taken the title had it come to market.

For almost as long as raw, utilitarian Jeeps have been around, somebody has been trying to civilize them with fancy trim, plush upholstery, and automotive-style bodies. Plenty of servicemen during World War II tried their hands at itWally Cohn refined their attempts just after the war, an entire cottage industry dedicated to coachbuilt Jeeps sprung up in postwar Europe, and the likes of Raymond Ring and Brooks Stevens proposed postwar automobile designs using the Willys MB chassis. Kaiser even started to investigate softer Jeep SUVs as early as the late 1950s with its Malibu and Berkeley concept vehicles that tilted more toward station wagon than truck-based SUV.

While the Malibu went on to influence the 1963 Wagoneer and the full-size Jeep lineup, Kaiser still wanted a compact SUV better suited to take on the International Harvester Scout. Specifically, as Pat Foster wrote in “Jeep: The History of America’s Greatest Vehicle,” Kaiser wanted something that would appeal to customers used to buying cars, not trucks. “Factory air conditioning… arrived because Jeep’s customers were asking for it,” he wrote. “They considered the Wagoneer a passenger car replacement, not a work vehicle, and they wanted the sort of comfort and convenience features found in regular passenger cars.”

While at least one four-door compact SUV on the CJ platform was proposed in house, Kaiser also looked outside of Detroit for something that would fit the bill. Specifically, the company turned to Argentina, where it had partnered with Renault for its subsidiary, Industrias Kaiser Argentina, starting in 1959. IKA assembled and sold Argentinized versions of existing Renault, Kaiser, Alfa Romeo, and AMC models under license along with the IKA Torino, which blended parts of the Rambler American and Rambler Classic with the Willys overhead-camshaft six-cylinder and new front sheetmetal.

Read on

Are modern SUVs really all that different from this 1946 De Soto Custom Suburban? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


Like any full-size SUV on the market today, this 1946 De Soto Custom Suburban for sale on Hemmings.com is big. Big enough for three rows of seats. Big enough to hold all sorts of stuff. Big enough to make any trip comfortable. Big enough to require calling ahead to the next zip code to see if it’s okay to change lanes

Unlike any full-size SUV on the market today, it does not have the four-wheel drive necessary for venturing out in half an inch of snow to hoard all the milk and bread from the grocery store.

Nor does it have a massive V-8 that allows one to set the cruise control at 85 and road rage at the people whose bumpers one rides up on. Make of that what you will.Like any full-size SUV on the market today, it’s far from a barebones workhorse. Wood accents, chrome, leather.

That dashboard is a thing of beauty.

Unlike any full-size SUV on the market today, no gadgets other than a radio and clock and that spot lamp. Less to go wrong, but also less to keep the kids entertained on long trips.

Read on

Disappointing News – Ford Announces Baby Bronco Will Be Based On The Focus – Anthony Karr @Motor1.com


After my previous post on the Ford Bronco turn out and the recent announcement of the new Bronco arriving in 2020, it was a real disappointment to hear that it will be based on the Focus platform. who really needs another cookie cutter small SUV?

Read the article from Anthony Karr here on Motor1.com