The first Jeep was fostered and conceived in Butler, PA, by the American Bantam Car Company. Willys would shortly thereafter win the Army’s primary contact for building the Willys (the MB) with Ford also receiving a contract to build the vehicle (the GPW) during WW II. From 1941 to 1945 over 700,000 of these vehicles were built by the two companies. The Willys would then go through a transition into a civilian Jeep, thus the beginning of the CJ.
The looks are really unique with a never seen before chunky tyres, fiery wheel arches and a chrome bull bar. The Thar is surely a one of its kind. However the inside’s still the same with the Bolero style dashboard, steering and the window winders. Even the poor ergonomics are running with the Thar as well. The low selector drive option, manual seat adjustment, and a non AC all ensure that the Thar can be a testing place to be seated with more than two passengers or for the long runs.
Also, note that if you have a 242 transfer case also know as selec trac, you have the option of full time four wheel drive. Don’t use it unless the road is slippery. You will get the best MPG by using two wheel drive.
The initial production of the CJ-2A relied heavily upon MB components. Originally the CJ-2A’s employed the full floating rear axles, windshield adjusting arms, exhaust systems, and parking lamps that were used on the Willys MB. The CJ-2As looked like a Willys MB with a side mounted spare tire, column shifter and full sized headlights.
Besides the engine and transmission choices you know have to choose which sub-version of the model you want. Say you have decided to buy a 3.8 liter V6 with the 6 speed manual (good choice). The basic model comes with black leather seats, ABS, “sport tuned suspension”, AM/FM/CD with XM, Bluetooth and pretty much every toy you would need. Or so you’d think? Next comes the Grand Touring model which features a pretty cocoa brown leather (careful with the exterior color, though) and adds backup sensors, automatic temperature control, premium kick plates, chrome interior accents and an Infinity sound system design to blow out your eardrums.
The 2.3 liter 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve engine with a direct injection turbo system produces 274 horses, all of this is then coupled to a slick six speed manual gearbox. It has independent coil sprung suspension all round with stabilizer bars back and front. It also boasts a dynamic stability control system and anti-lock brakes with EBFD. Oh! And did I mention that the speed 6 is equipped with Mazda’s multi-mode active torque split all wheel drive system and carries a Motor Sport Limited Slip Differentials?
Approaching the vehicle I was suitably impressed, Mazda has a unique way of giving all its products a certain sporty look; even this sensible four door model carried 18 inch alloy wheels and a cute little trunk lid spoiler. Now it’s probably not going to give the young tuner guys heart palpitations but for a guy like me sporting a slight middle age spread, it couldn’t hurt my street credibility.
There is a lot to be said about this wonderful piece of machinery, and it really is, but I would prefer a more subtle body kit. In fact, I wish someone could combine the superb engineering of Brabus with the more subtle design. Well, there actually is a company that does it. It’s called Carlsson. They are not as popular as Brabus, nor are they as extreme and in some ways that’s good. Notice that the 2012 Mercedes Benz Carlsson CK 63 has a more subtle body kit relative to the Brabus. However, don’t let the subtleness fool you, because under the hood this car produces 649 horsepower and can easily hit 60 mph in around 4 seconds. Below you will find some pictures of the 2012 Mercedes Benz Carlsson CK 63.