How The Off-Road Jeep Transformed


Early 70’s Jeep CJ-5 or CJ-6


If you are one of Jeep or off-road fans that strongly believe your Jeep must be a manual, and nothing else, well then the early 70’s CJ models were a dream come true to you. They were the last model from Jeep that held strong and resisted the integration of an automatic transmission option.

Both came with either a T-15 or T-18 four-speed transmission option. They also housed a classic AMC six-cylinder engine, and did offer upgrade like a strong 258 inline six. This made our list not just because they are stick shift or go home, but because they are the last models to really retain the old qualities of Jeep from the very early years.

'98 5.9L ZJ Unlimited

Now if you are looking for a Jeep that can more or less do it all, but provide you some of that same old Jeep soft top or hard top look, then the ZJ Unlimited is definitely the one for you. Whether you are looking to pack lite for an afternoon of trail climbing, or if you are looking to haul a small boat, this can easily handle both. Now it might not be the ideal choice for strictly one or the other, but it is very versatile.

With a 5.9L engine, 245 horsepower and nearly 350 lb-ft of torque it has a lot of power packed into a smaller package than what you would imagine. Toss in a four-corner-coil suspension system, and you have an off-road Jeep that can charge forward, but also take the cuts and necessary turns it needs to navigate almost any trail.


'05-'06 TJ Unlimited Rubicon

From the 1970’s to the early 2000s we go, and with it we suggest the TJ Unlimited Rubicon. Here is the stereotypical vehicle that we see many young drivers in, because it is stylish, cool and very modern. One thing that is overlooked though beyond all that beauty, is the fact this vehicle is remarkably strong when it comes to off-road capabilities. It is a great vehicle to pack up with a friend and go camping with, much like many of the newer Wrangler Unlimited models seen at

The one thing we noticed was this make and model year had a lot of aftermarket support, and parts were incredibly easy to find, and there were plenty to go around for all. You can either utilize this Jeep on a daily basis, as your everyday vehicle, then after work switch it into an off-roading, and adventure-taking machine.