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The Willys CJ (later Jeep CJ) (or “Civilian Jeep”) is a public version of the famous Willys Military Jeep from World War II. The first CJ prototype (the Willys CJ-2) was introduced in 1944 by Willys, and the same basic vehicle stayed in production through seven variants and three corporate parents until 1986. In 1964 the CJ-5 was introduced.
It was intended to replace the CJ-3B, but that model continued in production. The CJ-5 repeated this pattern, continuing in production for three decades while three newer models appeared. "The CJ-5 has the distinct honor of being a vehicle that was hard to kill off... equaling the longest production run of note." The many changes during this exceptionally long production run (e.g. location of the gas tank in 1971, and frame length and width changes in 1976) however resulted in low parts compatibility between early and late model CJ5s despite sharing the same name. A total of 603,303 CJ-5s were produced between 1954 and 1983.