The name Sport Utility Vehicle gets bandied about quite a bit these days. In modern terms that “utility” is the capability to carry more stuff around while accumulating more stuff to carry. The “utility” in the original SUV meant the ability to actually do stuff and Willy’s Overland made sure the original SUV could deliver.War time manufacturers can see the writing on the wall when a conflict is coming to an end. They need to focus on a product that will carry them into the intervening post war years without destroying their company in the process. World War I had a devastating effect on many manufacturers who were forced into producing war munitions, vehicles, and other items. They had used up their workforce, their equipment, and the workers and had no way to replace them all.
In the early 1940’s Willy’s Overland saw the same thing coming at the end of World War II. As the war wound down Willy’s started looking at their successful combat vehicle the MB Jeep. Wanting to stay in business they took that versatile MB, added some features for the average American and released the CJ2A.
Targeted at farm and industrial use the CJ2A was fitted with an accessory hydraulic lift on the rear of the vehicle and a power take off that was a shaft connected to the transfer case. This allowed the owner to drive farm implements from the Jeep. Find a modern SUV that offers this level of “utility”, most pickup trucks don’t offer these options.
Here it can be seen towing a cultivator:
With all of the wildfires raging across the country recently getting this setup back into use seems like a great idea. They are using the plow to dig a fire break.
How about a vehicle mounted welder powered by the PTO system. That’s a lot of utility out of an SUV.
How about 500 pounds of valve pressure at the twist of a knob. A Jeep with a hydraulic lift would be pretty handy.
Watch the video to see even more things the Willy’s CJ2A was capable of. The amount of attachments and accessories would require an infomercial to sell today. This unfortunate side effect of watching all of this is now I “need” a CJ2A with all of these attachments. You know, to go to the mall.