If you’re driving a
Jeepsomewhere, you’re probably already having fun, but did you know that there’s more beyond the charming bouncy suspension and Jurassic Park vibes? Your vehicle may have a little surprise tucked away somewhere on or in it—perhaps a lizard etched into the rim of a tire, or a tiny Jeep
climbing a mountainon the window.
These Easter eggs are fun to hunt down, and they also represent the genius of the Jeep brand. It reminds a driver that their vehicle, though crafted to the same specifications as other Jeeps, is uniquely theirs. It’s a clever and stylish move. But how did this tradition start?
A brief history of the Jeep
From the U.S. Army’s World War II fleet to Cher’s iconic Wrangler in Clueless, Jeeps have inspired and enthralled legions of drivers. According to
Jeep, its first vehicle was commissioned in 1940 by the U.S. Army, which was in need of a “light reconnaissance vehicle” for its soldiers to drive through any terrain.
The product of three companies’ efforts, the “Quad” was the first in a long line of Jeeps. Eighty years later, it still looks a whole lot like the Wrangler you saw on the road this morning.
Jeeps evolved throughout the century and were often used in military, police, medical, and firefighting settings. On the civilian side, drivers could purchase convertibles, trucks, sports cars, and even woodies. The classic 4x4 look remained consistent across all Jeeps, making it memorable and eventually iconic.
A fun surprise for the Jeep Wrangler
In 1997, the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) took center stage, and it was on this vehicle that designer Michael Santoro made his mark. He was responsible for making changes to a few portions of a previous iteration, the Jeep YJ, and the result would be this new version. With the body and doors of the TJ already set, Santoro figured out a few ways to give the TJ a unique look and feel.
He added the first Easter egg: a seven-bar grille in the cowl that matched the iconic Jeep grille. It was a subtle way to evoke the strength of the Jeep brand.
Common Easter eggs
Since the first Easter egg, lots of other hidden objects and images have been added to the Jeep. On some windshields you’ll see a tiny Jeep working its way up a mountainside. In the gas gauge of some Jeep Renegades you may see “Ciao, baby!” written in a speech bubble next to a tiny spider. You can also look for flip flops, Sasquatches, and lizards in various areas as a nod to the outdoorsiness of Jeeps.
The next time you go for a drive, look a little closer at your Jeep. You may just spot something you weren’t expecting.
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