One of the most distinguishable features of Jeep is the iconic seven-slot grille design which can be seen on all Jeep models. But where did this come from? It’s pretty interesting, and here’s how it started. So let’s see: Why does the jeep have 7 slots?
This design of 7 slot grilles was done to make Jeep stand out among others. Ford’s design holds a 9 slot grille, and to avoid the issue of copyright infringement, jeeps introduced their new design of a seven-slot grille, and in this way, they were distinguished from other brands and vehicles.
All the off-roaders have figured out that Jeep Wrangler and other models are one of the best SUVs that can help you to experience an adventurous ride. Jeeps are seen with seven slots and round headlights, but this design was not present from day one.
Jeep evolution and changes have introduced these seven slots, and it is a timeless feature. There are various theories associated with this evolution process of seven slots.
History Associated with 7 Slots of Jeep:
The jeeps were designed for World War 2 in 1940 and comprised 9 slots on their grille portion. There are many conspiracies associated with the nine to seven slots system in a jeep.
Some say that these slots were used to grill hamburgers and also worked to hold the front region of the jeep together. It is just an anecdote, and there is no truth behind such a concept. After 1945, the Civilian jeep was introduced with seven slots on its grille and was considered a classic model.
Various questions were raised behind the seven slots in the civilian jeep in which people assumed that maybe seven people worked on the model of the civilian jeep.
Some said that maybe the manufacturers took seven months to design this model. But the famous fan-based theory is that this jeep is the first-ever vehicle riding on all the seven continents of the world, and those seven slots are created as a memory of this thing.
Other than this, there was also a change in the design of headlights. Round headlights were introduced in place of square ones. These headlights comprised a unique shape and design that was not present in previous models. It was also said that these seven slots were introduced to hold these round headlights, and these two were the iconic features of jeeps in that era.
Evolution of 7 Slots of Jeep:
The seven slots in the grille region were not introduced altogether. The jeep manufacturing companies introduced them after some time.
1. The Beginning Era:
The first-ever jeep introduced on the market was in the year 1940, designed exclusively for use in World War-2. These jeeps were manufactured by Ford’s company and comprised of nine-slot grilles.
Many theories are associated with the nine slots associated with ford’s, in which one says that people used to take off the slots for grilling the food. But no sources claim the authenticity of this theory.
2. The Civilian Era:
After their enormous use in World-War-2, classic jeeps were introduced to the market in 1945. The design and structure of jeeps were replaced. Seven-slots grille was introduced, and Jeeps were manufactured other than Fords. This new and defining feature of jeeps was considered a remarkable one and was a massive hit in the market.
The Associated Theories:
The origin and evolution of jeeps with seven slots grilles and round headlights is still a mystery to be solved. People created a lot of theories after the launch of such features. Some compared them with Ford’s and said that this seven-slot feature was introduced to create a difference between manufacturers. Other theories were also associated, which hold no authenticity, whether they are true or not.
First jeep - 1941
The first variation in jeeps - 1950
Jeeps turning to trucks - 1965
New Brand - 1987
Jeep Wrangler - 1987
A new off-roading experience - 1993
The Jeep Wrangler Wave:
We have already discussed the origin and evolution of slots of jeep wrangler from nine to seven slots. But why was there a need for seven slots and associated changes in the structure of the jeep? Let us find out the reasons behind the new features of the signature seven-slot grille, round headlights, and X-taillights and their association.
The Signature Style of The 7 Slot Grille:
You might have observed the seven-slot grille in the popular Jeep Wrangler or the Renegade. This feature has passed through many evolutionary phases as it was unavailable in old models. Previously, a nine-slot grille was seen in the jeeps produced by Fords.
When Jeep Wrangler has introduced in the market, the change in the number of grille and slots was done so that there could be a new trademark for this brand. This gave rise to the signature style of the seven-slot grille in jeeps which is still seen in all models. Other than this, some other features were also changed, including round headlights and X-taillight initiation.
1. Round Headlights in Jeep Wrangler:
Round headlights were considered an iconic structure in the vehicles back in the day. Every vehicle was seen with this, but now, vehicles lack round headlights and have their unique shape with sleek designs.
The Jeeps introduced square headlights in their initial days, but it did not work out longer, so the design of round headlights was introduced. It became an iconic feature in Jeep Wrangler that provided it a distinctive look and is seen in almost all jeeps with the signature 7-slot grille.
The new and iconic feature of the Jeep Renegade was introduced in the market in 2015 but is still not so well-known to all. It is believed to make its pace and name in the market just like its seven-slot grille and round headlights. The X-Taillights are a unique and new addition to the Jeeps and are derived from the Army Jerry Cans.
Form and Functionality of the Pillar Design of Jeep Wrangler:
The signature elements of the Jeeps remained still with their roots without any change till 75 years. Previously, thirteen slots were seen on the jeeps that were changed to seven slots with some other changes. The changes in the slots, headlights and other associated features gave a true iconic face to the modern jeep models.
The Fixed Components of Jeeps:
Jeeps still follow their fixed components, especially Willy’s, considered an original jeep. The recognizable critical elements of the jeep models are well-defined with identifiable vital features. The modern jeeps are equipped with the natural aesthetic features, including:
- Round headlights
- Seven-slotted grilles
- Trapezoidal wheel-arches
- Vertical windshield
These features that are the fusion of new and old elements provide the Jeeps with a unique and recognizable look. The trapezoidal wheel arches and vertical-slotted grilles are the designed features that are still in use from back seventy-five years and are still seen in the jeeps.
The slots are seen on the front part of the jeeps, known traditionally as the ventilation slots, which were introduced firstly in the Willy’s Overland model in the early 40s as the first off-roading vehicles.
Ford’s introduced their vehicle in the market with an amendment of nine-slot grilles. The new amendment was appreciated and was introduced in all the MB and Ford models. These models were used in the US wars against civilians.
CJ-2A jeep models were introduced for civilian purposes after the war ended, in which Willy's Overland was seen with a seven-slot grille system. This change was done to make room for round headlights and the seven-slot grille.
The outer slots of the jeeps were removed, and only seven-slot grilles were left behind. All the models of CJ now had seven-slot grille, including the classic models of Willy's Wagon, The Wagoneer, and The Cherokee. The slot numbers can vary within the ranges of seven to thirteen.
There are some exceptional cases in the FC series of 1966-1973 models of Jeepster having fixed seven slots. After 1998, all the jeeps available on the market were seen with the iconic seven-slot grille.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
When did the jeep start their 7-slot grill in their models?
The jeep introduced its 7-slot grill in 1945. The civilian Jeep model released its seven slots in grille form and changed the classic grille system of nine slots.
Do all the models of Jeep grilles have seven slots?
Yes, all the models of the jeep have seven slots in them. Whether it’s a new model of a jeep or a Renegade or Jeep Wrangler, all models have seven slots.
What is the meaning of jeep?
JEEP is an acronym that means ‘Just Enough Essential Parts.’ It indicates the reliability of the jeep.
Who can get the Jeep wave?
The hierarchy is responsible for determining the initiation of the wave. It is based on the model year, on-road and off-roading habits for driving, and much more.
Why are Jeeps called Willys?
Jeeps were called Willys because the government earlier selected these cars as the fashion vehicles for the Bantam car company. This company lacked a production facility and could not produce massive produce.
Are the WW2 Jeeps considered street-legal vehicles?
WW2 Jeeps are not considered street legal in the United States, but they are allowed to enter the North American market.
With which vehicle was Jeep CJ replaced?
Jeep Wranglers replaced Jeep CJ in 1987.
Which vehicle is considered the most efficient jeep?
Jeep Wrangler is considered the most-efficient jeep and model due to its fuel mileage and attached electric motor. It has an eight-speed automatic transmission with a plug-in hybrid.
What were the Jeeps called in the days of World War Two?
In the days of World War Two, the jeeps were called Willy’s Overland and, later on, CJ. Their main aim was to be used on the farms in place of workhorses for pasture.
Which kind of jeeps qualify for the title of Jeep wave?
The jeeps that qualify for the title of Jeep waves are:
- Wrangler Unlimited edition
- Grand Cherokee
- Cherokee Overland
What does the symbol of a star on the jeep indicate?
The symbol of the star on the jeep is called The Freedom Star. It is said that it represents military service, but the truth is that it represents the American freedom spirit.
This is Surya. I am an experienced off-roader. I have been off-roading for many years across several terrains. I am passionate about 4×4 driving and want to share my knowledge and experience with others.
My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and unbiased information about off-roading.
I curated this article through my personal experience and expertise, and I hope it helps you with what you are looking for.