The Jeep FC-150 Passenger Van and Other Forgotten Models
When people think of hippie vans, the first thought that comes to mind is probably the Volkswagen van — a long favorite of both beach bums and new hipsters alike. Nothing as major as the Volkswagen ever captured the imagination of the public, but what if we told you that Jeep could’ve been the competition? In 1958, only eight years after the Volkswagen’s initial release, Jeep introduced the FC-150 Passenger Van model. Much to the dismay of many, only three units were ever made.
Jeep looked to tap into other markets beyond the CJ and wagon models during the 1950s. After a failed attempt with the introduction of the Jeepster model — a convertible that hoped Jeep could cross over to the passenger automobile market — designers went back to the drawing board. Brook Stevens, a designer for the brand, suddenly found himself inspired by the many cab-over-engine trucks that were flooding the market. According to Curbside Classic, Stevens adopted the style and concept to the frame of the existing classic CJ model.
By 1956 Stevens had designed the FC-150 truck. It was considered unique, as many Jeep vehicles were at the time, but also impractical. Not long after the FC-150 was introduced, the brand debuted the FC-170 model which featured a similar look and a much longer back end. Sales for the FC trucks declined by the time Jeep introduced the passenger van in 1958, essentially dooming all vehicles made on that respective platform. By 1964 the FC line was officially discontinued, with the passenger van not even taking off. Like we mentioned earlier, only three were made. Sadly no one knows the whereabouts of these three vans anymore, but locating one would be considered really lucky.
Other Forgotten Jeep Models
Willys, the original manufacturer of the Jeep, worked hard to adapt its vehicles for civilian life even before World War II was over. One of their forgotten models was a Jeep made for farm life. The Farm Jeep featured a heavy-duty hitch, hydraulic lifts, and a Power Take Off. After a lifetime of hard labor, few Farm Jeep models survive today.
America’s love affair with SUVs began in the 1960s with the introduction of the Ford Bronco and Chevrolet Blazer. Proving that there was a growing interest for sport-utility vehicles in the automotive segment, Jeep opted to introduce the Jeepster Commando in 1966. Unlike the original Jeepster model, the Jeepster Commando offered buyers four-wheel-drive, an available V8, a removable hardtop, and rolling windows. It would be another two decades before Jeep introduced its most iconic SUV, the Wrangler.
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