There is something inherently alluring in an off-road capable vehicle. As human beings, we’ve always wanted to explore the unknown. It’s in our nature. And off-road vehicles are the best way to do that. They provide you with comfort, go-everywhere capability, and in some cases, a place to spend the night during your Overlanding adventure.
Like most things, capable off-roaders were born from the military. Later, though, they became the symbol for adventurous people. Today, SUVs are the de-facto vehicles for the modern human. And although most of them lost the tough off-road capabilities of the past, some models still carry the heritage. Let’s revisit those, along with their forbearers in this in-depth off-road history lesson.
What better way to start this slideshow than with the vehicle that literally started the off-road craze, the Willys-Overland MB. Initially designed for the US military, the small SUV/convertible quickly showed there is a market for off-road capable vehicles not just in the US but also globally.
The Willys was so good that Toyota and Land Rover literally borrowed some design decisions for their own vehicles, the Land Cruiser and Defender. Thanks to its short wheelbase and simple 4×4 powertrain, the Willys can still go where others can’t. Moreover, thanks to its evergreen design, you can still find pristine samples at car shows and meet-ups.