Not everyone celebrates Easter, but most of us are quite familiar with how an Easter egg hunt works. You place eggs, typically plastic or painted, hidden away on your preferred hunting ground, and then let loose the eager kids to go find them as quickly as they can. It can be a lot of fun for children to find particularly well-hidden eggs during this annual tradition, although part of the fun is waiting to see if all the eggs are ever actually found. Months down the road, someone might find an egg that wasn’t found the first time around, and it’s an unexpected treat. We can all agree on how fun the experience is, but what does this have to do with Jeep models?
Well, the term “Easter egg” has crossed over into mainstream society as anything that comes off as an unexpected bonus. It’s typically something that was placed there on purpose, although the general public isn’t aware of it. This is especially true for Easter eggs in video games, television shows, and movies. And guess what? Jeep models have had their own Easter eggs strewn about both the interiors and exteriors of these iconic vehicles for decades. Have you spotted any of them? Here are eight of the best:
1. Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah, and the Jeep brand are a perfect pairing for each other, so it’s no wonder there’s a Moab Easter egg found on select Jeep models. Certain Renegades have a topographic map of Moab molded into the loose change cubby, right next to a molding of the well-known 7-slot Jeep grille.
If you didn’t know, Moab is a hugely popular destination for Jeep enthusiasts from all over the world. It’s the location of the annual Jeep Jamboree event and even a name for a common top-level Wrangler trim.
2. Willys Wheel
Willys was the original manufacturer of what we know today as Jeep vehicles. The Willys MB played a vital role in the events of World War II, and the CJ-2A was adapted out of the Willys MB to be the perfect farm utility vehicle for civilians. As a nod to the Willys past of modern Jeeps, it’s not uncommon to find the Willys popping up in unexpected places around your Jeep model.
One of the more prominent Willys Easter eggs is found on the wheels of newer Jeeps. In particular, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon features a bright red Willys proudly displayed on each wheel found on it. And yes, you can even find it on the spare tire.
3. Iconic Grille
What’s the first piece of aesthetic design you think of when you think of a Jeep? The very first thing you may think of is the incredible performance of the Jeep 4×4 system, but for aesthetics, it has to be the iconic Jeep grille. The seven vertical bars are known around the world as to how you can immediately tell a vehicle is a Jeep.
Since the grille is so iconic, it makes sense to include Easter eggs of it on different Jeep models. Look for the grille all over the place, including between your windshield wiper attachment points on the hood, near your rearview mirror, on the inside of your tailgate, and so much more. Basically, if it makes sense to put the grille design somewhere, then the fun people at Jeep have probably done it.
4. JL Morse Code
For a quick callout to the wartime past and history of the Jeep brand, check out this morse code Easter egg. On certain Jeep models, you’ll find a “JL” symbol, which denotes a specific generation of Wranglers. Underneath it, there are a few unassuming bumps that may seem like some sort of a design flaw or part of the symbol itself. Actually, it’s morse code in the form of dits and dahs. Since Morse code was so important during the time of World War II, it’s included here as well. These dits and dahs aren’t necessarily a secret message, though — they just spell out “JL.”
5. Windshield Silhouette
If you thought you were done with seeing the Willys, then you don’t understand just how important it is to Jeep designers to keep the history of their company alive and well. Apart from showing up as the name of a popular Jeep trim, the Willys also shows up on certain windshields. You’d be forgiven for not spotting it, as it’s quite innocuous, but typically on the corner of specific Jeep windshields, you’ll find a small Willys about to climb straight up the side of the windshield. You’d be hard-pressed to be against it accomplishing that feat, too.
6. Gas Can History
Have you ever seen a Jeep Renegade tail light? At first glance, it’s almost like a couple of giant square eyes looking at you with small tail lamps inside shaped like an “X.” No, the designers didn’t just decide to do this on a whim. Instead, these rear lights have been shaped as such because it’s a shout out to the gas cans that were once attached to Jeeps in the U.S. Army.
You can find gas can memories in a couple of other locations as well. Look to the roof on new Renegades for a large “X” going across the top, and within the cup holders for smaller appearances.
7. Animals Galore
Since Jeep models are so outdoorsy, it’s not much of a surprise to find a few creatures and critters scattered about some vehicles. This can range from a spider near the gas tank to a lizard crawling near your VIN, or even a rare sighting of the Loch Ness Monster on the rear windshield.
Do you have any guesses as to why these particular critters show up? We think the spider might be a reference to the FIAT Spider (FIAT owns Jeep), the lizard is great at traversing difficult terrain (like Jeeps), and many Jeeps have incredible water-fording abilities, which of course, warrants a visit from the Loch Ness Monster. Right?
Whether right or wrong, half the fun is guessing why these Easter eggs are here in the first place.
8. Since 1941
Yes, Jeep history stretches back to 1941, so look for the “Since 1941” badges of honor on your Jeep. This is clearly displayed prominently above the control panel of Jeep Renegades, but you might see it pop up elsewhere as well.
Are There More Easter Eggs?
You better believe Jeep has a lot more Easter eggs on its vehicles than what we’ve listed here. Although these are some of the common fun ones, keep your eye out for any we may have missed. For any Jeep fan, it’s a pleasure to search for and find these Easter eggs because you know a lot of time and effort was put into it from the biggest fans of all, the Jeep designers.
It’s a great way to connect more with the history of an excellent American car brand and learn about the process of what has resulted in the Jeep models we have today. Keep in mind; if you see some interesting words, designs, or anything else that you never noticed before, you may have just found an Easter egg. Enjoy the smile it brings you, and have fun with it!