Here’s something you probably never knew: the TJ Jeep Wrangler, which was sold from 1997 to 2006 and only offered as a 2-door, also had a 4-door military variant. This is completely true: there was a company that purchased Wranglers from Jeep, stretched them into 4-door models, and sold them to the Israeli government for use in combat.
Apparently, the basic gist is this: this all started in the early 1990s with an Israeli company called Automotive Industries LTD, who bought “YJ” Wrangler models and, under license from Chrysler, converted them into use as combat vehicles. These were stretched a little for extra space for gear and equipment, but they weren’t converted to 4-door models.
Obviously, the YJ eventually started to feel old, so Automotive Industries LTD eventually replaced the YJ with the TJ you see above — and, amazingly, they created a 4-door version before Jeep ever did, largely because additional doors make it easier to carry around additional troops. This model, called the Storm II (following up on the original, which was the Storm), used Chrysler’s famous 4.0-liter straight six, though a diesel was also offered.
Automotive Industries LTD is now making a “Storm III” based on the JK Wrangler, but there’s nothing particularly special about that, since it’s really just a 4-door JK upfitted for some military use. To me, the crazy thing is that this company was stretching TJs into 4-door models back before Jeep ever did — with the intent that they were to be used in battle! One could certainly make the argument that this vehicle, not the JK Wrangler Unlimited, is really the first factory-authorized 4-door Wrangler, as these were built with Chrysler’s permission.
Although this is a relatively small footnote in the Jeep Wrangler story, it’s definitely an interesting one — and I didn’t fully realize that there was a military application for the Jeep Wrangler. But, indeed, the “Automotive Industries Limited Storm” is exactly that.