Development of a potential CJ7 replacement was green-lighted in 1982, with engineering and design work (under Chuck Mashigan) commencing. After approval earlier in 1983, a final design freeze occurred by the fall of 1983, with CJ7-based mules being built in late 1983 and the first production body test prototypes in the spring of 1984. By late 1985, development concluded, as the transition from pilot to series production began. In February 1986, the 1987 Jeep Wrangler was unveiled, entering production that March, and going on sale on May 13, 1986.
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