The current Jeep Wrangler is way more high-tech than its WWII-era forefather, but there's a direct link between the two. You can't say that about a lot of cars on sale today. Now, you can watch the Jeep's history unfold in this lovely animation from the people at Donut Media.
Donut actually starts with two cars that competed with the original Willys for the US military contract—the Ford Pygymy and the American Bantam Reconnaissance Car. Then, we get into Willys-Overland's first Civilian Jeep (CJ), which gave birth to the legendary CJ5.
Eventually, we see the Jeep evolve through the 1970s with more colors and bodystyles than ever before, courtesy of American Motors, which bought Willys-Overland in 1970. The first Wrangler, the YJ, made its debut in 1986, sharing some key components with the first-gen Jeep Cherokee.
Chrysler bought American Motors in 1987 and turned the Jeep brand into the wild success we know it today. The Wrangler, which has seen three new generations under Chrysler's Jeep ownership, played a huge role in Jeep's dominance of the SUV/4x4 market. Interestingly, Donut skips over the new 2018 JL Wrangler in favor of the upcoming 2019 Wrangler Pickup.
At just over two minutes long, this video doesn't provide the full history of the Jeep, but it is a fun overview.