The Jeepster Commando was first produced by Kaiser Motors in 1966 to compete with the Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Bronco. Four different models were available: a pickup truck, convertible, roadster and wagon. The Kaiser line remained in production until about 1969, when American Motors Corporation (AMC) bought Kaiser in 1970. After AMC's acquisition, the Jeepster Commando C101 (101" wheelbase) steadily grew in popularity. In 1972, AMC shortened the vehicle's name to Commando C104, extended the wheelbase to 104", and changed the front-end design to accept the AMC I6's & V8 304ci, similar to the Ford Bronco. The new configuration, formerly an AMC best seller, quickly caused the line to drop in popularity and was taken out of production in 1973; it was replaced with the full size Cherokee. The Jeepster is an ancestor of the modern Jeep family produced by Chrysler.
There are several Jeepster enthusiast clubs across the United States.
Willys-Overland, the original producers of the "Jeep" (originally manufactured for military use) also produced a "Jeepster" from 1948 until about 1950. This vehicle led to the later Kaiser productions.
The Jeepster was revived in 1966 in the form of the Jeepster Commando ("C101"). The F-head Hurricane straight-4 was used (a direct descendant of the original Go Devil engine) and four-wheel drive was finally added. This engine produced 75 horsepower (56 kW) at 4000 rpm and 114 lb·ft (155 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. The 160 horsepower (119 kW) Dauntless V6 was optional and preferred with its 235 lb·ft (319 N·m) of torque. A total of 57,350 Kaiser-spec "C101" Jeepster Commandos were sold between 1966 and 1971.
Body styles of the Jeepster Commando included station wagon, convertible, pickup, and roadster. The deluxe station wagon included sliding rear windows and full interior trim — and available two-tone exterior.
The 1971 Hurst Jeepster built with modifications by Hurst Performance is possibly the scarcest model of all production Jeeps. Standard equipment included a Champagne White exterior with red and blue stripes, a roof rack, a sports steering wheel, and Goodyear G70 x 15 raised white letter tires mounted on wider steel wheels. Hurst equipment included special exterior insignia, an 8,000-rpm tachometer on the back of the hood scoop in the driver's line of sight, as well as a Hurst T-handle shifter on manual-transmission cars or a console-mounted Hurst Dual-Gate shifter with the optional automatic transmission.
The Jeepster Commando came in three types: Revival Jeepster, Commando convertible, and an open body roadster with no top at all. The Revival Jeepster, named "Jeepster", as shown in hood side emblem an VIN decode or Jeepster Convertible was the showcase vehicle of the fleet, offering deluxe interior appointments, powered convertible top, and a Continental tire kit (available only for this model). The Commando convertible offered the same body with just the basic finish and equipment.
- 1966-1971 - F134 Hurricane I4 —134.2 CID (2,199 cc), 75 hp (55 kW) and 114 ft·lbf (154 N·m)
- 1966-1971 - Dauntless 225 V6—225.3 CID (3,692 cc), 3.75 in (95 mm) bore, 3.40 in (86 mm) stroke, 160 hp (119 kW) and 235 ft·lbf (318 N·m)
The Jeepster name was removed after 1971, but the model remained in production for two more years as the Jeep Commando. In 1972, it received a "conventional" full-width grille (see picture). The Commando had one of three AMC engines, the 232 cu in (3.8 L) or 258 cu in (4.2 L) AMC Straight-6 or the 304 cu in (5.0 L) AMC V8. A total of 20,223 AMC-spec "C104" Jeep Commandos were made in 1972 and 1973.
- 1971-1972 - AMC 232 I6— 231.91 CID (3,800.3 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.500 in (88.9 mm) stroke, 100 hp (74 kW) and 185 ft·lbf (250 N·m)
- 1971-1972 - AMC 258 I6—258.08 CID (4,229.2 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.895 in (98.9 mm) stroke
- 1971-1972 - AMC–304 V8—303.92 CID (4,980.3 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.753 in (95.3 mm) stroke