TOLEDO, OH. The downtown of this northwest Ohio city was invaded by a native species this past weekend: Jeeps and the people who love them. Jeeps have been manufactured in Toledo since the 1940s. Before that, Willys-Overland vehicles were built here in the Glass City.
About 1,600 vehicles participated in the Jeep parade – hundreds more than organizers expected – which snaked through downtown before all the Jeepers parked their vehicles so spectators and fellow enthusiasts could get a close look. Everywhere you walked in downtown Toledo on Saturday and Sunday you saw a Jeep or Willys-Overland.
Summit Street, along the Maumee River in Toledo, was temporarily renamed Sergio Marchionne Way for the weekend after the late Fiat Chrysler CEO who died last month. Many in Toledo credit Marchionne with keeping Wrangler production in the city.
The Fiat Chrysler-owned assembly plants in Toledo have been building Jeep Wranglers since 1986. Before that it was the Jeep CJ (1945-85), Willys Jeep Station Wagon (1946-65), Jeep Gladiator (1962-88), Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1963-1991), Jeep Cherokee (1974-83), Jeep Cherokee/Wagoneer (1984-2001), Jeep Comanche (1985-1992), Dodge Dakota (1994-95), Jeep Liberty and Cherokee (2002-12), Dodge Nitro (2007-12), and the Jeep Cherokee (2013-2017).