The History of Lifted Vehicles

The History of Lifted Vehicles

Melissa Salas

Think that lifted vehicles are something current and with recent popularity? Then think again! There’s a whole history behind the use of lifted vehicles. The first of their kind date back up to World War II. The first thing one may think is the primary use of a lifted vehicle is for off-road adventuring. However, the origin of the lifted vehicle came to be for reasons one may not expect, especially to those of recent generations. The lifted vehicle was created with the necessity and purpose of transporting gadgetry, equipment and supplies to some of the most remote locations, and through the toughest terrains. One can imagine the necessity and use of an invention like this, especially during war times. This idea came to be for this reason and was upbrought by the military. 


The concept of lifted vehicles started during World War II


The first cars created were designed for slow and steady transportation of people. They were never designed for off-roading and heavy cargo. The first vehicles had no shock absorbers, so one can clearly imagine how rough driving off road would be. The modifications of vehicles was something synonymous to military use, it was not considered to be something to implement in public use. Alternations were being done to make vehicles capable of the following:

  • Traveling tough terrain
  • Long-distance off road hauling
  • Heavy cargo handling
  • Increase ground clearance
  • Enhance deeper water fording abilities

Adding “lift” to the vehicle was a revolutionary contrivance that had more meaning than just an “aesthetic”. The added lift or height enabled a steeper approach, break over, and  greater angles of departure when crossing an obstacle. 


Lifted vehicles provided facilitated access to cross tough terrain


Not only did this affect the height of the vehicles but also revolutionized the size available for tires. Due to the height being greater, the size of tires also changed. Now bigger tires were able to join the spectrum. Adding larger and wider tires facilitated the traversing of mud or tough topography. One may not think much of a lifted vehicle today, but it completely transformed the war efforts and tactics worldwide. 

Transition to Private Sector

The lifted vehicle evolved throughout the years, transferring from military domination to private sector use. After the war, car industries began to develop lifted vehicles for the public. The first lifted vehicles to be released included the following:

  • British Land Rover
  • Jeep Station Wagon
  • Bronco
  • Blazer
  • Wagoneer
  • Scout
  • Land Cruiser

Lifted vehicles did grow in popularity, reasons varying from people wanting to explore, to companies wanting to transport heavy pieces of equipment for building bridges and new roads. The necessity to travel through all terrains like mud, snow, thick rocks, and dirt swayed most civilians to adopt the lifted vehicle in order to complete all kinds of tasks and functions.  


The growth of lifted vehicles slowly grew after World War II, but totally leveled up during the 1970s. That was the time off-road enthusiasts started to multiply. Interest grew exponentially, leading to a wave of people modifying and experimenting on the lifted vehicles. The rage was so great that this triggered the event to the creation of the first Monster Trucks. 


The lifted vehicle rage lead to the birth of Monster Trucks


Customization of trucks became so popular that people started opening up shops that were made for that purpose. These shops provided parts that are now known as lift kits. Up to this day, the lifted vehicle is still a big, and ever growing niche in the automotive industry. The reasons for using lifted vehicles may have changed from the past to present, but the use for them is still equivalent to grand! 


Are you still part of the lifted vehicle rage? Or interested in joining? Then feel free to check out American Automotive’s lift kits. Explore other parts to customize your ride at American Automotive today! Any thoughts? Make sure to leave a comment!


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