Yea once upon a time it was actually rare to see things like A/C, power windows, windows without a zipper, center consoles, and even stereos in some.
I remember my old yj. Had a big opening in the dash where a radio could fit. I could walk between the front seats bc nothing was there. And all I had for controls on the dash was that sliding bar for the heater.
Jeeps have definitely evolved. But in short not surprising u came across one missing a feature like that. Used to be pretty normal