Jeep is a four-wheel drive vehicle of one-half to one-and-one-half-ton capacity for reconnaissance or other army duty. A term applied to the bantam-cars, and occasionally to other motor vehicles (U.S.A) in the Air Corps, the Link Trainer, in the armed forces, the ½-ton command vehicle, also referred to as “any small plane, helicopter, or gadget”. – Words of the Fighting Forces by Clinton A. Sanders
Jeep bonded the fans of this car engaging them to form clubs all over the world to give-and-take their know-hows and familiarities with this brand. Who wouldn’t love this car especially if you are comfort lovers seeking extraordinary journeys? For over 70 years, the Jeep brand continues to invite people to live life to the fullest that lets owner have a sense of security to come across any journey with pride and confidence through their full line of vehicles.
A Blast from the Past
It all began with the need for a fast and lightweight reconnaissance (military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features) vehicle that could move effectively on any terrain to replace the U.S Army’s motorcycle and modified Ford Model T-vehicles in July 1940. The Army opened a bid on production wherein they invited over 100 manufacturers and established a list of vehicle specifications.
Initially, only Willys-Overland and American Bantam Car Manufacturing Company responded. However, Ford Motor Company entered the picture a little later. From then on the three companies competed over the receiving of the lucrative government contract. In 49 days’ time, the Bantam Company built its field car while each company have produced prototypes for testing in a record of time.
The three companies were granted to build 70 sample vehicles after their delivery of their prototypes to the army in the summer of 1940. Willys-Overland designed the Willy’s Quad while Ford developed its Model GP (General Purpose), also known as the Pygmy.
In November 1940, the Army took possession of these vehicles which exceeded their specifications but later on realized the need to raise the limit for the next round of vehicles.
In March 1941, another round of contract was released by the Army. Each of the three companies was to produce 1,500 vehicles. Bantam designed Model 40 BRC vehicles, Ford improved GP Pygmies, while Willys-Overland called their vehicles as Quads. After a series of testing, analysis, and assessment, the U.S Army had selected the primary manufacturer to be Willys-Overland.
Origin of the Name
Lots of explanations as to where the word “Jeep” originated have been existing. Some suggests that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye comic strip for the soldiers were so mesmerized with the new vehicles. The most widely known theory though is that the military designation GP (for Government Purposes or General Purpose) was slurred into the word Jeep while the President of Willys-Overland, Joe Frazer, claims to have coined the term Jeep by slurring the initials G.P for their model vehicle. Willys-Overland was also the company who filed the application of the original trademark brand-name in February 1943.
The Jeep Brand Vehicles Today
After all the continuous testing and evaluations since 1940s, from the first civilian Jeep vehicle up to the Jeep Cherokee, from the prototypes up to the all-new Jeep Brand models, we can finally say that technology has gone way beyond the standards. For over 70 years, the Jeep brand made millions of sales and continues to improve the formula delivering the perfect balance of on-road performance and off-road capability. The Jeep is a very reliable car with several functions including its sophistication and tasteful design. In addition, there’s the legendary craftsmanship, the choice from luxury and expediency, world class interior and sleek exterior, and the conveyance of safety, convenience, and advanced technology with improved fuel economy.