Jeeps are a pervasive part of American society, but most people have little knowledge of their past. Look no further; your guidebook to all things Jeep is at your fingertips!
You probably have called them "Jeeps" your whole life, but they did not start out with that name. It is generally believed that the word "Jeep" comes from the term "GP" or general purpose. Most people believe that "jeep" became slang for these vehicles and the name stuck.
You may not believe that the bulky Jeep was once referred to as a sports car. Enzo Ferrari called the Jeep the only American sports car as a way of insulting the Chevy Corvette.
Very few brands can claim to have been owned by a sitting president, but the Jeep is one of them. During his time in office, Ronald Reagan owned a CJ8, which he used on his ranch in California.
Who made the Jeep?
The Jeep brand has been passed from company to company over the years. The first company to make the Jeep was Willys-Overland. In 1970, the company handed the brand off to American Motors. In 1987, Chrysler became the sole manufacturer of the Jeep.
Jeep released a model called the YJ, which featured square headlights. This lead to public outrage. Jeep eventually relented and came out with the TJ, which had round headlights.
Around the Globe
In the US, the term Jeep is used exclusively for the Jeep model. In the rest of the world the word Jeep can be used for any four wheel drive vehicle that can go off road.
When Jeep rolled out the TJ model they included some new features. One of the coolest new features was coil springs. These springs allowed people to travel over even rougher lands.
The CJ8 Scrambler is a long-wheelbased jeep. These jeeps were produced in an extremely limited run of 26,000. The long-wheelbase jeeps are now increasing in popularity and Jeep decided in 2005 that they were going to produce more of them.
Today, Sears is primarily known for being a department store. In the seventies, Sears stores stocked replacement parts for all Jeeps. This was extremely convenient for those that did not want to go to the dealership.
When Jeep rolled out the Rubicon model of their Wrangler series they were searching for a name that suggested that the vehicle was rugged. They ended up going with the Rubicon because the Rubicon Trail is one of the most memorable off-road courses in the world. The trail goes through the high Sierras, which are just west of Lake Tahoe.
When Jeeps first stared to be commercially produced, their fenders were flat. These models, CJ2A, are called flatfenders by Jeep enthusiasts.
The Jeep Cherokee
The Cherokee is one of the most popular models of Jeep. Everywhere you go you see Cherokees on the road. These Jeeps were meant to display the civility as well as the ruggedness of the Cherokee people.
World War II
Most people know that the Jeep was one of the signature vehicles of World War II, but people probably cannot tell you who made the Jeep during the war. During the war, the Jeep was so necessary that it had to be produced through a collaborative effort between Willys and Ford.
Most people know that the Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who were injured during combat to reward their bravery in the face of danger. One Jeep won the Purple heart as well. This Jeep managed to survive two different beach landings during the war, which earned it one of the Military's most prestigious awards.
You probably have seen a Jeep without doors zooming down the highway. The Jeep is actually the only vehicle that is designed to have the doors taken off.
Many Jeep owners love to accessorize and customize their car. In fact, the Jeep is one of the most popular vehicles for customization and features a huge variety of accessories.
Eisenhower on the Jeep
The Jeep was instrumental to the allied victory in World War II. According to Commander Eisenhower, the Jeep was one of the three most important tools in the war. The Jeep has certainly had a huge impact on the American way of life, so it should be appreciated as the American icon it is.