Jeep is an Automobile Marque (and registered trademark) of Chrysler. It is the oldest Sport utility vehicle (SUV) brand, with Land Rover coming in a close second.

The word "jeep," uncapitalized, may be used as a generic term for any vehicle of this shape and function: see Genericized trademark.


Origin of the term "jeep"Edit

There are many explanations of the origin of the word "jeep," which have proven difficult to verify. Probably the most popular notion holds that the vehicle bore the designation "GP" (for "Gov. Purposes" or "General Purpose"), which was phonetically slurred into the word jeep. However, R. Lee Ermey, on his television series Mail Call, disputes this, saying that the vehicle was designed for specific duties, was never referred to as "General Purpose", and that the name may have been derived from Ford's nomenclature referring to the vehicle as GP (G for government-use, and P to designate its Wheelbase). "GP" does appear in connection with the vehicle in the mode TM 9-803 manual, which describes the vehicle as a machine and the vehicle is designated a "GP" in TM 9-2800, Standard Motor Vehicles, September 1, 1949, but whether the average jeep-driving GI (term) would have been familiar with either of these manuals is open to debate.

This account may confuse the jeep with the nickname of another series of vehicles with the GP designation. The Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, a maker of Railroad Locomotives, introduced its "General Purpose" line in 1949, using the GP tag. These locomotives are commonly referred to as Geeps, pronounced the same way as "Jeep."

Many, including Ermey, suggest that soldiers at the time were so impressed with the new vehicles that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep, a cartoon character that "could go anywhere".

The term "jeep" was first commonly used during World War I (1914–1918) by soldiers as a slang word for new Recruits and for new unproven vehicles. This is according to a history of the vehicle for an issue of the U.S. Army magazine, Quartermaster Review, which was written by Maj. E. P. Hogan. He went on to say that the slang word "jeep" had these definitions as late as the start of World War I.

"Jeep" had been used as the name of a small tractor made by Moline.

The term "jeep" would eventually be used as slang to refer to an airplane, a tractor used for hauling heavy equipment, and an Autogyro. When the first models of the jeep came to Camp Holabird for tests, the vehicle did not have a name yet. Therefore the soldiers on the test project called it a jeep. Civilian engineers and test drivers who were at the camp during this time were not aware of the military slang term. They most likely were familiar with the character Eugene the Jeep and thought that Eugene was the origin of the name. The vehicle had many other nicknames at this time such as Peep (the term originally used in the Armored Force), Pygmy, and Blitz-Buggy, although because of the Eugene association, Jeep stuck in people's minds better than any other term.

Words of the Fighting Forces by Clinton A. Sanders, a dictionary of military slang, published in 1942, in the library at The Pentagon gives this definition:

Jeep: A four-wheel drive car 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 armored forces, the ½ ton command car. Also referred to as "any small plane, helicopter, or gadget."

Early in 1941, Willys demonstrated the vehicle's ability by having it drive up the U.S. Capitol steps, driven by Willy's test driver Irving "Red" Haussman, who had recently heard soldiers at Fort Holabird calling it a "jeep." When asked by syndicated columnist Katherine Hillyer for the Washington Daily News (or by a bystander, according to another account) what it was called, Irving answered, "It's a jeep."

Katherine Hillyer's article was published on February 20, 1941 around the nation and included a picture of the vehicle with the caption:

LAWMAKERS TAKE A RIDE- With Senator Meade, of New York, at the wheel, and Representative Thomas, of New Jersey, sitting beside him, one of the Army's new scout cars, known as "jeeps" or "quads," climbs up the Capitol steps in a demonstration yesterday. Soldiers in the rear seat for gunners were unperturbed.

This exposure caused all other jeep references to fade, leaving the 4x4 truck with the name.

Willys Inc. was later awarded the sole privilege of owning the name "Jeep" as registered Trademark, by extension, merely because it originally had offered the most powerful engine.

(Compare "Mayhem (crime)" and "Commando" for words which changed their main meanings because of newspaper misunderstandings.)

The origins of the vehicle: the first jeepsEdit

The first jeep prototype (the Bantam BRC) was built for the Department of the Army by American Bantam in Butler, Pennsylvania, followed by two other competing prototypes produced by Ford and Willys-Overland. The American Bantam Car Company actually built and designed the vehicle that first met the Army's criteria, but its engine did not meet the Army's Torque requirements. Plus, the Army felt that the company was too small to supply the number needed and it allowed Willys and Ford to make second attempts on their designs after seeing Bantam's vehicle in action. Some people believe that Ford and Willys also had access to Bantam's technical paperwork.

Quantities (1,500) of each of the three models were then extensively field tested. During the bidding process for 16,000 "jeeps," Willys-Overland offered the lowest bid and won the initial contract. Willys thus designed what would become the standardized jeep, designating it a model MB military vehicle and building it at their plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Like American Bantam, Willys-Overland was a small company and, likewise, the military was concerned about their ability to produce large quantities of jeeps. The military was also concerned that Willys-Overland had only one manufacturing facility: something that would make the supply of jeeps more susceptible to sabotage or production stoppages.

Based on these two concerns, the U.S. government required that jeeps also be built by the Ford Motor Company, who designated the vehicle as model GPW (G = governmental vehicle, P showed the Wheelbase, and W = the Willys design). Willys and Ford, under the direction of Charles E. Sorensen (Vice-President of Ford during World War II), produced more than 600,000 jeeps. Besides just being a "truck" the jeep was used for many other purposes.

The jeep was widely copied around the world, including in France by Hotchkiss et Cie (after 1954, Hotchkiss manufactured Jeeps under licence from Willys). There were several versions created, including a Railway jeep and an amphibious jeep. As part of the war effort, Jeeps were also supplied to the Soviet Red Army during World War II.During the jeep's service in Korea the name was referred to as "Just Enough Essential Parts" by the troops due to the very basic design.

In the United States military, the jeep has been supplanted by a number of vehicles (e.g. Ford's M151 MUTT) of which the latest is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or "Humvee").

The M715Edit

&nbsp In 1965, Jeep developed the M715 1 and 1/4 ton army truck, which served extensively in Vietnam. Today it serves other countries, and is still being produced by Kia under license.

The Jeep marqueEdit

The marque has gone through many owners, starting in 1941 with Willys, which produced the first Civilian Jeep (CJ). Willys was sold to Kaiser (automobile) in 1953, which became Kaiser-Jeep in 1963. American Motors (AMC) purchased Kaiser’s money-losing Jeep operations in 1970. The utility vehicles complemented AMC’s passenger car business by sharing components, achieving volume efficiencies, as well as capitalizing on Jeep’s international and government markets.

The French automaker Renault began investing in AMC in 1979. However, by 1987, the automobile markets had changed and even Renault itself was experiencing financial troubles. At the same time, Chrysler wanted to capture the Jeep brand, as well as other assets of AMC. Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987, shortly after the Civilian Jeep (CJ) was replaced with the AMC-designed Jeep Wrangler or YJ. Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler. DaimlerChrysler eventually sold most of their interest in Chrysler to a Private equity company in 2007. Chrysler and the Jeep division now operate under the name Chrysler Holding LLC.

Toledo, Ohio has been the headquarters of the Jeep marque since its inception, and the city has always been proud of this heritage. Although no longer produced in the same Factory as the World War I originals, two streets in the vicinity of the old plant are named Willys Parkway and Jeep Parkway.

American Motors set up the first automobile-manufacturing Joint venture in the People's Republic of China on January 15, 1984 . The result was Beijing Jeep Corporation, Ltd., in partnership with Beijing Automobile Industry Corporation, to produce the Jeep Cherokee in Beijing. Manufacture continued after Chrysler's buyout of AMC. This joint venture is now part of DaimlerChrysler and DaimlerChrysler China Invest Corporation. The original 1984 XJ model was updated and called the "Jeep 2500" toward the end of its production that ended after 2005.

Jeep vehicles have "model designations" in addition to their common names. Nearly every civilian Jeep until the mid-2000s has an 'xJ' designation, though not all are as well-known as the classic Civilian Jeep (CJ). Chrysler has now changed to an "xK" designation.

A division of Chrysler, the most recent successor company to Willys, now holds trademark status on the name "Jeep" and the distinctive 7-slot front grille design. The original 9-slot grille associated with all WW2 jeeps was designed by Ford for their GPW, and because it weighed less than the original "Slat Grille" of Willys, (an arrangement of flat bars) was incorporated into the "standardized jeep" design.

AM GeneralEdit

The history of the Humvee has ties with Jeep. In 1971, Jeep's Defense and Government Products Division was turned into AM General, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Motors Corporation, which also owned Jeep. In 1979, while still owned by American Motors, AM General began the first steps toward designing the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. AM General also continued manufacturing the DJ, which Jeep created in 1953.

Off-Road AbilitiesEdit

Jeeps have always been known for their abilities off-road, and their popularity endures. Today, the Jeep Wrangler is the only light-duty vehicle offered in North America with solid axles front and rear. These axles are known for their durability due to their overall strength and lack of rubber boots to get torn on twigs and rocks. Solid-axled vehicles also generally articulate better, especially when traversing ruts. Even the two wheel drive models are equipped with "solid" axles in the front. Another plus of solid axle vehicles is they tend to be easier and cheaper to "lift." This "lifting" increases the distance between the center of the axle hub and chassis of the vehicle. By increasing this distance, larger tires can be installed, which will increase the ground clearance of the Jeep, allowing it to traverse even larger and more difficult obstacles. Jeep is also known as a symbol of freedom because of the capacity of going almost everywhere, although many people equip theirs with roll-bars, extra lights, and maybe a winch, which is the motorized cable in the front (or, rarely, rear) that is anchored to a nearby tree (or other fixed object) to pull the vehicle out from the mud or sand when stuck.

Jeep related wordsEdit


Jeeping is a popular verb used to describe the action and effect of driving a jeep (mostly on hard and difficult environments), which was created to describe a different meaning to just driving a jeep on the street.


Jeeper is the name given to someone who owns and "drives" a jeep, when "driving" its referred to use the vehicle for the purpose it was made: off-road.

Jeep eventsEdit

The Jeep JamboreeEdit

Jamborees are two-day off-road events held throughout the year in which Jeep owners can bring their friends and families to meet other Jeepers, tour scenic trails, and test the limits of their vehicles. Any Jeep with a low-range transfer case is allowed, although Full Size Jeeps require prior approval. Only registered participants are allowed to take part in the trail rides and activities; no spectators are allowed. Participants can choose to camp at a local campground, stay in a motel, or find other lodging. The day starts off with breakfast, followed by a general meeting that discusses the trail of the day, as well as the driving techniques required. The trail run is concluded by sundown. Thirty Jamborees are planned for 2008.

Camp JeepEdit

Camp Jeep is an annual, two-day, multi-activity oriented event which includes mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, tubing, arts and crafts, and performances by top bands. Children are encouraged to participate as much as adults (events permitting). Man-made obstacle courses are also offered, as well as trail rides (although the latter must be reserved in advance). "Jeep 101" courses are offered for people just getting started in the off-road world, with experienced guides demonstrating proper driving techniques and the vehicles' 4x4 systems. There is no actual camping at Camp Jeep; participants may camp locally or stay at a motel.

Jeep model listEdit

Historical modelsEdit

Historical Jeep models:

  • 1940 Bantam Pilot- Prototype
  • 1940 Bantam BRC-60- Prototype
  • 1940 Willys- Prototype
  • 1940 Ford Pygmy- Prototype
  • 1940 Budd Ford- Prototype
  • 1941 Ford GP
  • 1941 Willys
  • 1941 Bantam BRC-40
  • 1942 Willys
  • 1942-1945 Willys
  • 1942-1945 Ford GP
  • 1942-1943 Ford GP
  • 1944 Willys- Prototype (Never Finished)
  • 1944 Willys- Prototype
  • 1944 Agrijeep CJ-1
  • 1944-1945 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1945-1949 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1946-1965 Willys
  • 1947-1965 Willys
  • 1948-1950 VJ — Willys Jeepster
  • 1949-1953 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1950 CJ-V35
  • 1950-1955 M-38 (MC)
  • 1950 X-98- Prototype
  • 1950 Civilian Jeep (CJ)- Prototype
  • 1950 CJ-4M- Prototype
  • 1950 CJ-4M- Prototypes
  • 1952-1957 M38A1 (MD)
  • 1952-1957 M38A1C
  • 1953-1963 M170
  • 1953-1968 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1953 BC Bobcat- Prototype
  • 1954-1983 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
    • 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
    • 1969 Camper
    • 1969 462
    • 1970 Renegade I
    • 1971 Renegade II
    • 1972-1983 Renegade Models
    • 1973 Super Jeep
    • 1977-1983 Golden Eagle
    • 1977 Golden Eagle California Edition - limited production that were only available through California AMC Dealerships
    • 1979 Silver Anniversary CJ-5 Limited Edition - estimated that perhaps only 1,000 were ever built
  • 1955 USAF DJ
  • 1955 M38A1D
  • 1955-1975 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1955-1964 DJ-3A
    • Surrey Gala Package
  • 1955-1968 CJ-3B Long- Spain
  • 1956-1965 Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control- Spain, India
    • Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control
    • Jeep Forward Control
  • 1959-1978 M151 MUTT
    • M151A1
    • M151A1
    • M151A2
    • M718 Ambulance
    • M718 Ambulance
    • M825
  • 1960-1968 Jeep M606
  • 1960-1977 Jeep Rural- Brazil
  • 1961-1975 Fleetvan
    • Fleetvan
    • Fleetvan
    • FJ-6
    • FJ-6
    • FJ-8
    • FJ-9
  • 1963-1983 Full Size Jeeps Wagoneer
  • 1963-1986 J-Series
    • Jeep Gladiator
    • Jeep Honcho
  • 1964-1967 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1965-1975 DJ-3A
  • 1965-1973 DJ-3A
  • 1966-1969 Full Size Jeeps Wagoneer
  • 1966-1971 VJ- Jeepster Commando
  • 1972-1973 VJ— Jeep Commando
  • 1974-1983 Full Size Jeeps Jeep Cherokee
  • S
  • Limited
  • Classic
  • Chief
  • Sport
  • Pioneer
  • Laredo
  • 1967-1975 DJ-3A
  • 1970-1972 DJ-3A
  • 1973-1974 DJ-3A
  • 1975-1976 DJ-3A
  • 1976 DJ-3A Electruck
  • 1976-1986 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
    • 1982 — Jamboree Limited Edition (2500 examples)
  • 1977-1978 DJ-3A
  • 1979 DJ-3A
  • 1979 — CJ-5 Silver Anniversary Limited Edition - estimated that perhaps only 1000 were built)
  • 1981-1985 Civilian Jeep (CJ) Scrambler
  • 1981-1985 Civilian Jeep (CJ)
  • 1982 DJ-3A
  • 1984-1991 SJ Jeep Grand Wagoneer
    • 1991 Final Edition
  • 1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee Jeep Cherokee
    • 1984-2001 — Base "SE"
    • 1984-1988 — Chief
    • 1984-1990 — Pioneer
    • 1985-1992 — Laredo
    • 1987-1992/1998-2001 — Limited
    • 1988-2001 — Sport
    • 1991-1992 — Briarwood
    • 1993-1997 — Country
    • 1996-2001 — Classic
  • 1984-1990 Jeep Cherokee Wagoneer
    • 1984-1985 — Broughwood
    • 1984-1990 — Limited
  • 1986-1992 MJ Comanche
    • 1986 — Custom
    • 1986 — X
    • 1986 — XLS
    • 1987-1992 — Base SE
    • 1987-1990 — Chief
    • 1987-1992 — Laredo
    • 1987-1990 — Pioneer
    • 1987-1992 — SporTruck
    • 1987-1992 — Eliminator
  • 1987-1995 Wrangler Jeep Wrangler
    • 1991-1993 Renegade
    • 1988-1995 Wrangler Long- Venezuela
  • 1993-1998 ZJ Grand Cherokee
  • 1993–1995 – Base SE
  • 1993–1998 – Laredo
  • 1993–1998 – Limited
  • 1995–1997 – Orvis "Limited Edition"
  • 1997–1998 – TSi
  • 1998 - 5.9 Limited
  • 1993 ZJ Jeep Grand Wagoneer
  • 1997-2006 Wrangler Jeep Wrangler
    • 2002 TJ
    • 2003 TJ Rubicon
    • 2004 TJ Unlimited
    • 2004 — Columbia Edition
  • 1999-2004 ZJ Grand Cherokee
    • 2002–2003 — Sport
    • 2002–2004 — Special edition
    • 2002–2004 — Overland
    • 2004 — Columbia Edition
  • 2002-2007 KJ Liberty
    • Sport
    • Limited
    • Renegade
    • 2003 Freedom Edition
    • 2004 Columbia Edition

Current modelsEdit

The Jeep brand currently produces six models:

  • Jeep Wrangler
    • Jeep Wrangler — The current version of the Wrangler, released as a 2007 model.
    • Jeep Wrangler — The long wheelbase, 4-door version of the 2007 Wrangler.
  • ZJ — Large family-oriented Sport utility vehicle.
    • ZJ — The newest Grand Cherokee, 2005-present ("WK" is the designator for the new Grand Cherokee, it is one of the few non-J-designated Jeeps).
    • 2005–present – Laredo
    • 2005–present – Limited
    • 2006–present – Overland
    • 2006–present – SRT-8
  • Jeep LibertyKK — A small Sport utility vehicle (replaced the Cherokee and kept the name outside North America).
  • Jeep CommanderXK — Newest model in the Jeep line, it is a seven passenger Sport utility vehicle.
  • Jeep Compass — A small Crossover SUV based on the Dodge.
  • Jeep Patriot — A small Sport utility vehicle based on the Dodge.

Concept vehiclesEdit

  • 1958 DJ-3A Pickup
  • 1970 XJ001
  • 1970 XJ002
  • 1971 Jeep Cowboy
  • 1977 Jeep II
  • 1986 Cherokee Targa
  • 1987 Comanche Thunderchief
  • 1989 Jeep Rubicon Wrangler
  • 1990 Jeep JJ
  • 1990 Jeep Freedom
  • 1991 Wagoneer
  • 1992 Jeep Concept 1
  • 1993 Jeep Ecco
  • 1997 Jeep Cherokee
  • 1997 Jeep Wrangler
  • 1997 Fender Jeep Wrangler
  • 1997 Jeep Dakar
  • 1997 Jeep Icon
  • 1999 Jeep Journey
  • 1999 VJ
  • 2000 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2000 Jeep Varsity
  • 2000 Jeep Commander
  • 2000 Jeep Willys
  • 2001 Jeep Willys
  • 2002 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2002 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2002 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ) Concierge
  • 2004 Jeep Treo
  • 2004 Jeep Rescue
  • 2004 Jeep Liberator CRD
  • 2005 Jeep Hurricane
  • 2005 Jeep Gladiator
  • 2005 Jeep Aggressor (the Rezo)
  • 2007 Jeep Trailhawk
  • 2008 Jeep Renegade

Special vehiclesEdit

  • 1936 Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile

Jeeps around the world Edit

Jeeps have been built and/or assembled around the world by various companies.

  • Argentina - IKA Jeeps 1956-current; now owned by Chrysler
  • Australia - Willys Motors Australia - 1940s-1980s
  • Belgium -
  • Brazil - Willys Overland do Brasil, purchased by Ford to become Ford do Brasil - 1957-1985 and the Troller T4 is a fiberglass Jeep version built in Brazil. Troller was purchased by Ford do Brasil in 2007.
  • Canada - Kaiser Jeep - 1959-1969
  • China - Beijing Jeep Corporation - 1983 to present as Beijing
  • Colombia - Willys Colombia - at least until 1999
  • Egypt -
  • France - Hotchkiss et Cie and Auverland - 1952-1962
  • India - Mahindra & Mahindra Limited - 1960s-current
  • Israel - Automotive Industries which produces the AIL Storm (Sufa) series of Jeep Wrangler-derivatives
  • Italy - 1950s
  • Japan - Mitsubishi Jeeps - 1953-1998
  • Korea - Asia Motors, Ltd and SsangYong Motor Company. (don't use Jeep name) - 1980s-current
  • Mexico - VAM Jeeps - 1946-1987
  • Netherlands - Nederlandse Kaiser-Frazer - 1954-1990s
  • Philippines - Jeepneys ; MD Juan
  • Portugal - Bravia - 1960s-1980s
  • Spain - VIASA, later sold to Nissan - 1960-1990s
  • Turkey - Tuzla - 1954-1970s

See alsoEdit

  • AMC/Jeep Transmissions
  • American Motors
  • Jeep four wheel drive systems
  • Jeep trail
  • Jeepney
  • Sport utility vehicle and Compact SUV
  • Willys
  • Jeep parade

References Edit

  • Jeep, written by Jim Allen, published in 2001 by MBI Publishing Company
  • Standard catalog of JEEP, written by Patrick Foster, published in 2003 by Krause Publications

External linksEdit

Official sites Edit

Other links Edit

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