The first “Jeep” utilised by the Army was produced in 1940, and they started with 70 of them. These were made by the American Bantam Auto Company of Servant, Pennsylvania. That very same year, Willys built 2 quads for the Army in a contest. Ford also tried to get into the game with the Pygmy, though it was a very enormous car, and both the Ford and the Bantam dropped to the power of the Willys power. After 1941, Bantam was no longer being ordered by the army, and all that remained was Willys, and Ford. In mid-1945, the term “jeep” came to be, to explain the military automobiles.
Jeeps were employed in each branch of the military, and had diverse purposes. Each infantry regiment were issued about 145. Some of many uses for the Jeep included being used as firefighting pump carriers, wire laying, tractors, and carrying the hurt, solely to cite a couple. It was truly a multi purpose vehicle, and it got around quickly and easily.
When the Army figured the Bantam company wasn't large enough to make all of its needed automobiles, it gave the plan to both Ford and Willy with directions to make small changes of their own. All of them looked similar in style, and 1500 of them were chosen for field testing. While heavy, the Willys engine was quite strong for its time, and that was a massive reason explaining why they won that contract.
In World War II, America provided to Great Britain and the Soviet Red Armed forces roughly 30% of their Jeep production. And amusingly, in Korea, troops came up with a JEEP acronym, Just About Enough Necessary Parts, as their jeeps were very basic. After the war, Jeeps became available in surplus sales. And in parts of the Earth where America had been, some Jeeps were left behind, and then used in varied ways,eg being used as taxis in the Philippines. And for the military, in recent years it saw the Jeep slowly replaced by such vehicles as the Humvee.
The Jeep has had many nicknames. And has gone thru various owners. From 1944-1953, Jeep proprietorship belonged to Willys-Overland. From 1953-1964, it was Kaiser-Jeep, more famous as Willys Motors. From 1964-1970, it was known as Kaiser-Jeep. From 1970-1987, the product belonged to AMC/Renault. And ultimately, possession of the name dropped into the hands of Chrysler in 1987. In 1998, Daimler Chrysler combined, but up to this day, Jeep remains the registered trademark of Chrysler.
Jeep history has a storied and proud army history. Through out the years, the Jeep has served lifesaving functions, has had practical applications, and has represented America in numerous proud ways. There are stills that show Jeep has played a role in making history, and helping the world become a better place for all humankind. Its practical functions made it what it was. And its style and usefulness keep it what it is. Jeep holds a place in army history, and it's a place it earned and deserves.
Mr. Harris owns and operates Armed forces Jeeps for Sale, where he has great articles on all things Jeep.