The Jeep at a Glance

By Karl Grover

The Jeep has long established itself as an icon in the motoring world. There is no other off-road vehicle as widely loved and that enjoys a great following than the Jeep. Exuding a certain charm that entices a lot of people, the Jeep also possess a rich history grounded in patriotism.

Back in'40, the US Army toyed with the concept of a service vehicle that can traverse certain terrains without losing its durability. In effort to realize such drream, the US Army tapped three motoring giants to bid for the creation of such vehicle: American Bantam Car Company, Ford Motor Company, and Willys-Overland. Willys-Overland won the bid, but the company's restricted resources was evident that the Army asked Ford Motors to build the vehicles base on the Willys-Overland design.

The finished model was coded GPW by Ford with G standing for government, P in reference to the 80 inch wheelbase, and W for the Willys-Overland car design. Hundreds of thousands of Jeeps saw action in the Second World War and some were even leased to the British and Russians under the lend-lease program. The Jeep was a multi-purpose vehicle during the war, capable of serving as a communications vehicle to a light attack vehicle when rigged with a .50 cal machine gun.

With World War II ending in Allied victory, the Jeep soon became asscoiate with victory and freedom. Pictures of Allied soldiers posing with Jeeps catapulted the Jeep's status into higher heights. With images of the Jeep serving as props for Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower, and MacArthur, the Jeep easily became a vehicle for people of high stature.

By the time war was over, Jeep was already a household name. Capitalizing on the free publicity it got in the war, Willys-Overland began to manufacture civilian Jeeps. The public's general reaction was significantly positive. The Jeep went on to become one of the best "selling" vehicles of all time.

The Jeep changed a little over the years. Several major and minor adjustments were made. However, the Jeep never lost its familiar look, despite advances in motoring technologies.

The Jeep today has a large fan base of people who come from multiple backgrounds. With the being said, halting the production of the Jeep, and that of the Jeep Wrangler, its most popular model, is highly unlikely. For Jeep enthusiasts, the answer is definitely crystal clear - "It's a Jeep thing; you wouldn't understand. - 29952

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