A brief guide to the history of American manufacturer Jeep.
A short article detailing the key milestones in the history of American manufacturer of Jeep, including details of model releases and company movements.
Jeep has the illustrious title of being the oldest off-road vehicle ever manufactured. The pioneering automobile is a registered trademark of Chrysler but was originally designed by Karl Probst in 1940 for the American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland.
The United States army had contacted the two manufacturers to make a car that could withstand the pressures of military life in just 49 days. Fortunately, the first prototype, known as the Bantam BRC, was unveiled just in time and was taken for its first test drive in the Autumn.
Ever since that pivotal moment the car has became synonymous with the army and wartime pursuits – exploration and reconnaissance projects were easier to fulfill due to the robust and hardy features of the unique 4 wheel drive open-air light vehicle.
The car was formally named Jeep in 1950 by Willys-Overland Inc, as this was already the colloquial term used by members of the army for vehicles that were yet to be tested.
When the war ended, Jeeps were made available to purchase by members of the public, which solidified their presence within the motor industry’s mindset and helped the brand to grow considerably. In 1945 the first few Jeeps for civilians began to be manufactured and the Jeep Marque was bought by Kaiser motors in 1953 and the American Motors Corporation in 1970 (AMC). The Jeep CJ-7 was eventually replaced with the Jeep Wrangler and a few short years later Chrysler bought out the AMC in 1987.
Currently Chrsysler Group LLC own the Jeep name and six modern day models including the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Liberty. Each model has an array of distinctive features and capabilities such as electronically activated locking differentials, heavy duty expansion and sturdy front and rear axles.
Manufactured across numerous countries throughout Europe, America and Asia the Jeep has managed to retain its strength of character and military profile. Its popularity has remained steadfast and people are still interested in owning and driving a traditional Jeep with a modern edge.