Jeep is an automobile marque (and registered trademark) of DaimlerChrysler. The marque, like all other Chrysler subsidiaries, became part of DaimlerChrysler when Daimler-Benz merged
with the Chrysler Corporation in 1998. Jeep, like Band-Aid and Xerox, is a genericized trademark. Unlike Band-Aid and Xerox, however, the name jeep did not start out as a trademark. The
term was first applied to a military vehicle, the Bantam BRC, versions of which were produced by Willys-Overland and Ford Motor Company for the Allies during World War II. The term is
also used to refer generically to what are now known as SUVs, whether the vehicle in question bears the Jeep nameplate or not.
Roads that are only suitable for off-road vehicles are often called jeep trails. The most famous is the Rubicon Trail located near Lake Tahoe in central California.
There are many stories about where the name "jeep" came from. These, although they make for interesting and memorable stories, are not quite accurate.
* Probably the most popular notion has it that the vehicle bore the designation "GP" (for "General Purpose"), which was phonetically slurred into the word jeep. 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 80-inch-wheelbase). "General purpose" does appear in connection with the vehicle in the
WW2 TM 9-803 manual, which describes the vehicle as "... a general purpose, personnel, or cargo carrier especially adaptable for reconnaissance or command, and designated as ¼-ton 4x4
Truck", and the vehicle is designated a "GP" in TM 9-2800, Standard Military Motor Vehicles, 1 September 1943, but whether the average jeep-driving GI would have been familiar with
either of these manuals, is open to debate.
* Many, including Ermey, claim that the likelier origin refers to the character Eugene the Jeep in the Thimble Theater (Popeye) comic strip. Eugene the Jeep was dog-like and could walk
through walls and ceilings, climb trees, fly, and just about go anywhere it wanted; it is thought that soldiers at the time were so impressed with the new vehicle's versatility that they
informally named it after the character. The character "Eugene the Jeep" was created in 1936.
* 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 II.
* "Jeep" had been used as the name of a small tractor made by Modine.
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 and 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-Overland 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 20 February 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-Overland 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
(Compare "mayhem" and "commando" for words which changed their main meanings because of newspaper misunderstandings.)
The first jeep prototype (the Bantam BRC) was built for the Department of the Army by American Bantam, 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 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 (1500) 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
The jeep was widely copied around the world, including in France by Hotchkiss et Cie, after 1954, Hotchkiss manufactured Jeeps under licence from Willys and by Nekaf in the Netherlands.
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.
In the United States military, the jeep has been supplanted by a number of vehicles, e.g., Ford's M151, nicknamed the Mutt, of which the latest is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled
The Jeep marque
A division of DaimlerChrysler, the most recent successor company to Willys, now holds trademark status on the word "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.
The marque has gone through many owners, starting in 1941 with Willys, which produced the first Civilian Jeep (CJ). Willys was sold to Kaiser 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 Chrysler Corporation bought out AMC in 1987, shortly after the Jeep CJ was replaced with
the AMC-designed Jeep Wrangler or YJ. Finally, Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler.
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 (XJ) in Beijing. Manufacture continued after Chrysler's buyout of AMC. This joint venture is now part
of DaimlerChrysler and DaimlerChrysler China Invest Corporation. The current model is the Jeep 2500, an updated XJ Cherokee.
Jeep vehicles have "model designations" in addition to their common names. Nearly every civilian Jeep has a 'xJ' designation, though not all are as well-known as the classic CJ.
Historical Jeep models:
* 1940 Bantam Pilot- Prototype
* 1940 Bantam BRC-60- Prototype
* 1940 Willys Quad- Prototype
* 1940 Ford Pygmy- Prototype
* 1940 Budd Ford- Prototype
* 1941 Ford GP
* 1941 Willys MA
* 1941 Bantam BRC-40
* 1942 Willys MB (slat grille)
* 1942-1945 Willys MB (stamped grille)
* 1942-1945 Ford GPW
* 1942-1943 Ford GPA
* 1944 Willys MLW-1- Prototype (Never Finished)
* 1944 Willys MLW-2- Prototype
* 1944 Agrijeep CJ-1
* 1944-1945 CJ-2
* 1945-1949 CJ-2A
* 1946-1965 Willys Jeep Wagon
* 1947-1965 Willys Jeep Truck
* 1948-1950 VJ - Willys Jeepster
* 1949-1953 CJ-3A
* 1950 CJ-V35
* 1950-1955 M-38 (MC)
* 1950 X-98- Prototype
* 1950 CJ-4- Prototype
* 1950 CJ-4M- Prototype
* 1950 CJ-4MA- Prototypes
* 1952-1971 M38A1 (MD)
* 1952-1971 M38A1C
* 1952-1971 M38A1D
* 1953-1968 CJ-3B
* 1953 BC Bobcat- Prototype
* 1954-1983 CJ-5
o 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
o 1969 Camper
o 1969 462
o 1970 Renegade I
o 1971 Renegade II
o 1972-1983 Renegade Models
o 1973 Super Jeep
o 1977-1983 Golden Eagle
* 1954-1964 M170
* 1955 USAF DJ
* 1955-1975 CJ-6
* 1955-1964 DJ-3A
o Surrey Gala Package
* 1955-1968 CJ-3B Long- Spain
* 1956-1965 Jeep Forward Control
o FC-160- Spain
* 1959-1962 M422 Mighty Mite
* 1959-1962 M422A1
* 1959-1978 M151 MUTT
o M718 Ambulance
o M718A1 Ambulance
* 1960-1968 Jeep M606
* 1960-1977 Jeep Rural- Brazil
* 1961-1975 Fleetvan
* 1963-1983 SJ Wagoneer
* 1963-1986 J-Series
o Jeep Gladiator
o Jeep Honcho
* 1964-1967 CJ-5A/CJ-6A Tuxedo Park
* 1965-1975 DJ-5
* 1965-1973 DJ-6
* 1966-1969 SJ Super Wagoneer
* 1966-1971 C101- Jeepster Commando
* 1972-1973 C104- Jeep Commando
* 1974-1983 SJ Cherokee
* 1967-1975 DJ-5A
* 1970-1972 DJ-5B
* 1973-1974 DJ-5C
* 1975-1976 DJ-5D
* 1976 DJ- 5E Electruck
* 1976-1986 CJ-7
o 1982 - Jamboree Limited Edition (2500 exemplar)
* 1977-1978 DJ-5F
* 1979 DJ-5G
* 1981-1985 CJ-8 Scrambler
* 1981-1985 CJ-10
* 1982 DJ- 5L
* 1984-1991 SJ Jeep Grand Wagoneer
o 1991 Final Edition
* 1984-2001 XJ Cherokee
o 1984-2001 - Base "SE"
o 1984-1988 - Chief
o 1984-1990 - Pioneer
o 1985-1992 - Laredo
o 1987-1992/1998-2001 - Limited
o 1988-2001 - Sport
o 1991-1992 - Briarwood
o 1993-1997 - Country
o 1996-2001 - Classic
* 1984-1990 XJ Wagoneer
o 1984-1985 - Broughwood
o 1984-1990 - Limited
* 1986-1992 MJ Comanche
o 1986 - Custom
o 1986 - X
o 1986 - XLS
o 1987-1992 - Base "SE"
o 1987-1990 - Chief
o 1987-1992 - Laredo
o 1987-1990 - Pioneer
o 1987-1992 - SporTruck
o 1987-1992 - Eliminator
* 1987-1995 Wrangler YJ
o 1991-1993 Renegade
o 1988-1995 Wrangler Long- Venezuela
* 1993-1998 ZJ Grand Cherokee
o 1993-1995 - Base "SE"
o 1993-1998 - Laredo
o 1993-1998 - Limited
o 1995-1997 - Orvis "Limited Edition"
o 1997-1998 - TSi
o 1998 - 5.9 Limited
* 1993 ZJ Jeep Grand Wagoneer
* 1997-2006 Wrangler TJ
o 2002 TJ Long
o 2003 TJ Rubicon
o 2004 TJ Unlimited
o 2004 - Columbia Edition
* 1999-2004 WJ Grand Cherokee
o 2002-2003 - Sport
o 2002-2004 - Special edition
o 2002-2004 - Overland
o 2004 - Columbia Edition
The Jeep brand currently produces six models:
* Jeep Wrangler
o JK - The current version of the Wrangler, released as a 2007 model.
o JKL - The long wheelbase, 4-door version of the 2007 Wrangler.
* Jeep Grand Cherokee - Large family-oriented SUV.
o WK - 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).
o 2005-present - Laredo
o 2005-present - Limited
o 2006-present - Overland
o 2006-present - SRT-8
* Jeep Liberty - KJ - A small SUV (replaced the Cherokee and kept the name outside North America).
* Jeep Commander - XK - Newest model in the Jeep line, it is a seven passenger SUV.
* Jeep Compass - A small crossover SUV based on the Dodge Caliber.
* Jeep Patriot - A small crossover SUV based on the Dodge Caliber, slated to begin production for 2007 model year.
* 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 Jeep Wagoneer 2000
* 1992 Jeep Concept 1
* 1993 Jeep Ecco
* 1997 Jeep Cherokee Casablanca
* 1997 Jeep Wrangler Ultimate Rescue
* 1997 Fender Jeep Wrangler
* 1997 Jeep Dakar
* 1997 Jeep Icon
* 1999 Jeep Journey
* 2000 Jeep Cherokee Total Exposure
* 2000 Jeep Varsity
* 2000 Jeep Commander Concept
* 2000 Jeep Willys
* 2001 Jeep Willys 2
* 2002 Jeep Wrangler Tabasco
* 2002 Jeep Wrangler Patriot
* 2002 Jeep Wrangler Mountain Biker
* 2004 Jeep Treo
* 2004 Jeep Rescue
* 2004 Jeep Liberator CRD
* 2005 Jeep Hurricane
* 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept
* 2005 Jeep Jeepster Concept
* 2005 Jeep Agressor (the Rezo)
* 2007 Jeep Trailhawk
* 1958 Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile