Jeep is one of the most iconic American brands of any product on the market today. What began in Butler, Pennsylvania in 1941 would eventually change the world with one of the most versatile vehicles every created, the Jeep. Originally built by the American Bantam Car Company, the first Jeeps were tested by the US Army and were eventually outbid by Willys to land a government contract on producing the lightweight all-terrain military vehicles.
The first Willys MB Jeep was produced in 1941 for the US Army and it wasn’t until 1945 that a civilian model was introduced. These pioneers of the sport utility vehicle quickly gained a cult following as the primary lightweight 4-wheel-drive vehicle for the United States Army and Allied Forces during World War II. According to retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant, R. Lee Ermey on his TV show, Mail Call, the Jeep name came from soldiers using the Willys MB on missions who informally nicknamed their ride after “Eugene the Jeep,” a character in the Popeye cartoons. Eugene the Jeep was Popeye’s “jungle pet” and could handle any situation thrown at him. “Jeep” became a registered trademark name of Willys-Overland in 1950.
For over 70 years, Jeep has evolved to the demands of the modern era, while staying true to their roots and subsequently developing one of the most loyal fan bases of any vehicle on the road today. The legendary performance and off-road capabilities of the Jeep are unmatched and make Jeep the perfect all-weather, all-terrain, all-season, vehicle for anyone from the novice Sunday driver to the extreme off-road adventurer.
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