Jeep is a legendary and iconic vehicle that already existed since the World War II era. Even today, Jeep has become men’s best companion and is worth seeing from time to time. This vehicle is not just a type of car but also a lifestyle and identity of the owner. There are some facts about Jeep that will make you want to go off-road immediately.
The history and how the designer built this fabulous vehicle will really leave you in awe. So, let’s check out the following facts that will blow anyone’s mind, even Jeep lovers!
1. The Biggest Jeep in the World
Do you know how big can a jeep get? There is a Jeep that can reach 21 feet tall which was used in a World War II era. It is Jeep Willys that every Jeep lover finds hard to miss. Although it came out a long time ago, Jeep Willys still holds the record up to now. Currently, the car is on display in the United Arab Emirates.
2. The First Prototype Was Designed In 18 Hours
Yes, it was during the war era that this car was established and the prototype was launched. The oldest Jeep was developed by Bantam as the prototype military Jeep. The designer for this one was Karl Probst, a freelance auto designer from Detroit.
He designed this prototype in only 18 hours! Although it was a prototype, this car exceeded expectations and successfully held initial testing in September 1940.
3. The Longest Off-Road Trip in History
An off-road trip by riding a Jeep is always a good idea. It was Mark A. Smith who organized the first Jeep trek across the Rubicon Trail in 1953. In fact, people know it as Jeep Jamboree. The expedition took 21,000 miles over some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain.
It was from the southernmost tip of Chile to the northern part of Alaska. By knowing the track, you will understand how difficult and terrifying the journey is. That’s the reason that the trip became the longest trip for the Jeep.
4. The Most Luxurious and Expensive Jeep
If you want to see the most expensive Jeep, it is the Jeep Hurricane. Aaron Pizzuti came up with the revolutionary design. It came out in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show.
The car uses twin 5.7 L Hemi V8 engines. In fact, each of them produces 335 hp, giving the Jeep Hurricane a massive total output of 670 hp. The body of the Jeep uses a single piece made from structural carbon fiber. So it is lightweight and durable for the concept only, it costs the buyer US$2 millions.
5. Jeepster, Jeep For Youngster
From 1948 – 1951, Jeep produced the Jeepster (VJ). It was the last phaeton-style open-bodied card made by a US automaker. The side curtains are provided for weather protection. For the youngsters of that era, even for today’s era, VJ is so iconic. The signature design really describes youth day.
When Brooks Steven, the famous designer of Willys-Overland intended Jeepster to be a low-priced American sports car, in fact, the price of this vehicle was around US$1,900 at that time. It was pretty expensive of course.
6. The History Of Jeep Name
Many people wonder about the reason for naming this car as ‘Jeep’. There are two compelling arguments. The first one is that Jeep is a derivative of the initials “GP”, which stands for “General Purpose”.
And the Willys’ own wartime president agreed about that. But, another argument is the full acronym GPW didn’t stand for General Purpose.
G letter stands for Government, and the P letter was used only to classify the vehicle’s roughly six-and-a-half-foot wheelbase. And W stands for the original manufacturer, Willys. Despite different arguments and statements, we know that the purpose of manufacturing Jeep is for the government and now for general use.
7. World’s First Modern SUV
Jeep is, in fact, the first modern SUV! In 1974, Jeep came up with the Cherokee. This wagoneer features essentially a two-door variant for younger customers. And then, a decade later, the second generation model came out with greater significance and features.
It came with a unibody rather than body on frame construction and the four doors. Therefore, Cherokee claimed that it was the first modern SUV breed in the automotive world.
8. Jeeps For USPS Mail Trucks
Jeep is not only for war vehicles, but also to supply the military needs such as USPS mail trucks. Yes, In fact, Jeep has produced USPS mail trucks for 30 years.
The company separated the facility between government orders and the USPS. It is to avoid confusion for the employee when producing different kinds of vehicles under the same name.
The Jeep DJ, also known as the “Dispatcher”, was a mail truck that served the USPS for a number of years. It was essentially the two-wheel-drive version of the CJ, and for USPS it features right-hand drive. While the postal service did have vehicles in its fleet before the DJ, this truck was the first to be commissioned by the agency.
9. The Companies That Own Jeeps Will ‘Die’ Later
We don’t know whether it is just bad luck or the jinx of Jeep. But if you look closer and take a deeper understanding, you can see that most companies that owned Jeep will later ‘die’ and close the business.
Starting from Willys Overland which was dropped and the company came to be known as Kaiser-Jeep International Corporation in 1963. While seven years later, the company sold it to American Motor Corporation.
In AMC, Jeep only survived for 7 years, despite the company recording all-time sales. Two years later, Renault bought it. There are more than five companies or corporations that rotate to have the license of this vehicle. The reason why it happened is still mysterious.
10. Ford Is The Inventor For The Iconic Front Shape Of Jeep
Talking about the design of Jeep, there are minds of Ford engineers inside the design. It is because when the Army Quartermaster Corps put out the specification list for a general purpose, there was only one company that actually managed to finish and deliver a prototype in time. It is the American Bantam.
But the true successor of Army Jeep is M151, which came out in 1959 and Ford produced it. Ford prevented using vertical-slat grille design due to copyright and trademark issues from Jeep. Then they changed to the horizontal-slot design.
11. Jeep Was Served As An Ambulance
When you think that Jeep is only for war, then you should know that Jeep also served as an ambulance. The US Marines need a small and agile ambulance to carry the allies.
After all, the standard USMC ambulance of the day, the 0.5-ton International Harvester M-1-4 was too big, too scarce, and slower to carry the army. Therefore, they use the Jeep as an ambulance on that day.
12. There Are Hidden Animals On The Jeep
Since it is hidden, not all people recognized the animals that were hidden inside the Jeep. Moreover, these ‘easter eggs’, yes people often call hidden animals as the easter eggs, because you have to find it out, just like finding the easter eggs. Jeep had these little surprises since the 90s.
The designer in 1989, Michael Santoro, decided to slip an ‘easter egg’ into Wrangler TJ. Of course, not everyone, including Jeep users, is aware of this fact. Therefore, now they hunt the Easter eggs inside. There is a spider, lizard, and cute iconic jeep inside. Have this Wrangler? Try to find your easter egg now!
13. Jeeps On The Famous Movie
There are various famous movies that use Jeep on screen. The first one is Dukes of Hazzard (1978 – 1985). The movie starred a 1979 Jeep CJ-7. The lead actress, Daisy Duke, was the owner of ‘Dixie’. There are 119 different episodes that starred that Jeep within seven years. In 1985, we knew there was Back to the Future. It featured an open 1985 Jeep CJ-7.
Marty McFly grabbed the back of a Jeep to go around the town in the famous scene in this blockbuster movie. Then in 1989, Back to the Future II was released and starred another Jeep, it was Jeep Wrangler YJ. Four years later the most famous Jurassic Park was released.
Then, it features Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara. It became the most iconic car when the movie broke box office records. No one can forget when T-Rex plunges into Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara. This movie is like a signature brand of Jeep itself.
14. Jeeps Annual Show
Due to the big and famous Jeep, there is an annual show, established by PA Jeeps Inc in 1992. At first, there were more than 150 Jeep enthusiasts that continued to grow. It started from a small group of friends, local, and non profit one to share the same interest as Jeep enthusiasts.
The event has various segments, there is a family-oriented trail ride also for the whole family that comes. This year marked the 26th annual show being held.
15. 638,000 Units For The First Jeep Within 4 Years
Within 4 years, Ford and Willys produced over 638,000 units of the first Jeep. And those vehicles had saved hundreds of thousands of lives during the worst that mankind has ever seen. The vehicles of Willys MB and GPW had more popularity following the war’s end.
Then, the popularity which makes the Jeep became a lifetime favorite for Jeep lovers or automotive enthusiasts still happens. It became a continued history.