History of Jeep

It was the year 1940, in Butler, Pennsylvania, when Jeep set out to become one of the most iconic American brands with the Willys Quad, and would consistently rival any product on the market today. Throughout the history of Jeep, its versatility has continuously changed the world. First manufactured by the American Bantam Car Company (ABCC), the U.S. Army was the first to test the Willys Quad, but with its massive size and slow speed drawbacks, the U.S. Army defined a list of specifications for an extreme scout car and solicited bids from 135 manufacturers. To win the government contract a lightweight all-terrain military vehicle had to be produced. In July of 1941 a U.S. Army contract to manufacture 16,000 Willys MBs (revision of the Willys MB model) was awarded; with most of the MAs shipped to American allies in England and Russia. The sport utility vehicle gained popularity quickly and the lightweight 4-wheel-drive vehicle became the preferred choice for the U.S. Army and Allied Forces during World War II. However, the civilian world would not be introduced to the Jeep until late 1945.

On the TV show, Mail Call, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey went on record saying soldiers using the Willys MB on military missions referred to the vehicle as “Eugene the Jeep”, Popeye cartoons character’s “jungle pet” able to handle any situation he encountered. In 1950, Willys-Overland registered “Jeep®” as its trademark.

For more than 70 years, Jeep® evolved with the constant changes of modern eras without deviating from their roots, subsequently developing one of the most loyal “cult followings” of any other vehicle today. Jeep®’s legendary off-road capabilities and performance are unmatched making it popular as the consumer’s choice as an all-terrain, all-weather and all-season vehicle. Whether for the extreme off-road experience or novice Sunday driver, both seek the thrill of driving off the beaten path.

“Jeep® is America’s only real sports car.” ~Enzo Ferrari, racecar aficionado.

The history of Jeep® goes back for more than 75 years, with a rich heritage connected to freedom, authenticity, adventure and passion. Through steadfast commitment, the brand has consistently proven dedication to strength with meaningful engineering and has forged an extraordinary bond between owners and their vehicles.

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000 – Present Day