It’s a widespread opinion that Jeeps are some of the most versatile and adventurous vehicles on the road today. But they become even more intriguing when we shed light on their history.
They played a significant role in wartime history and evolved from utility vehicles to leisure vehicles and everything in between. Let’s dive deeper into more interesting facts every Jeep owner should know.
The Two-Day Design
Before entering World War II, the United States government made a desperate attempt to replace their Model T’s since the fleet was aging. They wanted something compact with four-wheel drive and enlisted the help of Karl Probst.
He began his design on July 17, 1940, and he completed it in two days. By July 22, the design, proposal, and cost analysis were on Uncle Sam’s desk.
The station wagon came first, but the Wagoneer came first in the world of SUVs. And with it came the development of modern conveniences such as power steering and an automatic transmission. The station wagon was left in the cold.
Eugene the Jeep?
There is a long-standing debate about exactly where Jeep got its name. Some say it was slang for “general purpose”—GP. And others claim soldiers named it after Eugene the Jeep, who was a character in the popular 1930s cartoon series Popeye.
“Jeeping:” the Sport
One of the most interesting facts every Jeep owner should know about the sport based around it, which is called jeeping. In 1953, a man named Mark A. Smith came up with the idea of organizing a Jeep ride over the Rubicon Trail located near Lake Tahoe. The rest is history.
Today, Jeep Jamborees are so large that Jeep itself brings concept vehicles to show fans. And in its manufacturing home of Toledo, Ohio, they are slated to open a Jeep Experience Museum with interactive exhibits for Jeeps lovers and owners, where they can congregate and celebrate.