Jeep willys mb: the first of its kind

Vienna, 16. August 2016 – there are more theories about the origin of the name "Jeep" than the brand currently has vehicles in its lineup. One says that a Mr. Jeep was part of the vehicle’s technical team – after all, it’s an old name from Germany. In another story, Army technicians refer to all new vehicles as Jeeps because at one time, before there were cars in the military, new recruits also carried that nickname. This fits in with another legend, according to which Jeep is a synonym for "jack-of-all-trades" or "egg-laying jack-of-all-trades" in the U.S.A.

1001 Nights: How Jeep got its name

Not even the brand itself knows where it got its name from. But at least she was able to untangle the web of stories to the point where the two most likely scenarios remained. The first theory is refreshingly simple: the car was named after "Eugene the Jeep". A character from the Popeye comics. She lives in Africa and always comes to the rescue when the Spinach hero is in a jam.

The second story is about the pronunciation of the abbreviation "GP". The abbreviation stood for "Governmental contract P" (no, not "General Purpose"). If the government wanted to change something in the car, a "Governmental Contract P order" had to be submitted. Because these forms piled up – due to the extensive specifications – the engineers soon called the car "GP" and "Jeep" respectively.

All that is certain is that the Washington Daily News was the first to publish the name. At the presentation of the vehicle in 1941, the car drove up the steps of the Capitol in Washington. Katherine Hillyer, the editor, asked the name of the vehicle. "It’s a Jeep," was the answer, found in the caption the next day. A milestone. For this word has become a generic name. Just as every handkerchief is a Tempo and every sticky tape is a Tesa, for many people all SUVs are Jeeps.

The specifications from Holle

The American Austin Company had already recognized the need of the US government for a robust and landable car in 1933 and provided the US military with a corresponding vehicle without being asked. Too bad only that the car was robust, but not landable and just peace prevailed. American Austin went bankrupt and the remnants (the production of the Austin Seven) were renamed American Bantam.

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