One of the most iconic auto manufacturers in the United States, the Jeep® brand has been dominating the conversation for years now. Over 75 years of rugged excellence has resulted in vehicles synonymous with adventure and freedom.

Here’s a deep dive into the rich history of the Jeep brand.

The Start of Jeep

The Jeep brand’s story began in the 1940s when the U.S. Army was accepting bids from automakers for a reconnaissance-centered vehicle. The company that won the contract for the design was known as Willys Overland, an Ohio-based company.

The designs submitted were for a vehicle that was light, capable, and durable. Ultimately, this vehicle is what we now know as the Jeep vehicle. After the war, the company continued to manufacture Jeep models and started to sell them to civilians.

Here are some of the classic Jeep models that were made:

  • The 1963 Wagoneer: the first luxury four-wheel-drive SUV
  • The 1975 Jeep Cherokee: a two-door version of the Jeep Wagoneer
  • The 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee: the first SUV with a driver’s side airbag

It’s All in the Name

There are many competing stories explaining the origin of the Jeep name. Some say that Jeep is named after the slang term for GP, which is how the military abbreviates General Purpose vehicles.

Other stories suggest that the name comes from an old Popeye comic strip, where a character named Eugene the Jeep can teleport to any destination. Wherever the name comes from, one thing is for sure; the Jeep name is as iconic as the vehicles it manufactures.

Visit Our Maryland Jeep Dealership Today

Still want to know more about the history of the Jeep brand? Learn more about this iconic legacy when you visit our Jeep dealership in Bowie, MD.