5 Jeep Facts Every Jeep Owner Should Know

September 16th, 2022 by

Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited

Forged in the fires of World War II, the Jeep has a timeless design and legendary history, making its way from the battlefield to your driveway. It has morphed from a military vehicle designed out of necessity to a full-on brand sold around the globe. With such an illustrious history, Jeep is sure to have some incredible facts and historical achievements along the way. That’s why we put together this list of five Jeep facts every Jeep owner should know.

This list has a little something for everyone, from the new Jeep owner to a lifelong enthusiast. So kick back, relax and give this list a quick read — we know you’ll love it! Once you’re done reading and feeling the itch for a new Jeep, you can head on down to St. Francisville’s favorite Jeep dealer Gerry Lane Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM for a test drive. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of driving America’s most enjoyable 4×4, stop by Gerry Lane Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM and drive a new Jeep today!

It Was Designed in Two Days

As World War II raged on, the United States began planning to join the fight. As a part of these plans, the U.S. Army realized its fleet of Ford Model T’s wouldn’t be able to survive the war nor be efficient. That is when the Army began to search for a small, lightweight, four-wheel-drive vehicle that could handle anything the war threw at it.

Just a few short days after beginning the search, the Bantam truck company won the bid and began designing the future Jeep on July 17th, 1940. Two days after Bantam began designing the vehicle, Karl Probst turned in a design that would become the iconic Jeep. By the 22nd of the month, Bantam had sent the design and proposal to the U.S. Government and secured the contract to begin building Jeeps for the U.S. Army.

Such an incredible turnaround time on a car design is absolutely unheard of these days, which simply adds to the aura of the legendary Jeep brand.

Ford Designed the Iconic Grille

Although Bantam had won the bid to design the Jeep, the company was incapable of mass-producing the quantity needed by the Army. That is why both Ford and Willys were brought into the fold in order to help out Bantam with production. During this mutual partnership, Ford helped design the iconic flat front grill that Jeep owners have come to know and love.

Surprisingly this design choice wasn’t made for aesthetics, but for practicality and ease of production. The “Pygmy” was the prototype design for the Jeep and it was originally designed with a flat 13-slot front grille, however, that design was changed quickly, with nine slots being donned on the front. By 1945, the Pygmy was finished and featured the now-iconic seven-slot front grille.

A Jeep Earned a Purple Heart

Yes, you read that right. The Jeep is the ONLY vehicle in American history to have been awarded a Purple Heart — and it’s earned two of them! A Marine Corps Jeep was awarded the prestigious military award after taking heavy fire in Guadalcanal during World War II. It was the first vehicle to have landed on the beach during an invasion and it paid the price, ending its days of service with two bullet holes in the windshield.

The “CJ” Model Name Stands for “Civilian Jeep”

With Jeep being born out of military necessity, it is no wonder some of the military ways have become engrained in the Jeep DNA ever since. One example of this is the first publicly available Jeep, the CJ-2A which stood for Civilian Jeep. The CJ-2A came out after the end of World War II and had some additional features the military edition was lacking such as a tailgate, external fuel cap and a spare tire.

While the Jeep name has not been a part of the war effort in many decades, the high standards Jeep was born out of are still adhered to today. To this day, each and every Jeep is built with quality parts and is designed to deliver a fun driving experience with unmatched capability and reliability.

Willy’s isn’t Pronounced That Way

One of the original companies to have participated in the design and production of the Jeep, Willy’s is beloved amongst the Jeep community. However, there is a bit of lighthearted debate surrounding the company and its name.  While you may have heard it pronounced as “Will-ees”, according to the company’s founder John North Willys, it is actually pronounced like “Will-is”.

Nowadays, as most things go when languages evolved, the latter pronunciation has all but been forgotten. If you find yourself around heavy Jeep enthusiasts, you may hear it pronounced “properly” and if you don’t, it may make for a fun and friendly debate. Whichever way you choose to pronounce “Willys” one thing is for certain, the company is responsible for one of the most beloved and iconic vehicle designs in the world.

Visit Gerry Lane Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Today

Now that you have learned a little bit about Jeep, chances are you’re excited to get behind the wheel of one. Whether you’re a lifelong Jeep owner or considering switching to the brand, the best place to buy a new or used Jeep is here at Gerry Lane Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. Located in St. Francisville, we have the best selection of new and used Jeeps all at the lowest prices — including the electrifying 4xe.

If you’re local to the St. Francisville area and looking for the best deal on the hottest Jeep, you need to shop at Gerry Lane Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. Stop by our location on 7245 U.S. 61 and test drive your dream Jeep today!