Administrators Eric Posted August 1, 2021 Administrators Share Posted August 1, 2021 After a long period of design, testing and competitive trials, the venerable Willis MB/Ford GPW (Jeep) went into production on August 1, 1941. More than 647,000 Jeeps were produced during WWII and saw service in every theater, with all of our allies. The Jeep went on to achieve legendary status for ruggedness & reliability and became the most recognizable military vehicle in history. Eighty years later, there are still Jeeps that are recognizably descended from that original vehicle in production and God alone knows how many thousands of the original Jeeps are still being used by both civilians and military forces alike. Huge numbers of Jeeps were left in Europe and across Asia after WWII. Those nations desperately needed vehicles for all manner of personal, municipal, agricultural and military purposes and those Jeeps got modified to perform a bewildering variety of jobs. To this day, there are still huge numbers of Jeep enthusiasts across the world, that own Jeeps that are restored to original condition, or customized in all manner of ways. Across Europe, there are enormous Jeep owner and enthusiast groups that hold car shows and drives for their Jeeps. How many vehicles have left that kind of lasting impression on the world? I've owned a '66 Jeepster Commando, four Jeep Cherokees and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, in my time. I loved them all. The 4.0L I-6 was one of the best engines ever built and it saw service in quite a few different vehicles. I bought my last Jeep the last year they offered the 4.0L engine. That engine with a manual trans was a hell of a lot of fun and it was a great off-road package. Inline sixes produce a lot of torque and tend to do so at low to mid-range RPMs. Perfect for off-road. Anyway, here's to the Jeep. The original prototype was made by the British company Bantam. They did not have the cash or resources to handle such a project though and a lot of the evolution of the Jeep design occurred under Willis Overland and Ford. There are Brits that still nurse some sour grapes over the fact that the Jeep is considered an American design, but it mostly is and we are the ones that were able to produce almost 650,000 of them AND equip every allied force with them. I think that the real litmus test of whether a vehicle is British is the number of electrical fires attributed to them and that simply wasn't an issue with the Jeep. 3 2 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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