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The Word 'Jeep' Came From

#1 User is offline   FrOeKksGirl 

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  Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:56 PM

Early History of the Jeep: In 1939 the US military wanted to create a new automobile to replace many of its’ other vehicles (such as the Ford Model-T and the motorcycle). They invited 135 different car companies to compete for the contract to build the new vehicle. The companies had to meet various specifications handed down by the military (such as a wheelbase under 75 inches, a capacity of 600lbs, 4 Wheel drive). This meant that only 3 out of the 135 invited would take up the challenge: Bantam, Willy-Overland and Ford.

The Bantam company enlisted the help of a man called Karl Probst and in 1940 they produced the first prototype for the military called the ‘Bantam Blitzbuggy’ (the forerunner for the 'Jeep' name) . The other two companies submitted prototypes but ultimately were copies of the Bantam model. However the military used Willy-Overland who eventually won the new contract due to its more powerful engine. Due to the demand for such vehicles, the Ford company were also given a contract for the Jeep. They called their model the GP and many believe this is where the term ‘Jeep’ originated.

- Can anyone add a lil jeep history for the lil newbie??? ;)

e.

#2 User is offline   soflmuddin 

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:38 PM

this was a fun thread i started. it has a little info in it. http://jeeptalk.net/...showtopic=11402
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#3 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:16 AM

View Postsoflmuddin, on Aug 12 2008, 11:38 PM, said:

this was a fun thread i started. it has a little info in it. http://jeeptalk.net/...showtopic=11402

Yes, this was a good topic with some good info. SoFLMudding, it's a shame that imageSchack lost all your pictures. Register with them, I think they give you a space so you can control your photos, not sure how long they keep them, that is the problem with some of these services.
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#4 User is offline   MrSig 

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:49 AM

I thought I seen on history channel they said it got it’s name from the Popeye sailor man cartoon animal the Jeep!
And to what FrOeKksGirlsaid they had 30 days to do it. Willy-Overland then got the trailer contract because the could not keep up with all the Jeeps we needed.
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#5 User is offline   JeepNWilly 

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:02 AM

I don't know much about the history of the Jeep but I do enjoy learing about history.
I found this article in the net that sheds some light to the word Jeep. Not sure how accurate it is.

It is a really good article. It coinsides with what Scott said

http://www.geocities...oys/history.htm
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#6 User is offline   JeepNWilly 

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:21 AM

I also found this in Jeep.com

http://www.jeep.com/jeep_life/legends/heri...y_41/index.html
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#7 User is offline   SodMan 

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:50 PM

All this time I thought it meant "JUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET" :amazed: Good post guys. Nice read.
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#8 User is offline   soflmuddin 

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 05:22 AM

View PostJim B, on Aug 14 2008, 08:16 AM, said:

Yes, this was a good topic with some good info. SoFLMudding, it's a shame that imageSchack lost all your pictures. Register with them, I think they give you a space so you can control your photos, not sure how long they keep them, that is the problem with some of these services.


actually it was my fault. new to the forum thing and all. i went and deleted the pics for space resoons. didnt know at the time space wasnt an issue or that it would remove every link to said pics. but i am learning a i go.
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#9 User is offline   soflmuddin 

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:06 AM

also found this article. it has the typical argument of where the name came from, we may never really know. but i hilighted something i didnt know.....



Most historians agree that the world’s first ¼-ton 4x4 in a form recognizable as a Jeep was the Bantam Reconnaissance Car, built by the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pennsylvania. This prototype was developed by the Army and Bantam in the summer of 1940, with Bantam building and delivering the first vehicle to Camp Holabird, Maryland, on September 23, 1940. The testing proved that four-wheel drive on a small, light vehicle delivered phenomenal performance off road, a concept still in use today.

During the testing, representatives from Ford and Willys inspected the Bantam and, according to Bantam, stole the ideas for their own vehicles. Both Willys and Ford produced prototypes for testing, and Bantam produced an improved model. After all three prototype vehicles were deemed satisfactory with many improvements, a final contract for 1,500 vehicles from each manufacturer was awarded. These pre-standardized jeeps are rare and highly sought after by collectors, and some may still lurk in musty old barns. Finally, the standardized ¼-ton 4x4 contract was awarded to Willys, partially due to the Go-Devil engine, which gave the Willys the best performance. With Bantam out of the picture, Ford was granted a contract to produce the Willys design, and together they made more than half a million jeeps during WWII.

Willys was, needless to say, ecstatic about the contract, and hyped and advertised that it had invented the jeep, whereupon Bantam sicked the government hounds on Willys. The Federal Trade Commission slapped Willys’ hands soundly, and ordered the company to cease and desist the inaccurate advertising. When the smoke had settled from Congressional hearings of who invented the Jeep, Willys attempted to trademark the name, which it wasn’t able to do until 1950.

And what about that name, Jeep? Other than family names, the word first crops up as Eugene the Jeep, a mystical animal of sorts, capable of anything, who appeared in the Popeye cartoon strip in 1936. From here, the word was also noted in publications as an unproven recruit or vehicle in the military, and was applied to the first jeeps as well other vehicles, including airplanes. And no, jeep didn’t come from slurring the initials GP, which supposedly stood for General Purpose vehicle. In the Ford nomenclature system, G stood for government, and P indicated an 80-inch wheelbase vehicle. Sorry, Ben Stein. You owe us money. A final note: While DaimlerChrysler owns the trademark Jeep, vehicles built before the trademark was granted in 1950 can be spelled jeep, although usually any post-WWII Jeep is capitalized. If you want to know more of early jeep history, Jeep Genesis: the Rifkind Report and Jeep, both by Jim Allen, are must-read books for the true Jeep enthusiasts. s prototype was developed by the Army and Bantam in the summer of 1940, with Bantam building and delivering the first vehicle to Camp Holabird, Maryland, on September 23, 1940. The testing proved that four-wheel drive on a small, light vehicle delivered phenomenal performance off road, a concept still in use today.

During the testing, representatives from Ford and Willys inspected the Bantam and, according to Bantam, stole the ideas for their own vehicles. Both Willys and Ford produced prototypes for testing, and Bantam produced an improved model. After all three prototype vehicles were deemed satisfactory with many improvements, a final contract for 1,500 vehicles from each manufacturer was awarded. These pre-standardized jeeps are rare and highly sought after by collectors, and some may still lurk in musty old barns. Finally, the standardized ¼-ton 4x4 contract was awarded to Willys, partially due to the Go-Devil engine, which gave the Willys the best performance. With Bantam out of the picture, Ford was granted a contract to produce the Willys design, and together they made more than half a million jeeps during WWII.


jim, help me out that means there were 4500 pre gpw/mb models?
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#10 User is offline   soflmuddin 

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:29 AM

man every site seem believable so im now certain i wont ever really know.....................


How did it get to be called a jeep anyway?
There were several things called by the name jeep before there existed a 1/4 ton 4x4 by that name. Where the word jeep was originated and was first spoken doesn't hold much interest to me. My efforts are focused only on my interest; how did my favorite vehicle get its name? Sure it was called a peep, or a pygmy, quad, Bantam, and others by some at it's birth, but in short order it TOOK the name 'Jeep' away from everything else that was using it. There is only one vehicle that comes to mind when you say the name Jeep. There are not many things that can be referenced to universally with just one word, a quick list I can think of would be; Kleenex, Xerox, (the) Pope, Hitler (Adolf sure ruined that family name, didn't he). Notice 'Coke' and 'Madonna' didn't make the list since there are 2 of each.

Today's editors rely on the previous work of other editors. Once the legend was conjured up, and someone put it in print everyone after that keeps quoting the same old incorrect sources. (I think it was Wells in 1946 in his 'Hail to the Jeep' book, but I would have to go dig out my copy to be sure).

The reference I quote (and show a scanned photograph) is from a very rare Ford document. It was not published for the public. It was not published for ‘internal use’ by everyone at the Ford Company. It was from an instruction manual for training army instructors, specifically, the Motor Pool, Driving, and Parts Dept. servicemen. By the way, jeep procurement was the responsibility of the Quartermaster Corps 1940-1942 and then the Ordnance Department 1943-1945. There were very few service instructors needed. The Army trained thousands of men to be pilots and infantrymen... but very few how to fly a blimp, or to instruct others on Ford jeeps. A lot more infantrymen and pilots needed replacing (due to death & injury) than jeep instructors. The manual is titled "Service School for US Army Instructors on Ford US Army Vehicles (1941)". This copy belongs to Ray Cowdery, author of 2 books on the WWII jeeps. Ray Cowdery has been restoring WWII jeeps for many decades. When I first met him in the early 80's, he had already attained jeep guru status.

Well we just saw that GP stands for Government 80 inch Wheelbase Reconnaissance Car.
GPW is Government 80 inch Wheelbase Reconnaissance Car Willys (design).
See very early Ford GPW Jeep cutaway diagram. (How do I know it is very early? By the slatgrill style air cleaner).
1/2 of the Army jeeps produced for the war were Ford GP's & GPW's.
Right on the dashboard - right in the face of the driver & passenger are the Data Plates.
And on that data plate in bold letters is "Make and Model - Ford GP".
Later the GPW's were issued, and they came with glove boxes, again right in the face of driver & passenger and again clearly marked "Model - Ford GPW"
Close up of 1942 Ford GPW Glove Box Data Plates. (Early QMC 3 Data Plates set).
Photograph of 1945 WWII Ford GPW Jeep Dashboard. (Late ORD 4 Data Plate set).
Photograph of WWII GPW Jeep Dash Data Plates from distance.

Every Jeep was issued with manuals.
In 1941, 1942, 1943 there were 2 manuals issued.
The Parts List and the Maintenance Manual. They were published by the respective vehicle manufacturer.
These were stored in a zippered pocket of the lower drivers seat cushion in 1941, and into early 1942. After that they were stored in the glove box (which Ford invented). In big bold letters on the cover of both manuals would be "Part List" or "Maintenance Manual" followed by "Truck, 1/4ton 4x4. Model FORD GPW"

In 1944 & 1945 the Government took over issuing the manuals.
They issued 6 manuals for the WWII jeep.
3 repair manuals tackled different repairs (Engine, Power Train, Body & General Maintenance).
3 parts manuals were also issued. The Ordnance Dept.'s G503 Standard Nomenclature List (SNL G-503 Ord 7, Ord 8, Ord 9).
The Ord 7 Parts List was short and carried with the jeep - it only listed things that would be replaced by a driver i.e. gas cap, light bulb, headlights, wiper blades, etc.
The Ord 8 was issued to motor pools at front line areas. It listed items (read assy's) that could be repaired at the front line units with basic automotive repair tools. For example water pumps and starter motor, but it would not list windings, impeller shafts, etc. as at the front, if the motor went bad, they would drop in a whole new motor rather than try to rebuild it in the weeds.
The last was the Ord 9, it was the Master Parts list that the rear echelon units used (who would rebuild water pumps, engines etc.).
All 6 of the manuals issued (3x Ord parts & the 3 repair maintenance) would again be issued with "Model GPW" (also Willys MB) boldly written on the cover and inside pages.

GI's were issued military drivers licenses, (and you had to be qualified or ‘rated’ to drive each type or weight class of vehicle), after studying and completing drivers training course. (I have these manuals as well). In class, vehicles were referred to by their official terminology, CCKW's, DUKW's, WC's, GPW's, etc.
Drivers licenses were issued in types, depending on what types of vehicles you were qualified to operate. The ratings were; A= Amphibious, M= Motorcycle, T= Tracked vehicle, and W = Wheeled vehicle. Photograph of World War Two Amphibious, Motorcycle, Tracked vehicle, and Wheeled Vehicle (Jeep and other) Driver qualification badges.

Please take a look at my website’s guest book and message boards. Many vets have written there that during W.W.II, there existed a definite bias on coveting GPW's over MB's. The perceived notion was based on the belief that Ford GPW's were built better than the Willys GPW. (I own both, I don't care for one over the other - I love them both). So it seems the most requested jeep at checkout time from the motor pool was the GPW- they requested it by name!!

So, in a nutshell, before you got behind the wheel of one, you had to be taught to refer to it in army school jargon ~ a Ford GP.
Based on the scuttlebutt on durability, you asked for the stronger "GP" by name when checking one out from the motor pool.
Then as you drove it around, the "GP" on the data plate on the dashboard stared you in the face for every foot of the miles you drove the Ford GP.
When there was a mechanical problem, you had to go into the glove box for the manuals, where you were again presented its model name "GP" in bold face type.
Upon returning it to the motor pool or bivouac area, you had to fill out the paperwork explaining why the GP was missing it’s side view mirror, or gas cap etc.
Guess who had to fill out the paperwork requisitioning a replacement? Not the Sgt., he's got more stripes than you do. You got to fill out the form, and you had to look up the part # in your GP's Ord 7 or TM, and there you would find that the rear view mirror you broke when you hit that tree branch was listed as part# "GP-17723-A at a cost of .65 cents" Reference ‘TM-10-1348 Change #1 April 10 1942 Ford Parts List’

Yes, early prototypes were called the quad, the pygmy, the peep, but when the production Ford GP's were released with GP stamped right in your face, they soon stopped calling the 1/2 ton dodges 'jeeps'. And the rest is history. The Ford built amphibious jeeps or GPA's were called "Seeps" by the way (see below for more info on them).

When the vehicle is called in writing a GP, and you’re taught that name in class getting your driver’s license, and there, stamped on the ID Nameplate on the vehicle itself, is the name, and when you say it’s name, GP, out loud in a normal cadence, it's a "jeepy".
Yes, Eugene the jeep from Popeye is a cute character, and both he and the vehicle can do just about everything, well WWII Jeeps can do almost anything (WW2 USMC special "Front Line Ambulance" Jeep buried in mud), but if you dig any deeper than the folklore, it's pretty obvious how the 1/4ton War Baby got it’s name. :biggrin1: How the other things prior to 1940 got to be called jeep I do not know.
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#11 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:31 AM

View Postsoflmuddin, on Aug 19 2008, 06:22 AM, said:

actually it was my fault. new to the forum thing and all. i went and deleted the pics for space resoons. didnt know at the time space wasnt an issue or that it would remove every link to said pics. but i am learning a i go.

If you want you can re upload the pics and email the url links in the order that they belong on the post to the JOM email listed in the JOM section. I will try and fix the red Xs.
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#12 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:46 AM

Depending on which article you read in the past (Government, historian, or civilian) and who the author favored or for that matter was not sure, you will be getting conflicting stories until the end of day. All you can really go by is the physical equipment that was available and is still around from collectors, etc. Even then there were parts that were used in the Willys and Ford. Some will like the Willys, some will pull for the Ford.

Regarding the word Jeep... if you think about it, who can really prove without a doubt where it came from. I basically go by the earliest year it was actually imprinted anywhere in he vehicle and if it was Willys or Ford that it appeared first.
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#13 User is offline   WRider 

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:40 PM

I've read different versions of this jeep history thing...
As for where the word "jeep" came from, majority of these article says that it started as ,"GP" (for "Gov. Purposes" or "General Purpose")...
Found this 2 Cool Jeep Parts Sites Mobile Electronics and Off Road Products

#14 User is offline   SoilantGreen 

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:13 PM

G is Ford nomenclature for Government projects, P designates an eighty inch wheelbase reconnaissance car. The W that was added later means that the standardized WWII jeep built by Ford was built on the Willys pattern. There's no "Government Purpose" or "General Purpose" about it. I wish that "legend" would die.

There is a also a GPA for Amphibious and don't forget the "Burma Jeep" or Ford GPB.

One of my Spotter's Guides articles about the WWII jeeps is here...
http://www.orlandoje...thread.php?t=45

And the entire Jeep History section is here...
http://www.orlandoje...isplay.php?f=21
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