This year marks 75 years of Jeep, originally produced in 1941 for the United States Army in World War II. Prestige Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram honors Military Appreciation Month in May by celebrating the history of the iconic four-wheel-drive vehicle that has become a symbol of American pride and toughness.
The original Jeep design was conceived in a remarkable 49 days by freelance engineer and automotive pioneer Karl Probst, who was contracted by the U.S. government in need of a four-wheel-drive reconnaissance car for the pending war raging in Europe. Given the urgency and limited manufacturing facilities available at the time, the vehicle was produced by a few different companies (American Bantam Car Co., Willys-Overland and Ford) with varying differences in the models.
As the fighting continued and the production was made more efficient, these companies ended up producing roughly 640,000 Jeeps toward the war effort, which accounted for approximately 18 percent of all wheeled military vehicles during the time.
The first civilian version of the Jeep was produced in 1945, when the name was legally trademarked by then-owners Willys-Overland Motors. The origin of the name is debated; many believe that it came into use as a slurred version of GP (government purpose) vehicle, but other stories abound as well.
The Jeep brand has seen numerous owners in 75 years and is now under the umbrella of FCA USA, which holds the trademark on the name and the iconic seven-slot grille design. Toledo, Ohio, has been the headquarters of the brand since its inception.
Prestige Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, located at 6520 Centennial Center Blvd., offers a complete inventory of Jeep models including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Compass, Patriot, Renegade, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited.
“We’re proud to offer the Jeep brand and believe in everything that it stands for,” said Josh “Chop” Towbin, co-owner of Towbin Automotive. “It is one of the most iconic brands out there and can be recognized around the world by its signature grille. We’re excited to sell these vehicles each and every day.”
Experience the Jeep with a test drive at Prestige, open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. More information can be found by visiting www.prestigechryslerjeepdodge.com.