Jeep actually became the founder of a new class of vehicles, and the company name has become synonymous with the name for off-road vehicles. As with many other technical innovations, impetus for the creation of such cars began the race of military technologies.
Ancestors of the company
In 1938, the leadership of the US armed forces has decided to hold a tender for the production and design of cars with high cross to replace the outdated motorcycles with sidecars. The most successful idea was proposed by American Bantam company engineer Karl Probst at summer of 1940. His project was a frugal car – Bantam BRC with open body and payload in a quarter of a ton.
Subsequently, the army officers insisted on completion of this project by companies Willys-Overland and Ford, with followed manufacturing. The model in the war years was released with a circulation of 650 thousand copies and was well received by the soldiers of the cross-country and unpretentiousness. According to the most probable version of the common noun “Jeep“ comes from the contraction GPW – it was the name of the original model in the production performance of the Ford.
Full-scale model of the birth
Managers Willys-Overland after the war immediately realized the prospects of development of military for civilian use. The first model after war was called CJ (Civilian Jeep – Jeep for civilian). Manufacturer experimented and in 1946 was demonstrated rear-drive minivan with the place for the 7 people, and three years later was released the four-wheel drive modification.
The development of the ideas of the car off-road led to the opening in 1951 Station Wagon. It had a more comfortable interior, and less like a utilitarian car. At that time was changed the structure of the owners, Kaiser-Frazer acquired Willys-Overland, and a decade later, it received a new name – Kaiser Jeep. Jeep cars were very modern at that time. For example, debuted in 1962 Wagoneer became the first car in the US with overhead camshaft. Gradually the fame of a new brand was around the world.
Expansion of the range
Investment research and development were given the first results in the 60th. In 1963 Wagoneer model was completed by the 250-strong petrol V6, and did not have competitors. In that time the company had actively developing with even more powerful V8. In 1970, the company again changed its owner and was acquired by AMC, but it had no effect on development. In 1974 company made debut in the future by the most successful model of Jeep – Cherokee. Also at that time was appeared on the market large model of the pickup Gladiator.
In the late 70th Cherokee sales were increased significantly, among the other models of the company. Later they became available and in the 2-door version. In 1986 the Wrangler was presented, it was the most compact of all Jeep. The following year, AMC filed for bankruptcy and the company was bought out by Chrysler. The new owner was actively promoting the idea of modernization and vehicles to the end of the XX century, all models have become technologically advanced.