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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jeep as an American Iconic Vehicle

The existence history of Jeep began in the late 1930's. When the United States fought wars in Europe, urgently requires a new military vehicle capable of supporting the role of a motorcycle or other cars and other sidecar vehicles. The U.S. government called on the U.S. auto manufacturers to produce new military vehicles.

Then the U.S. military sends vehicle specifications they want, which is four-wheel drive with a capacity of 272 kg, has a minimum of three passenger seats, and weighing less than 544 kg. After publishing these specifications, the U.S. military expects to many car manufacturers are racing to get a contract to produce it.

Finally, there are three qualified manufacturers, American Bantam, Ford Motor Company and Willys-Overland. After a comprehensive selection process, Willys-Overland production car come out as winners. However, the car is still not eligible weighs 113 kg heavier than required.
1941Willys MA. (Picture from: http://thejeep.org/)
At that time, the U.S. Army decided that it would be more effective if the cost of each Willys model equated in the standard model. Then Ford made ​​improvements to the model Willys MA to lose weight become more lighter car according to the specifications desired by the U.S. Army. Therefore, the chassis must be replaced using lightweight steel, the auto paint was reduced from two layers into one layer. This actions have managed to reduce the car's weight by 119 kg.

So the improved results model was called the Willys MB. Willys MB is one of the iconic World War II. This model is the first car with flatbed type, known as the Jeep. Willys-Overland was awarded the contract in July of 1941 calling for the production of 16,000 of revised MB. Production of the Willys MB began in 1941 with 8,598 units produced that year, and 359,851 units were produced before production stopped at the conclusion of World War II.
1941-1945 Willys MB Jeep. (Picture from: http://www.classic-car-history.com/)
There are various theories about the origin of the name Jeep. First, it comes from the Bantam General Purpose Vehicle, which was shortened to GPV. Finally, GP turned into a Jeep. Another theory came from Katherine Hillyer, a female journalist who accidentally call GP with Jeep. The term was then published in the Washington Daily News on March 16, 1941, since that's the name of Jeep became popular.

Another story says that the Jeep comes from the name of 'Jeepers Creepers' mysterious creatures in Popeye The Sailorman comic that published in Daily Times on April 22, 1940, because the character was powerful and can do anything. In the comics, the Jeep name was given because the creature voiced 'Jeep ... Jeep,' then the soldiers concluded that name was fits for this vehicle.

While the last mentioned theory, Willys-Overland claimed that they were the creators of the Jeep name, a nickname given to the Willys-MA. But this recognition received denials from the American Bantam Car Company, until this case transferred to the court in 1943. As a result, the court held that Bantam entitled to hold the copyright on the name, but it was not until a year later, Willys-Overland bought the rights.

Jeep recorded as an iconic vehicle from multi-national automotive manufacturer that produces a wide range of products. The company history began in 1908, John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 renamed it Willys-Overland Motor Company. From 1912 to 1918 Willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in the United States behind only Ford Motor Company.

The Electric Auto-Lite Company was acquired by John Willys in 1914 and he changed its name to the Willys Corporation in 1917. This became the holding company for Willys-Overland and in 1919, acquired Duesenberg Motors Corporation. In 1936 Willis-Overland Motor Company was reorganized as Willys-Overland Motors.

After the World war II, Willys switched production to a civilian version, called a CJ-2A. The CJ-2A was an MB stripped of obviously military features, particularly the blackout lighting, and with the addition of a tailgate.
1947 Willys CJ2A Jeep. (Picture from: http://www.jonsteiger.com/)
Willys struggled to find a market for the unusual vehicle, and made an effort to sell it as an alternative to the farm tractor. Tractors were in short supply having been out of production during the war. Despite this, sales of the "agri-Jeep" never took off, mainly because it was too light to provide adequate draft.

However, the CJ-2A was among the first vehicles of any kind to be equipped with four wheel drive from the factory. It gained popularity among farmers, ranchers, hunters, and others who needed a lightweight vehicle for use on unimproved roads and trails.

In 1946, a year after the introduction of the CJ-2A, Willys produced the Willys "Jeep" Utility Wagon based on the same engine and transmission, with clear styling influence from the CJ-2A Jeep. The next year came a "Jeep" Utility Truck with four wheel drive. In 1948, the Wagon was available in four wheel drive, making it the ancestor of all Sport Utility Vehicles. Willys later produced the M38 Jeep for the U.S. Army, and continued the CJ series of civilian Jeeps.

Willys M-38 Jeep. (Picture from: http://gomotors.net/)
In 1953 Kaiser Motors purchased Willys-Overland and changed the name to Willys Motor Company. (Ironically, DaimlerChrysler would appropriate the Overland nameplate as a trim package with the 2002-present Jeep Grand Cherokee.) The company changed name again in 1963 to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. The use of the Willys name was discontinued in 1965. The company was sold to American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1970 when Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business. After the sale, AMC used engines it had developed for its other cars in the Jeep products to improve performance and standardize production and servicing.

Renault purchased a major stake in AMC in 1980 and took over operation of the company, producing the CJ series until 1986. Chrysler purchased AMC in 1987 after the CJ had been replaced with the Jeep Wrangler, which had little in common with the CJ series other than outward appearance. DaimlerChrysler still produces Jeep vehicles at the Toledo Complex. 

Trace the history, the Willys models that have reported include the historic series and model military vehicles, trucks FC, VJ Jeep-ster, & Van FJ later model series CJ, DJ, SJ (FSJ), XJ, MJ, Series Wrangler (YJ, TJ, LJ and JK), model ZJ, WJ, and WK, XK models, KJ, to the latest models and concept vehicles reported by Jeep.

In Indonesia, where Jeep history is inseparable from the needs of the military in the early days of independence. In its development, not only the military, because according to the capability of these vehicles, and many off-road vehicles enthusiasts also use the Jeep to complete their hobby (More about 6 newest Jeep modifications). *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARTYPE | DIH | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 22022013]
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