Back in July of 2016, the Jeep brand celebrated an important milestone – its 75th Anniversary. The off-road car brand is easily the most iconic in America. With an incredible line up of all-terrain SUVs and crossovers, Jeep has managed to adapt beautifully over the course of the past seven decades. Today, car shoppers are eager to get behind the wheel of their very own Jeep brand vehicle, whether it be a brand new Wrangler or a used Jeep Cherokee. Owning a Jeep is entirely different from owning other makes and models on the road, because Jeep owners are part of a community and culture that drivers of other brands just don’t experience.
Jeep: More Than Meets the Eye
The culturally-connected community of Jeepers isn’t the only awesome thing about the Jeep brand. As it turns out there are a ton of interesting facts about Jeep, its history, and how the brand managed to get to where it is today. In a belated birthday celebration of our favorite automotive manufacturer, let’s discover some of those cool facts together.
- Military Roots: The first official Jeep models were actually designed by the American Bantam Car Company in Pennsylvania for military applications. The first Jeep prototype was delivered to a U.S. Army Camp in Baltimore in 1940, but the manufacturing was ultimately taken over by Willys-Overland. When the army put out an open call for bids to car manufacturers for developing a new military-grade vehicle, Willys-Overland easily won with the first ever Jeep “Wrangler” model.
- Signature Grille Designed For Ford: One of the most distinguishable traits of every Jeep model made is the signature front grille with integrated headlights. As unmistakable as this design theme is in the Jeep brand lineup, it was actually intended to be used on Ford models.
- Seven-Slot Grille was Once 13: That same front grille design with integrated headlights was not only designed for Ford models originally, it also featured a total of 13 slots in the original 1940 design. In 1941, the number of slots was reduced to nine, before finally going down to seven, which is the Jeep look we all know and love today. To this very day, every single Jeep model features the iconic seven-slot grille design.
- Used for Mud-Slinging: Hitting the off-road trails in America isn’t the only way the Jeep brand worked its way into the mud and dirt. As a way to insult the Chevrolet Corvette model when it first debuted, Enzo Ferrari referred to the Jeep as “the only American sports car.” While that bit of mud-slinging was meant to hurt the ‘Vette, it certainly boosted the ego of Jeep in the process.
- Presidential Owner: Not every automotive brand can lay claim to being worthy of an American president. Of course, not every automotive brand is Jeep. Sitting president, Ronald Reagan, owned a Jeep CJ8 model, and famously drove it around his ranch out in California.
- Round Peg in a Square Hole: As we mentioned previously, the front grille with round headlights is one of the most distinguishable features of the Jeep lineup. When the brand decided to take creative liberties with this beloved design and create the YJ model with square-shaped headlights, Jeep loyalists were outraged. While they may not have rioted in the streets, upset buyers were vocal enough to convince the brand to go back to the round headlight design. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- It’s All in a Name: Jeep is known for being the king of off-road vehicles, so it makes sense that the brand takes naming their individual models very seriously. When Jeep designed the Rubicon model of the Wrangler, the brand had difficulty coming up with a name that spoke to the ruggedness of its capabilities. After endless brainstorming sessions, the Rubicon name was finally chosen for the rugged new Wrangler. The model’s namesake comes from the most rugged off-road trail in the world, the Rubicon Trail.
- Jeep Cherokee Popularity: The Jeep Cherokee has always been one of the most popular nameplates in the Jeep brand lineup. Designed to display both the ruggedness and civility of the Cherokee tribe, Jeep Cherokees can easily be spotted on roadways across the country. The Cherokee still remains one of the most popular SUVs in America, as well as a best-seller in the Jeep brand lineup.
- Purple Heart Recipient: While most people are aware of Jeep’s military history, not many realize the extent of the role that Jeep vehicles played in World War II. To give you an idea of their importance, the U.S. Army awarded a Jeep with the Purple Heart honor after it survived two different beach landings during the war. The Purple Heart is an honor bestowed upon brave American soldiers who were injured during combat, and is among the military’s most prestigious awards. The fact that the ruggedly capable Jeep was able to storm two different beaches during World War II and keep soldiers safe in the process, speaks volumes to the role Jeep played during that time in our nation’s history.
- No Doors? No Problem: Jeep Wranglers are unlike any other vehicle in production. That goes without saying. As they stand out from every other SUV on the road, they are also the only vehicle in production that is made to have the doors taken off them. Jeep Wrangler models are able to transform from a commuter crossover, to a ruggedly capable off-road machine, thanks to this one-of-a-kind design.
- It’s All in a Name: Here in the United States, Jeep is a specific vehicle brand and manufacturer. Elsewhere around the world, “Jeep” is a term used to describe any off-road capable SUV or crossover. Confusing, right?
Check Out the Iconic Brand at The Faricy Boys
The Faricy Boys is the number one dealership for all things Jeep in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With a full inventory of incredibly capable new and used models to choose from, buyers love coming in to see The Faricy Boys for all of their Jeep vehicle needs. Be sure to stop in to see us, and discover the limitless possibilities that the Jeep brand has to offer.