Thursday, October 6, 2011
70 years of Jeep history
Bantam cranked out a prototype in only 49 days, presenting it in 1940. Willys-Overland and Ford turned out shortly after with their versions, which all looked surprisingly similar to the Bantam. Being late to the party turned out to be the way to go, though, because all three companies ended up being awarded the initial contracts.
The efforts of these three companies were an integral part in the outcome of World War II.
In spite of their all-American persona, Chrysler is presently owned by Italian automaker Fiat. As a brand, Jeep continues to cling to their heritage, however, and the 2011 lineup included a fancy, 70th Anniversary Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
The slideshow below is full of media beauty shots of the Jeep from its beginning as a wartime tool to the current recreational version. Most were provided by Chrysler, but there are a few early photos from the Ford archives as well. Jeeps can look pretty cool in pictures, because they like to catch them climbing rocks and splashing through creeks and stuff. Check ‘em out.