The captivating history of the Jeep brand

Jeep vehicles are synonymous with authenticity and freedom. At Landry Automobiles, we sell a variety of new and used models bearing the name revered by thrill-seekers. In this blog post, we present the milestones in the history of this daring brand.

A demanding order from the army, to say the least...

In the late 1930s, the U.S. Army issued a call for tenders to automobile manufacturers. The brief? To design an ultra-light all-terrain vehicle (maximum 590 kg) with the following features:

  • Payload of 272 kg (with passengers);
  • Wheel spacing no greater than 1.49 m;
  • Garde au sol de 16 cm.

Quite a challenge, especially at the time! Bantam worked hard to create the lightest possible prototype (920 kg). However, they failed to meet the ambitious objectives of the order. The Willys company took over, but the work quickly outstripped its capabilities. In the end, Ford saved the day, taking 50% of the contract. By 1945, more than 630,000 Jeeps had been built, nearly 40% of them by Ford.

Fruitful associations... and twists and turns!

After the war, Jeep joined forces with Hotchkiss, a French manufacturer. In 1952, Willys sold its Jeep license to Hotchkiss, and until 1966, over 25,000 Jeeps were manufactured in France.

With the aim of manufacturing vehicles for civilian use, Willys merged with Kaiser. This association was subsequently purchased (in 1970) by the American Motor Corporation (AMC). Some 10 years later, Renault took over AMC. And 7 years later, the Jeep division was sold to Chrysler!

The nebulous origins of the name Jeep

There are several hypotheses concerning the origin of the word Jeep. One is that it refers to the pronunciation of the letters G and P for General Purpose or Government Purposes. Others claim it refers to a small bird in the popular Popeye cartoon. Eugene the jeep (jeep being the onomatopoeia of the bird's cry) was a character with a knack for getting out of perilous situations - like a jeep!

Power and performance

Wrangler, Renegade, Patriot, Compass, Cherokee or Grand Cherokee: every Jeep vehicle is designed to get off the beaten track. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, they're the perfect choice for full-time adventurers - and weekend warriors! To find out which Jeep fits your personality, read our blog post.

At Landry Automobiles, we're a proud Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep (Wrangler, Cherokee, Patriot...) and Ram dealer serving Laval, Montreal, Blainville, St-Eustache, Pointe-Claire and St-Jérôme. Call us today to schedule a test drive with the Jeep vehicle of your choice.