The legendary military Jeep has a fascinating story to live up to its remarkable achievements. The small, lightweight military vehicle earned itself a prominent place in the fabric of American history thanks to its simple design and mule-like capabilities. The Jeep is perhaps the most iconic vehicle of the WWII era and features prominently in the American success in the war. It has become truly a part of the fabric of our history.
The origins of the Jeep go back to the late 1930’s when the US Government was beginning to sense tensions growing overseas, and felt the immediate need to update the Army’s ageing motor fleet – at the time consisting mostly of modified Model Ts and sidecar motorcycles. A guideline was announced and bidding was opened to manufacturers. One would think the manufacturers would be jumping at the opportunity but only two companies initially entered the fray – Willys Overland and American Bantam. Ford was later encouraged to join and they eventually tossed their hat in the ring as well. Through a series of tests and bids, Bantam was awarded the contract and set to work building their prototypes. Bantam committed to the Army’s stringent timeline and delivered “T
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