America’s only real sports car: Jeep

When you think of a Jeep, what comes to mind? For me it’s rugged, off-road capabilities and the fact that it was an integral part of the war effort during WWII. I realized I really don’t know much about Jeeps and decided to find some fascinating factoids to share. These aren’t your typical Jeep facts either, I really did some research! I’m curious if YOU know all of these or not.

  • You are probably familiar with the Willys name, but did you know it’s pronounced “Willis” not “Willies?” I definitely didn’t and will be the first to admit to calling it Willies, but I can put that firmly on the shoulder of someone who owned one and called it a Willies! Now I feel silly.
  • Founder John Willys never saw a Jeep. He died in 1935 and the first Willys MBs (Jeeps) went into production in 1941. They even had a push button start and didn’t need keys!
  • There were 11 different Jeep variations in production during WWII from 3 different companies, Willys, Ford and Bantam. (This might explain why I thought Jeeps were Fords until I was quite a bit older…)
  • A single Jeep was actually awarded the Purple Heart after surviving two different beach landings.
  • Enzo Ferrari famously said, “Jeep is America’s only real sports car.”
    It’s up for debate whether this was a jab at other American manufacturers or a true compliment, your guess is as good as mine.
  • The oldest surviving Jeep is a Ford! It’s on display in the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum.
  • There is a spider saying, “Ciao Baby” next to the gas tank on the Jeep Renegade. This is only one of many Easter eggs that Jeep has hidden around the vehicle.
  • Jeep usually goes a full decade before redesigning any of their models, they don’t want to mess with perfection. The went even further, to 11 years with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
  • Have you ever heard the saying, “Old Willys never die, they just go to South America?” I definitely haven’t but I want to know more! It’s from a great Jeep history.

Did I miss any interesting facts? Leave out a vital bit of information? I didn’t want to put a simple Jeep history up, aficionados already know that. Let me know if I missed something on twitter or facebook! I’ll be happy to add it to my list and give you all the credit!

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