Jeep Wrangler


This book is dedicated to the legendary off-road vehicle Jeep, from the very first military Willis to the Wrangler TJ model. Inside, you will find hundreds of original photographs from company advertising materials published from the 1940s to the 2000s. The images are accompanied by dozens of technical and historical facts. The book will undoubtedly be an excellent gift for all current, former, and future Jeep owners, as well as for anyone who is passionate about the company’s classic models.

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Jeep Wrangler

When they say the word “Jeep”,
most people don’t mean a specific
brand, but any SUV. Doesn’t
this show the success of a company that
has given millions of car enthusiasts a
dream vehicle?

Today, Jeep is more than
a car brand, it is the recognition and love
of owners, thousands of fans, and hundreds
of fan clubs around the world!
In the late 1930s, it became clear that
the world was on the brink of a major

The armies of many countries were
revising the nomenclature of existing
military equipment and urgently developing
new, more advanced weapons. In
May 1940, the U.S. military announced
a competition to create an army passenger
vehicle with high cross-country

According to the specifications,
it was to have at least 40 hp, carry 2-4
people and a cargo weight of up to 272
kg (600 lb).

The SUV’s weight was originally
planned to be not more than 590
kg, but later this parameter was revised
and increased to 953 kg. The vehicle
had to have a track no wider than 1,194
mm (47 inches) and a base of 2,032 mm
(80 inches).

In late June 1940, representatives of the
War Department’s Quatermaster Corps.
(QMC) distributed these requirements
to 135 automobile companies.

The work had to be done in an unrealistically
short time: 5 days to prepare the design,
49 days to build the prototype, and if the
prototype was approved, 70 cars were to
be built in 26 days for full-scale testing.

Not surprisingly, out of 135 automobile
companies, only two firms took up the
challenge: American Bantam of Pennsylvania
and Willys-Overland of Ohio.

The former had previously produced a
light sports roadster under license from
the British firm Austin, and the latter
had a portfolio of several passenger
car models and was among the top 20
American brands in 1940.

At the end of September 1940, American
Bantam was the first to show its version
of the all-terrain vehicle. The model
was designated Bantam BRC (Bantam
Reconnaissance Car). Interestingly, in
1939, the company offered the military
its own version of a light army vehicle
based on a 22-hp Austin roadster, but it
did not arouse interest. The second attempt
was more successful. The talented
engineer Karl Probst created the car.
The military liked it, and even agreed to
change the car’s weight requirements,
increasing it to 2,100 pounds (953 kg).
It would seem that the contract was already
behind Probst’s team, but it didn’t
really work out that way.

The military
had well-founded doubts that the small
company American Bantam, which employed
less than 500 people, would be
able to meet the army’s needs, because
they were talking about tens of thousands
of cars.

Therefore, the technical
documentation for the all-terrain vehicle
Probst had prepared was sent for
review to Willys-Overland, which had
already participated in the competition,
and… Ford Motor Co., whose interests
were lobbied by a QMC representative.

On November 11, Willys-Overland showed its version of the all-terrain
vehicle named Quad at Camp Holabird, and a week and a half
later, the military met the Ford Pygmy. Not surprisingly, both cars
looked a lot like the Bantam, but the Quad had one compelling advantage
over the competition, a 60-hp Go Devil engine instead of
the 45-hp on the Bantam and the 42-hp Ford.

Read the continuation Jeep Wrangler story in the book.

Other books about history of Jeep:
Jeep Cherokee