There are plenty of theories but not much agreement on the origin of the name. One thing is for certain though - "jeeps" became a fixture in the U.S. Army in 1941 when the first 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck G503, manufactured by the Willys Overland Motor Company, was purchased for use in WWII.
This "general purpose" or "GP" vehicle was used as everything from an ambulance to a weapons carrier in every theater of operation during WWII.
The WWII Jeep was built between 1941 and 1945 and it served with distinction in every theatre of operation. Army Jeeps were surplused after the war and have become a fixture in popular American culture.
The Jeep timeline:
- 1940: Pre-Standarized Jeeps: Bantam, Willys & Ford
- 1941-45: Standardized Army G503; Willys MB and Ford GPW
- 1946: Civilian Jeep Introduction
- 1949-52: M38: Willys
- 1952-71: M38A1 Willys
- 1959-82: M151 Ford "Mutt"
- 1959-62: M422 American Motors "Mighty Mite"; USMC
We have manuals for them all. Whether you are looking for operating instructions, maintenance manuals, or plan to do a frame off restoration, we can provide you with the information you need to get the job done correctly. Be sure to browse our
Jeep Technical Manuals
for everything you need.