On This Day in 1940: First Jeep Prototype Released

By Admin | Posted in On This Day on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 9:45 am

First Jeep Prototype

Here at Dave Syverson Auto Center Albert Lea MN we all love the Jeep brand. They have been providing us some of the most stylish and fun to drive vehicles for many generations now. That is what makes today so important, because on this day, November 13, 1940, the first Jeep prototype was released.

Many people are unaware that the original Jeeps were not owned or produced by the Chrysler Group like they are today. They were actually produced by two early American automakers named the American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland.

The U.S. military contracted out with 135 different automakers and asked for prototypes of a four-wheel drive utility vehicle for WWII. However, they gave the automakers just 49 days to complete the prototype, which was an impossible task for almost all of the car companies.

However, there were two companies who were able to meet the challenge and come up for a prototype. One of the automakers was the American Bantam Car company. The American Bantam car company went bankrupt designing the prototype. However, they were still able to finish it, and were the first company to do so. Their version met all of the Army’s requirements, except for torque.

However, the U.S. Military felt that the American automaker was too small to produce the number of units needed. So the military gave the design blueprints to Willys-Overland who delivered the actual prototype for the original Jeep vehicles that were used by the military during WWII. Their version was similar to the American Bantam Car Company design, but was slightly upgraded.

Willys-Overland would go on to produce Jeeps for both the war effort and civilians for decades to come at their factory located in Toledo, Ohio.

Jeep vehicles have come a long way over the last 73 years and are some of the best vehicles on the planet for both on and off-road performance. Anyone in interested in seeing the newest lineup of Jeep vehicles should stop down to Dave Syverson Auto Center Albert Lea MN and visit us. We have an expert staff on hand to answer questions and set up test drives.

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