Did you know that Jeep is one of the most popular vehicle brands in the U.S., with nearly 1 million vehicles sold annually? The popularity of the Jeep only grows every year, particularly among people who love the outdoors. If you’re a Jeep enthusiast, you should know everything there is to know about your amazing vehicle.
Want to learn more about the Jeep brand? We’re here to help. Read on for ten of the most interesting and fun facts about Jeeps.
The Seven-Slot Grille Was Once 13
There are few things more iconic than the Jeep’s seven-slot grille. It’s unknown exactly how the designers settled on seven slots. But did you know that there were originally almost twice as many grille slots?
The original 1940 Jeep design had thirteen slots on the front instead of seven. Eventually, this number was lowered down to nine around 1943. From there, the designers made the vehicle we know and love with its iconic seven-slot grille.
WW2 Jeeps Were Used as Train Cars
Jeeps were one of the most widely used vehicles in the Second World War, establishing a rugged and go-anywhere image that still resonates today. During World War II, it was common for railways to have a “Jeep train,” which was a Jeep fitted with railway wagon wheels instead of normal wheels. These Jeeps could convert back and forth easily, helping in crucial missions like Operation Watchtower.
The Jeep’s versatility helped keep the supply lines moving during the war. With steel-wheeled rail switchers, speeders, and even light locomotive engines, it’s one of the only vehicles that could handle itself on the road and on the rails. A road trip is one thing, but a rail trip is much more impressive!
Jeep Colors Were Inspired by a Trash Can
The Anvil Jeep color is iconic, but you would be forgiven if you consider it a bit “trashy.” First featured on the Mighty FC concept vehicle, it was literally inspired by a trash can in the Jeep design studio! The color became so popular that it eventually was used for the Jeep Wrangler JK.
Wranglers Reached Popularity in the Late ’80s
In the 1980s, Jeep was credited with revolutionizing the 4x4 market. They did so by releasing the first compact four-door 4x4 SUV with the Jeep Wrangler. The vehicle was so popular by the late ’80s that you’d be hard-pressed to find a road that didn’t have one somewhere.
Jeep is proud of its history, and the ’80s is undoubtedly one of their strongest decades. Many subsequent Jeep designs take their inspiration from this era. You can read more about the history of the vehicles they featured during that decade here.
Jeep is a Presidential Brand
Jeep is often referred to as the “most Patriotic brand” and for good reason. Many Americans consider the vehicle to be iconic, as American as apple pie. Jeep also has a history of giving active and retired service members financial incentives towards purchasing their models, showing Jeep’s unyielding support for our troops.
But one of the most prominent places you can find a Jeep is in the White House itself. President Reagan was known for driving a Jeep, as have most Presidents since WWII. The current sitting President, Joe Biden, made headlines in 2021 for a joyride in a new electric Jeep model.
Ford Made Contributions to the First Jeep
We like to think that vehicle manufacturers are in cutthroat competition with each other. But extraordinary circumstances can create strange bedfellows. In fact, Jeep may not exist without Ford.
The final design of the wartime Jeep in the ’40s was helped along by Ford Motor Company. With contributions to the design of the original Jeep and even some manufacturing aid at a separate facility, Ford helped shape the now-iconic Jeep brand as much as anyone else in Jeep’s illustrious history.
Jeeps Celebrate National 4x4 Day
We take our 4x4s seriously, so what better way to celebrate April 4th—04/04—by celebrating the vehicles as well? April 4th is National Jeep 4x4 Day, with owners taking their 4x4s out for a spin to celebrate all things Jeep. There are dozens of Jeep Brand Events during this celebration for enthusiast and families to enjoy.
Since April 4th, 2016, every April 4th has been—and will continue to be—National Jeep 4x4 Day. To celebrate, local dealerships will often offer deals on Jeeps during this time, so keep your eyes open!
Why Is It Called a Jeep?
With most car brands, you can easily figure out why the name came to be. Ford was made by Henry Ford, Ferrari by Enzo Ferrari, and so on. But where did the name Jeep come from? It’s actually a bit of a mystery, with plenty of disagreement about the name’s origins.
The most popular theory—and one that has been confirmed to a degree—is that Jeep is a phonetic pronunciation of “GP.” In World War II, “GP” stood for General Purpose and was used to note vehicles that didn’t have a specific use. They were also often called “Willy Jeeps” or just plain “military Jeeps.”
Possibly Named for a Cartoon Character
That said, not everyone buys that particular theory. Though some believe that troops calling it the Jeep is what made the name stick, others theorize that the Jeep gets its name from a popular character in the classic Popeye cartoons.
In these cartoons, there was a minor character named Eugene the Jeep, who was Popeye’s useful and magical pet. The story goes that Allied soldiers loved the all-terrain abilities of the vehicle so much that they named it after their favorite cartoon pet, who could also seemingly go anywhere and do anything. Whether it’s true or not, it certainly makes for an interesting story!
Jeeping Is Considered a Sport
Our final fact comes from a relatively modern sport based around the Jeep brand. Did you know that many people consider Jeeping to be a specific off-road sport?
Jeeping is an exciting, unique experience that the entire family can enjoy. The only thing you’ll need is your Jeep and the great outdoors. 4x4 enthusiasts drive their Jeeps up and down steep inclines, along rugged trails, through muddy bogs, and everywhere else they can find. It’s a beautiful way to get into the outdoors and see what your favorite vehicle is really capable of.
No matter what you’re using your Jeep for, you have one of the greatest vehicles in America. These fun facts are just a taste of the illustrious history of the Jeep brand. From military jeeps to concept models, the Jeep remains one of the most popular vehicles in the world.
If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact us. You can also read on to learn more from our Frequently Asked Questions section.
What makes a Jeep unique?
There are countless answers to this particular question. From removable doors to a unique seven-slot grille design, the Jeep is one of the most visually striking vehicles on the road.
You also would struggle to find anything with greater off-road capability or stronger performance in difficult terrain. While it isn’t without competition, Jeep is undoubtedly one of the best vehicle brands in America, on and off-road.
How long do Jeep Wranglers last?
Jeep Wranglers are famous for being durable and tough— but they aren’t immortal. They can typically reach 100,000 miles without major problems. With love and care, however, a well-maintained Wrangler can last 20 years and over 400,000 miles.
Do Jeeps break down a lot?
The Jeep brand is known for being dependable and sturdy, with vehicles you can trust. Jeeps can conquer some of the most difficult terrain without breaking a sweat and go hundreds of thousands of miles before needing major repairs.
Simply put, no, Jeeps do not break down a lot. It’s difficult to find a vehicle on the market nowadays that’s more reliable than a Jeep. Whether you go for an automatic transmission or a manual, Jeeps are extremely reliable.
Why do Jeeps have a seven-slot grille?
Generally speaking, no one knows exactly why there are seven slots in a Jeep’s grille. It’s said that Willys MB opted for seven slots in the grille to avoid any copyright issues with vehicles using nine slots. Eventually, the design became iconic enough that it’s stuck through the decades.
What was the first Jeep called?
The first Jeep was the “Jeep CJ,” which stood for Civilian Jeep. Civilian Jeeps were the first sold to non-military customers in 1945. Usually referred to as the Jeep CJ, these models are still highly prized as antique collectibles.
What was the Jeep called in WW II?
WWII Jeeps actually had a name that most of us wouldn’t recognize. At the time, they were instead called the Willys MB. These vehicles took the form of a compact Jeep, pickup truck, and transport vehicle to fit military needs.
What is the Jeep slogan?
The Jeep slogan is “Go Anywhere, Do Anything,” a slogan that perfectly captures the beauty of using one of these incredibly capable vehicles. Whether you’re hopping into a luxury Grand Wagoneer or your favorite Jeep Wrangler, your Jeep can take you anywhere you want.
What’s the best Jeep Wrangler?
Boy, that’s a tough question. Picking the best Jeep Wrangler really depends on your needs. Some are available as two-door or four-door, some are better fitted for off-roading, and others specialize in snowy or sandy terrain. You should take stock of your needs and look into what model suits you best. Click here for our handy guide.
If it’s off-roading you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. If you need a Wrangler for highway driving, check into the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. The Jeep Wrangler Islander Edition would be your choice for beach cruising while the Jeep Wrangler Sahara would be able to conquer more mountainous terrain. Basically, no matter where you’re driving, there is a Wrangler for everyone.
What are Jeep Easter eggs?
Jeep designers love their job. They love it so much they add little design secrets to your vehicle that might take you years to notice, if you notice them at all. They’ve been doing this for more than two decades, quickly becoming a favorite game for drivers.
Is that a little seven-slot grille in your Renegade headlight? Does your gas tank have a tiny spider carved near the gas cap? Is that a tiny silhouette of Big Foot on the window? A small splatter of mud on the tachometer? Yes. Yes, it is. Oh Jeep designers, you are a delight! If you’ve recently purchased your own Jeep, start doing some searching to find your Easter Eggs!
Which Jeep model is the best?
As with the best Jeep Wrangler, deciding on the best model is a personal choice. The best thing you can do is think about your own driving needs and see what model best fits your lifestyle. Some may prefer a Jeep Wrangler modified to climb boulders and ford rivers while others might prefer a more family-friendly daily driver like a Jeep Wagoneer or Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Whatever you pick, your Jeep won’t let you down. Jeeps are arguably the most reliable four-wheel-drive vehicle on the market. From power brakes to removable doors, fantastic air conditioning to solid axles and suspension, you won’t find a better driving experience.
What’s cool about Jeeps?
What isn’t cool about Jeeps? Jeeps have one of the most interesting histories in the automotive world. They helped shape the battlefields of World War II and have remained one of the most popular vehicles in America. If you want to conquer the great outdoors, Jeeps can tackle any terrain. Plus, Jeep drivers are some of the coolest people in the USA (see Jeep Wave).
No matter what you intend to use your Jeep for, there’s plenty to love. From luxury vehicles to off-road Wranglers, from far-out concept vehicles to daily drivers, Jeep has everything you can imagine.