Americana: Jeep

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by joujoubee

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by joujoubee

It’s an ugly thing. Even now, with all the innovations brought to the world of SUVs, Jeep is still the ugly stepsister. But they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And since World War II, Jeeps have delivered our troops, delivered the mail, and delivered families to ballgames and work.

That’s a beautiful thing, if you ask me.

Some say “Jeep” comes from a slurring of the letters GP. Others believe soldiers named it after Eugene the Jeep, a character in Popeye cartoons. What’s not in dispute is that the US Army needed a vehicle sturdy enough for off-road terrain that didn’t require a lot of maintenance. The Government paid about $750 for the first production.

You’ll pay a lot more now for a Liberty or Cherokee. When you do, you’ll also be driving a comfortable vehicle that may never stray from asphalt. But you’ll be driving one other thing.

A little piece of American history.

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