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November 1958 Jeep News

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

At twelve pages, the November 1958 Jeep News is one of the largest issues published.

Page one contains various dealer info stories. Page two discusses the growth of jeep clubs and their potential as unofficial ‘salesmen’ for the product and brand. Also on page two is a discussion of the jeep-name origin. You’ll note the appearance in that discussion of the term “G P”, which I’ve yet to see definitive proof to if being used prior to the introduction of the Ford GP in early 1941. Bill Norris was able to locate a blurb, possibly from May of 1942, that suggests the letters “G P” that “appeared on all orders for the specifically made car”, however it’s not clear which orders such letters appeared on or when they appeared. But, it’s an avenue worth exploring.

Page three highlights dealer news, while page four shares how popular jeep exhibits had become at local and state fairs. Page five covers the importance of lighting to jeep dealerships, while page six and seven announce that dealerships have penetrated areas all over the US, though none of the dealerships shown are west of Oklahoma (still 1300 miles to LA from OK). Page eight and nine are again mostly dealer news, though page nine does cover a druggists satisfaction with the new DJ-3A dispatcher.

Pages ten and eleven have a wide variety of stories, but I thought the custom DJ-3A “The Goody Cart” ice cream jeep on page ten was particularly interesting. Page twelve covers a story about some jeepers capturing California horse rustlers.

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6 Comments on “November 1958 Jeep News

  1. David Eilers Post author


    There are multiple theories, but little proof to back up the theories as to whom applied the name jeep and how it was derived.

    1941 article mentions a wide variety of the uses of the word “jeep”:

    The term “jeep’ was used in a variety of contexts by 1940. Here are a couple examples:
    Used in a 1939 publication:

    In 1940 it was also used to refer to a tractor, a sort-of precursor to the jeep tested by military:

    In 1940 and earlier it was used as a term in Hollywood for a prop box:

    In 1937 it referred to a style of swing dance:

    Eugene the Jeep first appeared in 1936, but was the term in use already?

    Some resources, like this site, claim the term “jeep” was used to describe some US soldiers during WWI, but I have seen no documents to back that up (I searched newspapers for the term, but 99% of the results are OCR mistakes of keep or deep).

    Even the Old English Dictionary, usually a great source for word history) is confused about the etymology of the term “jeep”, claiming it’s history dates to 1942 (obviously wrong).

    Lots of confusion!

    – Dave

  2. Barney Goodwin

    I appreciate these papers posted and the information challenging theories previously set as gospel including the naming of the Jeep as such. Having known motor pool vets of WW2, I affectionally adhere to the Eugene The Jeep, the cartoon animal who could do anything. But I agree with Dave as to a lot of confusion. The article mentions 2 things of interest to me here: The Willys employee delivering a prototype and naming it Jeep (without provenance) to clean up government jargon. My problem with that is the jargon referred to was not the government’s, but Ford’s. Ford had several vehicles in production for the war effort that began with GP, my source being a 1944 ed of Ford’s wheeled vehicle parts catalogue the size of an early NYC phone book. According to that book, the official name for the Ford GP. GPW was Reconnaissance Car, ¼ ton etc. Willys’ was Scout Car, ¼ ton etc. Official badging of the name Jeep was not on the vehicle until late ’44 when it appeared 3 places on the Willys MB: data plate, engine head. , and on the frame tag along with the words “SCOUT CAR”. But to confuse the issue further, we have a 1942 post card sold in the Army PX showing a drawing of a Bantam BRC flying through the air with a GI flying behind the steering wheel. Above it reads,” A JEEP IS A SMALL SCOUT CAR…RATHER LOOSE FITTING” . Happy New Year from Barney’s Jeep Parts!

  3. JohnB

    I believe “jeep” was commonly used to describe something small.
    The Jeep was the smallest common military vehicle, so I think it fits.

    Two examples: “Jeep” Escort carriers which entered service in 1942.

    And lesser known…
    The Curtiss AT-9 “Jeep”, a two-seat high powered twin engine trainer, designed to mimic “hot” (high performance aircraft with high landing speeds) medium bombers for pilots in training.

    Obviously, neither of these have any resemblance or connection to the “Jeep” vehicles, (although the small escort carriers could go and were used everywhere) so were not named after it.
    That’s my theory.

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