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Hagerty Employee

The origin of the "Jeep" name, how to buy a tank, and more

From VW Beetles to vintage dirt bikes, there's a diverse array of automotive interests among the Hagerty staff. The faces of several of our dedicated video experts are likely familiar to you, thanks to our Redline Rebuild and Barn Find Hunter series, but recently we focused on two staff members who don't typically appear on camera: Editor at Large Aaron Robinson and Director of Automotive Lifestyle Business Development Brad Phillips. Both possess a fascination for military vehicles, and in the livestream recorded below, they spend an entire hour sharing their knowledge and educating folks about this esoteric branch of the collector vehicle world.


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I don't know... Eugene the Jeep first appeared in comic form in 1936, short film form in 1940. That's not a lot of lead time to soak in popular culture.


Ford's model designation for the vehicle was GP.


I think it is far more likely that GP was said and became Jeep in spelling.


Lots of articles discuss various theories of this:

Intermediate Driver

I really enjoyed your military vehicle video. It was nice of you to give lip service to Ford and GM Canada. After the evacuation at Dunkirk,the British were in dire straits.Canada produced over 850,000 military vehicles during WW2, which was no small feat This kept the Commonwealth countries in the fight until and after the US entered the war.



Willys called it an MB. Ford called their WWII car a GPW. Soldiers called it a "Jeep".

Pit Crew

Great video, it’s tough to know every variation of vehicles out there. A couple of comments, Sherman tanks were built with several engines as noted, the diesel variants usually went to Russia (or the USMC), because the Army in the ETO wanted (as stated in the video), to use one kind of fuel to simplify logistics.  The term “Ma Deuce” refers to the M2 .50 Cal Heavy Machine gun, the 2 1/2 ton truck was commonly known as “Deuce and a Half”. I’ve seen photos of M2 HMG’s mounted on jeeps but don’t know how well that worked. The British SAS did have some jeeps w/.50’s, but I don’t know how many. In later years I saw attempts to mount them on M151’s (modern sort of “Jeeps”), but the recoil ripped up the floors. lastly, the M26 Pershing used at the end of WWII had a 90mm gun.

Pit Crew

General Purpose ="GP" = "Jeep", now you know the origin of the name.



Pit Crew

The video attached to" The origin of the “Jeep” name, how to buy a tank, and more" would not work. I left it download for over 4 hours and it still did not work. I tried it repeatedly on and off for a whole day and only could get a few words before it paused and tried it again at 7 am CST and still the same thing happened and finally, I tried to download and watch it with "cookies on" and "cookies off" the same thing happens, a few words come out then it pauses, over and over. Any chance of getting a direct link to watch this one? Both my son and I plus a few other friends are into this stuff and would love to watch it. Thanks, Grumpy  

Hagerty Employee

Sorry to hear about the frustration. Including a Facebook link below — does this work any better for you?

Interesting article, Grace, but please get your hands on a copy of "Warbaby" by Bill Spears for the true story of the origin on the jeep.  Bantam was cheated out of all but the first production order for the reconnaissance car when the quartermaster corps and the Washington bureaucracy gave the plans and subsequent orders to willys. 

Pit Crew

Having been in the hobby now for over 20 years, I am grateful for the support that Hagerty has given me with the insuring of my military vehicles.   Before they came along I was relegated to my regular auto insurance company who really had no interest in these types of vehicles.  


To them I was an even greater risk and they had no concept of the value or how to underwrite militaria.   Hagerty has done that and more which is evidenced in the above articles specific to the MilVeh hobby.   They seem to show not only that there was a market for this specialized hobby but they have followed up with articles here as well and provided actual support to our Military Vehicle club.  


Thanks Hagerty...HooRah!