I enjoyed Lon Allan’s jeep article (“Dispelling myths about the American jeep,” May 10). He might be interested to know some additional facts about that famous ride:
The term “jeep” originally was given to the five-passenger open vehicle produced for the military by the Dodge division of Chrysler Motors. It was four-wheel drive, large and was designated “GP” — general purpose — and thus the first use of the term “jeep,” also referred to as a “Command Car.”
When Bantam, Willys and Ford produced the smaller vehicle (Lon’s car), it was referred to in the early ’40s as a “peep” until the GP “jeep” was gradually phased out of use during WWII. As it left, the name “jeep” was applied to the smaller vehicle and stuck.
In addition, at that time in the newspaper cartoon “Thimble Theater” (Popeye, Olive Oyl, Swee’Pea and Wimpy), there appeared occasionally a strange humanoid creature referred to as “The Jeep.”
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Dick Bruton, Atascadero