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The Arsenal of Democracy
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Jeeps

From every corner of the globe, from every fighting ally-in-arms, the cry went up: "Send us more Jeeps."

A. Wade Wells, Hail to the Jeep

The WWII Jeep occupies the center floor of the Arsenal of Democracy gallery.Light, functional and only 11 feet long, Jeeps* were the stuff of wartime lore. Michigan's Ford Motor Company and Ohio's Willys-Overland Company made more than 600,000 during the war, including this 1942 model in the Arsenal of Democracy gallery.

Costing $900 each, these powerful 4-wheel-drive vehicles did almost anything and went almost everywhere—road or no road. Soldiers coined the name Jeep possibly from the cartoon character Eugene the Jeep or from the Ford name "Model GP," meaning general purpose.

Jeeps, with their bone-shaking simplicity and versatility, had much in common with the Model T. Some were specifically outfitted to be used in water or to be dropped by parachute. Many were camouflaged for jungle, forest or winter terrain. Others were used as tow trucks, altars, card tables and ambulances.

*Jeep is currently a registered trademark of Daimler-Chrysler.


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