In July of 1941, after a grueling trial and design competition initially won by Bantam, Willys-Overland Company was awarded the contract to produce a light, cross country recon vehicle ultimately named The Jeep.
By October 1941, it became apparent that Willys-Overland couldn’t keep up with the production demand and Ford was contracted to produce them as well. It’s the only time Ford manufactured an auto that was not designed by them.
In total, during WWII from 1941 to 1945 Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. The Jeep has since become an American icon… one that I am happy to drive.