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  • jeep information- tivial stuff.

    Five manufacturers have made Jeeps Bantam, Ford, Willys, Kiaser, AMC and DaimlerChrysler.

    The American Bantam Car Company was responsible for most of the design of the first military GPW, later refered to as a Jeep. Ford made very few Jeeps and only made them during World War II. Willys-Overland made about 360,000 Jeeps between 1941 and 1945. At the end of WWII, Willys-Overland filed for a trademark registration of "Jeep" and began production. Willys-Overland made Jeeps until 1953 when Kaiser Corporation bought Willys. American Motors Corporation bought the Jeep line from the Kaiser Corporation in 1970. AMC was bought out by the Chrysler Corporation in 1987 and Chrysler and the Daimler Motor Company (Mercedes Benz) merged in 1998. In a bizarre string of corporate acquisitions and name changes the Gemrans, who lost WWII in great part because of the Jeep, now own it.



    1908 - John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 named it the Willys-Overland Motor Company. Willys-Overland made both automobiles and trucks. The company was reorganized in 1936 after a depression bankruptcy to Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.

    1929 - The American Bantam Car Company is opened in Butler, Pennsylvania. Founded In England in 1921, the Bantam Car Company was one of the first to produce small, simple and economical cars.

    1940 - The United States Government solicited bids for a command/reconnaissance car with an 80" wheelbase and weighing 1300 lbs in June of 1940 and the GPW was born.

    1953 - Kaiser bought Willys-Overland and dropped "Overland" from the name. In the 1956, Willys introduced snub-nosed forward control models. Willys introduced the Jeep Wagon in 1946, the Willys Jeep Truck in 1947, and the Willys Jeepster in 1948. Production of Willys wagons and trucks continued under the name of the Willys Motor Company until 1963, when the name was changed to the Kaiser-Jeep Corporation.

    1954 - American Motors is formed from the merge of Hudson Motors and Nash-Kelvinator. The deal was the largest corporate merge up to that point - worth $197,793,366. Hudson and Nash car lines remained unchanged. The Jet, Hudson's slow-selling entry into the compact market, is dropped. The little Nash-Healey sports car was also discontinued after leaving its mark on European sports car racing. AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser Corporation in 1970. Jeeps were already using AMC engines, and their lineup included Gladiator pickup, Wagoneer, Jeepster Commando, and CJ-5. A super-rare Hurst version of the Commando was available in white with red and blue T stripes and hood scoop, again with built-in tach.

    1925 - Chrysler Corporation is founded. Chrysler was built on the remnants of the Maxwell and Chalmers car companies and absorbed the Dodge Brothers venture after their deaths.

    1904 - The Maxwell Runabout is introduced. It was produced by the Maxwell-Briscoe Company which Jonathan Maxwell formed in 1903 with Benjamin Briscoe. As their company grew, it merged with another to become the United States Motor Company. Maxwell and Briscoe parted company in 1912, but Jonathan Maxwell continued to produce cars under the banner of his own Maxwell Motor Company. Walter P. Chrysler joined the Maxwell Motor Company in 1921 and later became owner. He continued using the Maxwell name until 1925, and then phased it out. For several years, what had been the Maxwell was called the Chrysler Four. Then it became the Chrysler Plymouth. Finally, it was called the Plymouth, a name which has survived to the present.

    1909 - The Chalmers Motor Company is founded. Chalmers was the creation of Hugh Chalmers, who bought the Thomas-Detroit car business in 1908 and re-christened it Chalmers-Detroit.

    1917 - The Chalmers and Maxwell entities formed a business alliance during World War I. With Maxwell production soaring, and Chalmers production sagging, an agreement was made to have Maxwell cars built in the Chalmers plant. In return, Chalmers cars would be sold through Maxwell dealers. The relationship didn't last long: Maxwell Chalmers Company split into warring factions in 1922, with Maxwell buying out Chalmers. The last Chalmers vehicles were manufactured in 1923.

    1903 - The Dodge Brothers were succesful Detroit machinists with lucrative engine and chassis manufacturing contracts with Oldsmobile and Ford. In 1914 Dodge Brothers Inc. was formed and work began on bringing out the Dodge Brothers car. The Brothers both died in 1920 leaving a successful car line, a prosperous company, and an engineering legacy. When Dodge Brothers Inc. was sold to Dillon, Read and Co. in 1925 for 146 million dollars, it was the largest cash transaction that had ever occurred. The Dodge cars, designed in 1914, remained essentially unchanged until Chrysler Corporation bought the Dodge Brother's company on July 31, 1928. Public demand for the cars always exceeded the supply because of the Dodge Brother's reputation for quality and dependability.

    In 1924 - Benz and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschat signed an "Agreement of Mutual Interest." Although both companies retained their identities, the agreement was valid until the year 2000. The two companies merged with relative ease on June 28, 1926. A symbol was chosen for the combined products of DMG and Benz. The new insignia was a three-pointed star wreathed with laurel. The word "Mercedes" was at the top and the word "Benz" was at the bottom. The merger did the new company well. Production of Mercedes-Benz rose to 7,918 automobiles in 1927.

    In 1886, Carl Benz built a motorized tricycle. His first four-wheeler, the Victoria, was built in 1893. The first production car was the 1894 Benz Velo which participated in the first recorded car race, the Paris-Rouen race. In 1895, Benz built his first truck. The 1903 Parsifil was Benz's answer to Mercedes. A two cylinder vertical engine produced a top speed of 37 mph in this car.

    In 1886, Gottlieb Daimler literally built a horseless carriage. In 1888 Daimler made a business deal with William Steinway (of piano fame) to produce Daimler's products in the US. From 1904 until a fire in 1907, Steinway produced Mercedes passenger cars, Daimler's light trucks, and his engines on Long Island. Ironically, history says Daimler, generally considered to be the father of modern automobiles never liked to drive, if, indeed he ever learned to drive. By November 22 of that year, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschat had produced a special car for Emil Jellinek. Jellinek named the car after his ten-year-old daughter Mercedes. Lighter and smaller, the new Mercedes had 35 hp and a top speed of 55 mph!

    Aware of the promotional potential of racing, both Daimler and Benz entered many of them. However, up until 1908, Daimler had overshadowed Benz in racing endeavors. At the 1908 French Grand Prix, Benz took second and third place behind Lautenschlager driving a Mercedes. From that point on, both Benz and Daimler did well in racing. At the beginning of the first world war, both factories were converted into production sites for war materials, although both resumed producing cars after the war.
    Kirk
    1997 Jeep Wrangler
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