My Jeeps mean a way of life for me. They have always been my #1 hobby since I first sat on my Dads knees steering an old Willys CJ3B when I was 4, I'll always remember that. Years later I had the opportunity to be driven home in a new Corvette with the hottest woman in town...Nope, rode home with Dad in the Jeep, I'd have to think twice about that today
Ask any one that knows me what's one thing they would associate me with and they'd say Jeep. I've made a lot of good friends over the years and I attribute that to my Jeep being the "ice breaker" if you will. I've owned other vehicles but no amount of luxury can compare to the feeling of driving a Jeep and quite frankly, I'm embarrassed to be seen in anything else. I love the smell of soft top in the morning!
So Bantam was technically the first Jeep per-say. Ford had their hand in the action as well. Bantam simply could not meet the production demand from the government so that's when Willys step in. I guess Ford was busy making passenger cars and truck and didn't foresee a profit at the time. So as time marched on pictures and videos started emerging to the public as to what these machines were capable of doing, the demand was on. It looked like fun and left over war Jeeps were already out for civilians to buy. But they were rugged and harsh, the public wanted more comfort creatures so the CJ was born (civilian jeep).
Do I think off-roading is popular today because of Jeeps, absolutely 100%. For decades people have accredited the Jeep as a necessity in winning the war. While that thought is still alive today, most folks hear the word Jeep and think freedom. That's a powerful word these days. We have the freedom to load up the family, the dog, a picnic lunch and head into nature on roads less traveled and enjoy each other and the view, making memories that last forever, all thanks to the one and only Jeep.
Sounds like I could be a spokesman for Jeep LOL, nah, I'm just that passionate about them.
Best of luck on your paper! I took photography in H.S and every pic I turned in was of a Jeep ha! The teacher would just shake his head and smile. I passed that class with all A's!