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Old 05-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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Anthropological view on Jeeps

Hello Jeep Drivers,
My name is Matt and I’m doing a research project on Material Culture. I had to select an object and analyze the ways in which it was used and how it was viewed in culture and by its users. I selected the Jeep Wrangler with a focus on the TJ model. After a bit of research, I’m looking to just generally ask your opinion on what/how you view/use your wranglers and I just want you to talk in general about them and any facts or history you wish to throw in about Jeep’s or 4x4’s in general.
In case you’re wondering, I’m studying Anthropology and Archaeology at a University just North of the Adirondacks in New York State.

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Old 05-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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oh man, I have all kinds of info I could share but mine is a YJ

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Old 05-04-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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Willys Overland - Jeep History

Willys Overland and the Bantam
When World War Two started and the German Panzers started rolling into Poland President Roosevelt made an emergency proclamation on September 8, 1939. He authorized an increase in the Army and National Guard. In addition, the USA had 12 million dollars to spend on transportation. Soon thereafter there was a total of 2 billion dollars allocated. Due to Germany’s fast movement into France, Holland and Poland, the USA decided they needed to build a light weight vehicle that could easily carry men and equipment through all types of rough terrain. The US Army Quartermaster Corps extended an open invitation to manufacturers to put together a prototype vehicle that could accomplish this.



At the start only two companies showed an interest in taking on this project. They were American Bantam and Willy’s Overland. Ironically, they were both having economic problems. Willys Overland presented the Willys Quad and Bantam showcased the Bantam Reconnaissance Car or also knows as the (BRC). Because of the seriousness of the war, each company was given less than three months to take their concept to prototype.

The Willys vehicle did not make the deadline therefore Bantam received a contract for 70 vehicles after heavy testing was done on the prototype.

After vigorous testing on the prototypes over a 30 day period at Camp Holabird, the Bantam Model 60 did very well and only needed minor repairs that were easily fixed.

As mentioned, the Willys Overland initially lost to Bantam for the initial contract, they were still anxious to be involved in the development of a vehicle due to the major financial strains they were under. Willys Overland built a prototype at their expense. It was the 4x4 Quad powered by a 2199cc side valve four cylinder engine pumping out 65 base horse power. For the most part the Quad was similar to the Bantam, with the exception of a more boxy appearance.


this web site can give you a ton of information about where came from. You may need references so this is why a gve you the link....

to really show the "Antropology on Jeeps" you must start with the WWII jeeps and mention the companies and models, CJ2A, CJ3B, CJ5, CJ7, YJ etc that led to the TJ. You can even touch on the CJ-6's and CJ-8's that brought about the Long Jeep or LJ.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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You should research the commercials from Jeep as well.

My favorite showed a group of TV people setting up a commercial for a 4X4 on top of a mountain. Someone asks..." How will we get the thing up here?" and another says...."We will have to bring it up with a helicopter or something like that".....

After all of the conversations and haggling.... they all get in a JEEP and drive back down.....It was SO telling of the way JEEP competition is viewed..... basically as LACKING and WUSSY.............
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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i think something you should include is what a jeep represents. Dont wanna speak for every jeep owner here but for me it represents freedom. To be able to put the top down and go on a cruise or the ability to go anywhere like up a mountain or through a forest it gives the feeling that the world is your own to take. Its a bare bones, no excuses vehicle, no fancy electronics and luxaries. its just you, a good song, and the road. I think a jeep is one of the hallmarks for the american love affair of cars and trucks and the jeep itself has spawned its own culture. Its why there is a jeep wave and most here have named their jeep and treat it as a member of their family. You can do anything you want to it and theres endless possibilities to make it your own. Look around here and you'll find it incredibly difficult to find two jeeps that are the same.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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I use my jeep as a place to store my money, as in winch, tires, bikini top, tire carrier etc.
From a culteral anthro standpoint, jeeps are primarily patrilineal and ownership becomes sort of a rite of passage, from a physical anthro standpoint, it's hard to say as no one is buried in their jeep (some one always wants it) and none are in the trash pits because we all need the old parts so in a sense they're cannibalized.

This in a sense is a cultural issue, kind of like resurrecting it in our current vehicles.

I hope this helps your thesis, when I studied Anthro, jeeps were just another odd vehicle that did neat things.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:41 PM   #7
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I agree it's a culture thing. My first Jeep was a 1949 Willys Wagon. We shoehorned a 283 Chevy into it. I would still have it if Mt. Saint Helens hadn't taken it away from me in 1980.

Since then there have been Toyotas, Nissans and other distractions. But today I have a 94 yj and a 98 TJ. Every one has been a work in progress.

Interestingly my newest has by far the most miles on it.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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I use my jeep as a place to store my money, as in winch, tires, bikini top, tire carrier etc.
From a culteral anthro standpoint, jeeps are primarily patrilineal and ownership becomes sort of a rite of passage, from a physical anthro standpoint, it's hard to say as no one is buried in their jeep (some one always wants it) and none are in the trash pits because we all need the old parts so in a sense they're cannibalized.

This in a sense is a cultural issue, kind of like resurrecting it in our current vehicles.

I hope this helps your thesis, when I studied Anthro, jeeps were just another odd vehicle that did neat things.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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Proud to be american!!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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I'm liking all this input you are giving. Have no fear for I have taken many of your views into accoutn with this. I specifically chose the Wrangler because it does have its own culture about it, I do intend ot start with the WWII origins and measure its evolution. (For hte project, I had to select a "specific" object, as I was unable to find 1 particular Jeep, I compromised with the professor by choosing a model/generation.)

I'm glad someone brought up commercials, I am having difficulting actually finding good commercials for Jeeps, naturally because I am looking for the older ones that rely more on the actual jeep and its abiltiies rather then tying it to pop culture (like hte black ops edition commercials, just pointless, it wasnt even in the game! )

From my understanding the TJ was seen as the Iconic Jeep, does this hold true among you, or is this information incorrect?
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:21 PM   #11
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my personal opinion is that the ww2 willy's is the icon. the tj (and yj) are the most widley used for the trails and aftermarket and what we love to personalize. but as far as an "icon", when someone says jeep i think about that old war dog speeding across the battlefield
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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I have nothing to add at this time, but I didn't want to point out that the Jeep was very much so in the BO game. More so in the multiplayer, but it was indeed in the game.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #13
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My jeep is definitely part of the family. I had a 97 in high school so I have a million memories with it, first drive by myself with a new license to late nights ferrying friends home. I've missed it everyday since I sold it freshman year of college so when I finally finished grad school and had cash coming in I bought the model I used to drool over, the 97-99 green sahara.

It's my toy to work on and drive when ever I want (it's not my DD). Some times, when I run some thing to the garage or walk by it, I find myself standing next to it, leaning in the window or sitting in it thinking of all the good times I've had with my 97 and this one. I will never sell this one and will perpetually repair anything that needs it. I even have plans to do a full restoration when it reaches classic car status, ~12 more years.

The bond between a jeep (tj, tj, cj) and it's owner is mysteriously strong.....
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:17 PM   #14
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best friend in hi school had a purple 49 willy's and that damn thing could and did go anywhere. i've always wanted one but 40 yrs of life got in the way. the early yrs we were lucky to have 1 vehicle and for a family of 4 it just wasn't to be. after 2 yrs of layoff a new job 40 miles away and trying to feed an HD2500 with an 8.1L it made scense to get a 'work' vehicle and i saw my chance to fufill a dream. 8 months and i'm still in aw of actually owning one. 3 weeks ago i converted my wife(sorta) she just got an 07 compass and loves her jeep as much as i love mine. still have the pickup but it's semi retired-it's needed as a tow vehicle for a 35' travel trailer.
driving it brings back alot of good memories so i'm in a good mood and it's real driving, not sitting in a recliner behind a steering wheel-you just feel in controlof the jeep and know it could probably go alot of places the other vehicles on the road wouldn't even dream of attempting. bottom line, it makes me feel like a 56 yr old kid and i love it.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #15
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To get a better view of HOW the Jeep was used in war times..... RAT Patrol........ that is what hooked me on Jeeps when I was just a pup 40+ years ago.....



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Old 05-04-2011, 09:57 PM   #16
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It's the freedom to go anywhere. It's back to grass roots, nothing fancy about it. It's the ability fix it your self with duct tape, wire, and salvage yard parts. It will always be around. It's great to be a part of the jeep crowd and share stories and ideas. AND it's a hell of a lot fun to drive!!!
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:07 AM   #17
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It's a way to get out and enjoy the outdoors and get away from everything for a while, they aren't made to go 80+ mph and mine rarely goes over 45. It's about heritage and reveling in good old American ingenuity, like a Colt 1911. It's about doing something yourself, saving a few bucks, and knowing it's done right. It's knowing your going to get a wave and a smile from every other Jeep on the road.

It's a Jeep thing.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:45 AM   #18
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Jeeps owners are like motorcycle riders it's a respect thing you see another person in one and you can't help but wave or nod your head and wonder what have they done to it or where have they taken it it's just a great thing to have and experience I have a 04 rubicon I got new and it's changed my life I love it
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:03 AM   #19
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I have dreams with my Jeep in them and even waving it's pretty crazy.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:11 AM   #20
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Barry had it wrong. We cling to our Jeeps, Guns and Religion.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:19 PM   #21
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It's a way to get out and enjoy the outdoors and get away from everything for a while, they aren't made to go 80+ mph and mine rarely goes over 45. It's about heritage and reveling in good old American ingenuity, like a Colt 1911. It's about doing something yourself, saving a few bucks, and knowing it's done right. It's knowing your going to get a wave and a smile from every other Jeep on the road.

It's a Jeep thing.
The saving a few bucks I find an interesting comment. Comparitively speaking, when it comes to jeep wranglers versus other vehicles in the available price ranges, you are paying more for a wrangler that actually offers less in terms of an automobile. More often then not I found Grand Cherokee's priced much cheaper than a wrangler, yes they dont actaully serve the same person, but from an auto buyer perspective, the jeep is seen more as a luxury, or a toy, like a motorcycle it would seem. Does this hold true, or am I wrong and wranglers actually do allow you to save a few bucks?
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #22
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oh man, I have all kinds of info I could share but mine is a YJ
Ahmen brother......Those fandangled TJ's are just too fancy.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:36 PM   #23
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Fell in love with the Jeep in Vietnam. Hauled my ass to a medivac. Use mine for hunting. Gets me where I need to go in reasonable comfort and style.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:37 PM   #24
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The saving a few bucks I find an interesting comment. Comparitively speaking, when it comes to jeep wranglers versus other vehicles in the available price ranges, you are paying more for a wrangler that actually offers less in terms of an automobile. More often then not I found Grand Cherokee's priced much cheaper than a wrangler, yes they dont actaully serve the same person, but from an auto buyer perspective, the jeep is seen more as a luxury, or a toy, like a motorcycle it would seem. Does this hold true, or am I wrong and wranglers actually do allow you to save a few bucks?
I dont think its the initial purchase of the vehicle that saves you a few bucks but the work you do later. Most people that own wranglers have good know how (desire to learn at least) and modify and install new parts on their own as opposed to taking it to a mechanic to do it for them (which would cost much more). As far as being like a motorcycle i think thats a fair comparison. They both offer that sense of freedom and the open road, especially when you put the top down. But its also something that can be your daily driver and still give you that thrill
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:41 AM   #25
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Sahara13 and robbi, I'm in high school right now and I've had my jeep for 4 weeks and have already had great memories in it, the timing of spring was great, I've been out in the woods more than on the road and it's been great!
For the post, my dad and grandpa baught a '53 m38somethin in the 70's for $250, and my brother and I have been itching to fix it up, it is something that I will never let my dad sell or get rid of because of the historical background of it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:34 AM   #26
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i think something you should include is what a jeep represents. Dont wanna speak for every jeep owner here but for me it represents freedom. To be able to put the top down and go on a cruise or the ability to go anywhere like up a mountain or through a forest it gives the feeling that the world is your own to take. Its a bare bones, no excuses vehicle, no fancy electronics and luxaries. its just you, a good song, and the road. I think a jeep is one of the hallmarks for the american love affair of cars and trucks and the jeep itself has spawned its own culture. Its why there is a jeep wave and most here have named their jeep and treat it as a member of their family. You can do anything you want to it and theres endless possibilities to make it your own. Look around here and you'll find it incredibly difficult to find two jeeps that are the same.
<sniff> Well said, brother, well said. I need a moment <sniff>.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #27
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Been driving wranglers for the last 11 years full time in a 100 mile RT commute. The wife hates it but then it's mine and not her everyday vehicle. (We started commuting together these last few years) Getting near retirement age and still cannot find a vehicle that will give me the best of all worlds for every day driving.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:49 AM   #28
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As I look at it unless you own one you'll never experience what it is to be a Jeep owner.
It's love and hate, and mostly pride. The Jeep is the "Little engine that could".
Be it Williys, CJ, TJ, YJ,etc.

And it isn't a Jeep unless it has Badges of Honor, dents, scuffs, scrapes. Those marks that show it's been there and done that and has the attitude.
Jeep owners know this and hence the "wave".

Maybe it's easier to give you an example of what being a Jeep owner is.

Way back in the 70's I belonged to a 4WD club that included any 4WD as long as it wasn't a Jeep. We once got into a bottom and found it was nothing more then a huge basin, 3 vertical walls and one almost vertical one. The one we came down. To get down it we had used multiple vehicles connected together to basically lower one another down. Well to get back up that hill the group was using winches, chains, straps, whatever they could to get back out.

That is all except one CJ5 that showed up while we were there. Beat to hello, rusted, looking like it came out of a scrap yard. Didn't even have the "necessary" oversized mud tires on it, nope it was sitting on old skinny military treads. After everyone else finally got out, the CJ started up alone. No running start, it just crawled up that hill, tires churning, and up it came.

Guys were just standing around slack jawed as they watched this beast climb out of the hole unassisted. All these trucks with their big tires, big motors, loud exhausts, chrome and lamps everywhere had to team up to get out, yet here comes this Jeep and does it alone.

It makes it to the top of the hill, the owner climbs out and LOCKS THE HUBS IN!!!
He waves at us and drives off.........

The very next day my Blazer was traded in on a brand new 74 CJ5 Wrangler Renegade.

That's what owning a Jeep is all about.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:29 AM   #29
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There are alot of things that make the Jeep Wrangler special. From it's pleasing aesthetics, extremely loyal and enthusiastic user comunity, reliability, ease of maintenance and cutomization, rugged capability, historical value, brand recognition, the intangibale values it represents (American Values, Ingenuity, Freedom, Can-do attitude etc.) and last buy not least it is fun.

Ultimately these special qualities and the Jeep Wrangler's continued popularity all stem from it's hurried inital conception as a capable, reliable, cost effective and extremely functional war time vehicle and it's subsequent excellant performance both on and off the battlefield. The Wrangler's inspired WW2 genesis and it's exceptional functionality are what keeps this American Icon relevent and thriving in an increasingly public transit oriented, fuel efficient, alternative energy crazed world.

I would argue that what makes a Jeep so very special.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:39 AM   #30
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Jeep wranglers represent AMERICA that's it as simple as one word.

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