Tell me it's not true - you have never heard of a WILLYS JEEP?!?!?!? My goodness, that is about all Willys is known for! It has only been a few years since Chrysler acquired the American Motors Corp. which absorbed Willys in the 50's. The Jeep and Willys have been synonymous for most of a century. As you evidently don't know (how can that be!?!?), Willys motor Co. was going bankrupt in the late 30s-early 40s. When the war came, they took the body off their passenger cars (42 Willys) and plopped on a Jeep body and sold a slew of them to the military for WWII. Claim is that the Jeep won the war. Willys couldn’t keep up with demand so several companies (Ford for sure, not sure who else) produced the vehicle using Willys plans.
Here is a more detailed history from a Jeep owner's club web site
"Although Jeep vehicles are now a Chrysler trademark, the word "Jeep" has slipped into our everyday vocabulary. When spoken, it creates an image that everyone understands.
The first coinage of the word "JEEP", as applied to a motor vehicle, occurred during WWI. According to Major E.P. Hogan, who wrote a history of the development of the Jeep for the Army's Quartermaster review in 1941. The word "Jeep", he wrote. "is an old Army grease monkey term that dates back to WWI and was used by shop mechanics in referring to any new motor vehicle received for a test." Jeep was still used in Army motor pools well into the 1930's as general purpose or "GP" for short. Though in a 1941 Army manual it refers "GP" as Government 80" wheel base car (Jeep). Before then in 1936, the term 'Jeep' was it introduced to the world by a Popeye comic strip character, "Eugene the Jeep". The only words Eugene could say were "Jeep, Jeep", and "GP" then became "Jeep". Then the "Willys Quarter-Ton Jeep was 1st used by the U.S. military in WWII. When the WWII Jeep was issued during wartime, the term "Jeep" was here to stay."
The "CJ" moniker refers to 'Citizen Jeep", sold to the general public, as opposed to "Military Jeep". They were the Humm Vs of the 50s.
Wow, I must be getting way too old! Guess I better start looking at 'homes'.