Wednesday, April 26, 2023

How to Pronounce Willys in the Jeep World


When talking about the Jeep how do you pronounce it?

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The iconic Jeep® Brand is recognized all over the world. Every Jeep Brand vehicle has a unique story to tell, with a rich heritage that links back to the original Willys MB. The first Jeep to hit the production line.

This "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" Jeep 4x4 vehicle became the hero for thousands of Allied soldiers around the world in the 1940's. Later becoming the civilian hero for many decades to come. 

During the war the US infantry needed a low-profile, powerful
vehicle with four-wheel drive. Three commercial companies put in their bids, American Bantam, Willys Overland Motors, and Ford Motor Company. 

Each company was tasked to build a vehicle for testing. In July of 1941 the contract was awarded to Willys Overland motors using combined parts of all three prototypes. The Willys MB was born.

John North Willys was an American automotive pioneer and diplomat. His company, Willys-Overland Motors, became the second largest carmaker in the United States after Henry Ford.

TIME OUT --  John Willys is spelled Willys. Willys Overland Motors is spelled Willys. Its pronounced WIL-IS. That is how the owner pronounced his last name. So WIL-IS must be the proper pronunciation 

A quick look at the top of either Wikipedia page will show that the proper pronunciation is wil-is. That said, the incorrect pronunciation of Willys, (willies) has been used for many decades by people of all walks of life, up to and including many of the world's most esteemed Jeep historians, that it's become acceptable to hear and use either pronunciation.



Willys Quad - Designed by Willys Overland Motors in Toledo, Ohio. This little beast of a machine was powered by it's "Go Devil" engine that produced 61 mph, along with 105 foot pounds of torque. 

Blitz Buggy - Designed by American Bantam out of Butler, Pennsylvania. Working with Spicer, one of Bantam's focuses was axles and transfer case. 

Pigmy - Designed by Ford Motor Company. The two Ford pilot vehicles are now sitting in museums. It is said neither the original Bantam Pilot nor the Willys Quad survived. 


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