In the village of Ban Tachi, Thailand, surrounded by mountains covered in rubber plantations and orchards that are still difficult to reach today, the mighty WWII Jeep still lives on as a daily driver and the workhorse for many in the community. There are over 200 Jeeps still in use today in the small town, many still as stock, totally unchanged since they rolled off the production line in the ’40s.
The Jeeps first arrived in the village immediately after the war, and were an immediate hit with the people living there. With their compact size, four-wheel drive, and made-to-work build, it’s not hard to see why they were so popular.
The village started with just a few Jeeps used by farmers, then they drifted into general travel and were quickly sought after by the all the citizens.
Current Ban Tachi resident, Wichit Karaket said he could not remember a time when there were no Jeeps in the village. “We have all grown up with the sound of the Jeeps rolling around the streets of the town.”
The Jeep is such a symbol of the community Anantapong Kositpokinan, the kamnan of Tambon Tachi, which translates to the “District Leader”, and other town officials want to setup a conservation group for the beloved Jeep.
As these Jeeps age, keeping them around as a symbol of Tachi and for future generations to see is becoming a top priority for the village leaders.
It’s good to see the legendary tough Jeep still going strong half way across the world with people that truly appreciate the functionality and capability of one on the most iconic and popular 4×4 vehicles ever made.