Jeep Gladiator

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Jeep Gladiator / Jeep Pickup
Jeep Honcho.jpg
Jeep J20 Pickup
Production 1962-1988
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door pickup truck
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Jeep Wagoneer (SJ)
  • 120 in (3,048 mm)
  • 132 in (3,353 mm)
  • 165 in (4,191 mm) chassis camper
Predecessor Willys Jeep Truck
Successor Jeep Comanche

The Jeep Gladiator (or Jeep Pickup) is a full-size pickup truck based on the large SJ (Jeep Wagoneer) platform that was built and sold under numerous marques from 1962 to 1988. The Jeep pickup design was noteworthy for being in production for more than 26 years with only minor mechanical changes. The Gladiator was the basis of the first post-war U.S. Army trucks designed to be civilian vehicles and adapted to military use. Numerous versions of the Jeep pickup were built in other markets, including Mexico by Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos.

Gladiator 1962-1971

Jeep Gladiator with a camper shell

Introduced in 1962 for the 1963 model year, the Gladiator was a conventional body on frame pickup design that shared its basic frame architecture and front end with Jeep Wagoneer four-wheel-drive station wagon.[1]

designations were J200 (short wheelbase trucks, up to mid-1965); J2000; J300 (long wheelbase trucks, up to mid-1967); J3000; and J4000, the first model with a longer 131-inch (3,300 mm) wheelbase.

Gladiators were available in RWD and 4WD, and came either with a solid front axle, or independent front suspension with optional dual rear wheels.[2]

Gladiator trucks were available as: Cab and Chassis; Wrecker; Stake Bed; and chassis-mounted campers with extended wheelbases. The load bed options were Townside, Thriftside (a "step-side"), and Stake Bed, with up to 7,600 lb (3,447 kg) G.V.W. and almost two-ton payload capacity.[1]

A new overhead cam Jeep Tornado engine 230 cu in (3.8 L) straight-six producing 140 hp (104 kW; 142 PS) was standard. Innovations for four-wheel-drive pickups included optional automatic transmission (an industry first), as well as power brakes, power steering, and a Power Take-Off unit for numerous accessories that included snow plows and push plates.[1]

In early 1963, Willys Motors changed its name to Kaiser Jeep Corporation.

During 1965 the 327 cu in (5.4 L) AMC V8 engine became available. It produced 250 hp (186 kW; 253 PS) and 340 pound force-feet (461 N·m) of torque at 2600 rpm. The standard Tornado engine was replaced by American Motors' 232 cu in (3.8 L) OHV inline six.

For 1968, the flared-fender Thriftsides models were dropped while a new camper option was added for the J-3600.[1]

From 1968 to 1971 Jeep pickups offered the Buick 350 cu in (5.7 L) 230 hp (172 kW; 233 PS) Dauntless V8 as the optional engine.

American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased the Kaiser Jeep operations in 1970 when Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business. The Jeep trucks moved to all AMC engines to improve performance and standardize production and servicing. The Buick engine was replaced by the 360 cu in (5.9 L) or 401 cu in (6.6 L) AMC V8s.

In 1970, the Gladiator's front grille was changed to the same design as the Jeep Wagoneer SUV. This was the truck's first styling change since its introduction. An AMC badge was also added on the grille.

Jeep Truck 1971-1988

Jeep J10 pickup

The Gladiator name was dropped after 1971, after which the line was known simply as the Jeep pickup. The pickups were designated as J2000 and J4000 models (the 3000 series was dropped in 1971) until 1973, then as J10 and J20 models from 1974 to 1988.


From 1971 to 1972 Jeep pickups offered the AMC 304 cu in (5.0 L) 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS) V8 as an optional engine.

The AMC 258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 engine was introduced in 1972 and offered through 1988. The engine produced 112 hp (84 kW; 114 PS) and 210 lb·ft (285 N·m) of toque.

The AMC 360 cu in (5.9 L) was offered in 1971 and through 1988. Producing in early versions 175 hp (130 kW; 177 PS) and 245 lb·ft (332 N·m) of torque. Later 360s produced 195 hp (145 kW; 198 PS) and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) of torque.

The model designations were simplified for 1974, with the J-2000 becoming the J-10 and the J-4000 changed to J-20. Larger brakes were made standard and the turning radius reduced. The Quadra-Trac system was now available with all engines.[1]

The AMC 401 cu in (6.6 L) was offered from 1974 through 1978. These engines are known for their toughness and excellent power output. The 401 produced 225 hp (168 kW; 228 PS) and 320 lb·ft (434 N·m) of torque.

For 1977, Jeep J-10 pickups included Dana's manual four-wheel-drive system, a more powerful 258 cu in (4.2 L) six-cylinder engine, and heavier axle tubes, while power front disc brakes became standard equipment and the considerably greater GWV capacity J-20s included AMC's 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 engine.[3] The 401 cu in (6.6 L) engine was optional, as well as full-time Quadra-Trac and both automatic and manual transmissions.

1983 saw the new full-time four-wheel drive system, Selec-Trac, replace Quadra-Trac;

Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987. The full-size Jeep Pickup line was not only an aging model, but also competed directly with the broader range of Dodge trucks. Chrysler discontinued the full-size Jeep trucks, but continued to build the luxurious and highly profitable Grand Wagoneer, which shared the chassis with the large pickups.

After the Chrysler buyout, the compact Jeep Comanche pickup (based on the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) platform) received only minor changes and its production continued until 1992.[4]

Military versions

U.S. military M725 ambulance

Military versions of the civilian Jeep pickup included the M715 and M725. They were built under contract for nations in addition to the United States. The idea was to reduce costs by starting from a civilian truck and sharing parts with normal production-line truck to make a “Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle” (CUCV) for the military as a 5/4 ton tactical vehicle.[1]

Jeep Honcho

Jeep J10 Honcho

The Honcho was a trim package on the J10 pickup, offered from 1976-1983. It consisted of bold striping and decals, and was offered with factory extras such as the Levi's interior or a roll bar. The content of the Honcho package varied from year to year, but "always included the wide-track look of the Cherokee Chief."[5]

The Honcho was one in a series of special decal packages offered for J-Series trucks in the mid to late 1970s, which included the Golden Eagle[6] and the "10-4" which offered an optional Citizens' Band radio along with the decals. The Honcho package was only available on the sportside (stepside) and short bed trucks. Between 1980 and 1983, only 1,264 of the sportside versions were produced.

Decal packages were available for many of Jeep's vehicles in the 1970s, including a package for the Jeep Cherokee called the Cherokee Chief.[7] The Golden Eagle package was also available for both the CJ and the Cherokee.[8]

Jeep truck concepts

Jeep has shown numerous concept pickup trucks, and officials at the automaker have "expressed interest in putting such a vehicle into production."[9]

2003 small pickup truck

A production-ready version of a Jeep Scrambler pickup was shown in 2003 at the North American Dealers Association, but was pulled after a few hours. According to Motor Trend, there might be a "production Jeep pickup truck in the works".[9]

2005 Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show

In late-2004 a new Jeep Gladiator concept was introduced. While not officially intended to be sold, it was used as a demonstration "that a Jeep pickup was in the dark recesses of DaimlerChrysler's brain trust.[10]

The Gladiator concept features an open-air canvas roof, fold-down windshield, removable doors, and has an expandable truck bed. The Gladiator has a 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel engine that provides 165 hp (123 kW; 167 PS) and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) of torque. The truck has a 6-speed manual transmission. Ground clearance is 13.7 in (348 mm), with a break-over angle of 23.2°, an approach angle of 47.6° and departure angle of 38.0°. Front and rear tires are 34 in (864 mm) and are mounted on 18x8-inch wheels. The Jeep Gladiator has a 1,500-pound (680 kg) payload.[11]

A "midgate" made the concept Gladiator truck closer to an imitation of the Chevrolet Avalanche, "than an attempt to revive its namesake's glory."[10]

2012 Jeep J12

In March, Jeep announced a revealing of a new concept at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The J-12 is based on a modified Wrangler Unlimited chassis with an a 18-inch (457 mm) frame extension allowing the use of a 6-foot (1.8 m) load bed.[12] The styling resembles the classic 1960s-era Jeep Gladiator truck and features "old-school" 16-inch smooth steel wheels with 36-inch tires, as well as a full bench seat in the cab.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "1963-1987 Jeep Gladiator and J-Series Pickups". Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Elliot (22 April 2009). "Jeep Dually Tech & Specs". Jeep Dually Registry. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Over-the-counter pickups". Popular Mechanics. 73 (6): 73. December 1976. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Chrysler to end production of Jeep Comanche". The New York Times. 6 June 1992. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Allen, Jim (2004). Jeep. MBI Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7603-1979-6. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "The new Jeep J-10 Golden Eagle (image)". The Jeep Pickups Page. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Jeep Cherokee Chief (advertisement)". Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Jeep CJ Golden Eagle (picture)". Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Peterson, Andrew (21 June 2010). "Jeep's Future: Does It Include a Small Pickup Truck?". Motor Trend. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Morr, Tom; Brubaker, Ken (2007). The Joy of Jeep. MBI Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7603-3061-6. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Jeep Gladiator Concept". trucks about com. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 Stoklosa, Alexander (27 March 2012). "Jeep Mighty FC and J-12 Pickups Among Six Concepts Revealed for 2012 Moab Easter Safari". Car and Driver. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

de:Jeep Honcho