With all the talk happening about Jeeps release of the 2020 Gladiator I wanted to spotlight the ‘OG’, original Gladiator this week.
The Jeep Gladiator only had a production run from its introduction in 1962 (1963 model year) until 1971. In 1971 the Gladiator name was dropped and continued as the Jeep pickup, or J-series until 1987. The Jeep Gladiator was available in either the 120-inch J-200 (J2000 in 1965) or the 126-inch J-300 (J3000 in 1967) configurations .
Gladiators were available in RWD and 4WD, with optional dual rear wheels. A remarkable innovation was the available independent front suspension instead of a solid front axle on the 4WD half-ton Gladiator trucks. It was a simple IFS design with a Dana 44 center section, that proved troublesome, didn’t sell well, and the option was deleted in 1965. Most likely very few were produced with this option.