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 .

  • Manufacturer: Willys Motors (1962), Kaiser Jeep (1963-1970), American Motors (1970-1987).
  • Production: 1962 - 1971
  • Transmission: 3-speed manual, In 1963 the optional four-wheel-drive with the automatic 3-speed (Borg-Warner's AS-8W heavy-duty).
  • Engine: 230 cu inch (3.8L Tornado I6), 258 cu inch (4.2L AMC I6) or the (5.4L AMC Vigilante V8 offered in 1965).
  • Predecessor: Willys Jeep Truck
  • Sucessor: Jeep Comanche


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.