Story of The Gladiator






 It's been 72 years since the first Jeep pick-up truck was manufactured and joined the ranks of U.S. military forces during WWII. 


57 years since the first Jeep Gladiator truck, later to be renamed J-Series, made a long-lasting impact on the industry. Not only did this model have an astonishing 26 year production run, throughout those years it only faced minor mechanical changes. Here is some history behind the journey of jeep Pick Up trucks through the years.


In 1947 the Willy's-Overland Jeep 4x4 Truck came out. The earlier models featured the Go-Devil engine which would be made famous during WWII and was later replaced by a four cylinder engine that increased horsepower.



     



 


Available as a pickup truck, platform stake truck, chassis cab or bare chassis this 1-ton truck was sided with a 3/4 ton two-wheel drive version two years later. Over 200,000 trucks were manufactured in the course of its 18 year run. 

"Forward Control" or FC was the name of the following model, the Jeep FC Series. This model 
was manufactured by Kaiser Jeep from 1956 to 1965 and was strongly marketed as a corporation vehicle. This promotion led to some of these trucks being converted into fire trucks, tow trucks; even mini buses. However, despite this marketing strategy (personal use was also in the mix) the sales of this truck lagged behind and it was eventually discontinued.

In 1962 the longest running Jeep pick up truck began its victorious 26 year lap; we're talking about the Jeep Gladiator/J-Series. It was not until 1971 after AMC bought Kaiser Jeep that the Gladiator name was dropped and the J series began; also adding the 401 AMC engine model. All of this came to an end when, in 1987, Chrysler bought out AMC and discontinued the production in favor of other, already existing, Dodge and Chrysler truck models; by that time the model was also considered outdated.





It was in 1966 during a time where Ford and Toyota trucks were making a name for themselves when the Jeep Jeepster Commando made an entrance into the arena, showcasing four variations: pickup truck, convertible, roadster, and wagon. Being another vehicle created prior to the AMC buyout, the named changed to Commando after 1971 only to be discontinued two years later for a total of a 7 year run with over a 77,000 trucks sold. So… lucky seven?



  


                    


Maybe it was the full length steel hardtop or the hinged barn door or maybe the tape graphics meant to give this truck an 80s vibe, which made the model a little different than its predecessors, but when the Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler came out in 1981(the first truck released after the AMC buyout) its journey was short lived in comparison to the other models. 


The sales peaked during its first year. The 230 Cj-8s were altered for the Alaskan Postal Service moving away from the traditional design and even featuring automatic transmission and right-hand side driving. The steady decline after year one led to the conclusion of its run in 1986.

 

              


If there is a truck through which you can foresee the exponential growth and development of

the car industry, The Jeep Comanche, released in 1985, is definitely one of those cases.

During its 7 year run this truck model went through 4 engine and 6 transmission options.

Created as the pick up truck counterpart of the Comanche SUV model this model did not seem

to fit with Chrysler's overall business strategy. At the time Dodge was producing pick up trucks

as well and so Jeep's focus was directed toward SUV models.



Now, 34 years the Jeep brand is making a comeback. Jeep's iconic design brings us the

standard of the future by reviving a name from the past in the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator; the

most versatile mid-size pick-up truck to date. With a versatile combination of impressive

equipment like front and rear Tru-Lok® locking differentials, branded FOX shocks and an

available forward-facing TrailCam Off-Road Camera this truck, with the best in class towing

capacity and payload is bound to prove its ability on the pavement and off the road.

Named Northwest Activity Vehicle of the Year, declared one of the top 10 best interior at the

New York International Auto Show, this warrior of a truck is already creating a legacy rooted in

Jeep's classic ruggedness combined with the slickness of the modern times.



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