Six Jeep Pickup Trucks that Preceded the Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator is the first Jeep pickup since the Comanche was introduced in 1992. Pickup trucks and anything Jeep are some of the hottest vehicles today, so combining the two makes for an instant winner. The different companies that have owned the Jeep brand over the years knew this. Here are all of the Jeep pickups from the past to show that making a pickup from a Jeep has always been a good idea.
Willys-Overland 4 x 4 Truck
Introduced in 1947, the first Jeep truck was produced through 1965. Sharing common front sheetmetal with the standard Jeep, it also featured the Willys MB “Go-Devil” four-cylinder engine. Besides the pickup version, you could also get it as a stake truck, chassis cab, or just a bare chassis. Over 200,000 were produced during its almost 20-year run.
Jeep FC Series
Jeep’s Forward Control trucks were meant for the commercial cab over segment used for dump trucks, fire trucks, tow trucks and the like. Produced from 1956-1965 over 30,000 were made. Today it is one of the most sought after Jeep products made, and a rare sight in the wild.
When introduced in 1965 the Gladiator was built from the Wagoneer SUV that made its debut in 1962. Advertised as the “Beautiful Brute” it was produced through 1988 for a 26-year run with only minor changes. Two wheelbases were offered, a 120-inch “J-200” and 126-inch “J-300.” In 1971 the Gladiator name was dropped and the pickup became the J-Series. A variety of beds were offered including the “Thriftside” narrow box, “Townside” fleetside box; as a chassis with or without the cab, stake bed, wrecker, and chassis-mounted camper bodies.
The Commando was introduced in 1966 as Jeep’s answer to the International Scout, Ford Bronco and Toyota Land Cruiser. The Jeepster name was dropped in 1971 but the Commando remained the same throughout its eight-year production run. This was the first four-wheel-drive compact with an automatic transmission.
The first C-101 version was made from 1967-1971 and the C-104 from 1972-1973 during AMC’s ownership. This last Commando eliminated the traditional Jeep front styling which some say hastened the Commando’s demise. Besides the Jeep pickup truck body, you could also get the Commando as a station wagon, convertible, or roadster.
Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
The CJ-8 Scrambler was made for only four years starting with the 1981 model. Less than 28,000 were made which has elevated the Scrambler to collector car status. Based on a longer version of the CJ-7 it was intended to compete with the influx of Japanese mini-trucks. It was available in both a soft- or hard-top version, it replaced the longer CJ-6 that was discontinued in 1975.
As the popularity of Japanese mini-trucks continued, Jeep answered this time with the Comanche pickup in 1986. Based on the 1984 Cherokee platform Jeep produced almost 200,000 before production was ended in 1992, partly because Chrysler Corporation already had Dodge pickups. It didn’t find it advantageous for the Comanche to be competing.
Today, we have the Gladiator that Jeep is having a hard time keeping in stock. For the 2020 Launch Edition, only 4,190 were made and it sold out within 24 hours. The premium Gladiator also came with a premium price of over $62,000. The Gladiator could go on to become one of Jeep’s best-selling vehicles ever.