Trucks & SUVs

The Gladiator Isn’t Jeep’s Worst Mistake

If you think the Jeep Gladiator is the biggest blunder offered by Jeep, then you’re in for one wild ride. Buckle up, because this journey through the history of the biggest Jeep fails could shock you. A few previous Jeep models make the 2020 Jeep Gladiator look great. 

The Worst Jeep Ever Made 

Before we take a look at a few different Jeep fails know that these options from the past made us say things like: 

“It’s like an awkward disfigured Hummer.”

“Wow, that Jeep model was literally designed for Soccer Moms.”

“That is the cutest fire truck I’ve ever seen.” 

Jeep FC Concept
Jeep FC Concept

None of these reactions should be applied to Jeeps, but since the first Jeep was officially named in 1940, they have had decades to experiment. Like with any other company lasting over the years, not everything that came out of the 50s, 60s, etc., wasn’t that great. 

The Jeep Mighty FC 

Did you know Jeep had a punk rock grunge phase? This was when the Jeep Mighty FC concept was a thing. The FC stands for Forward Control, and it threw the laws of physics and balance out the window. 

2013 Mighty FC Jeep | FCA-00
2013 Mighty FC Jeep | FCA

It sat on 40″ tires and carried most of its weight on the front axle. It was based on the Wrangler and had a spacious, durable interior. It made climbing over rocks incredibly easy, but going down the trails got scary a gravity pulled the Jeep FC down faster than expected.

RELATED READ: Oops, the Jeep Wagoneer Already got Stuck in Mud

New safety regulations would make this concept Jeep impossible to pass regulations, as your legs pretty much hangover the bumper. 

The 1958 Jeep FC-150 Minivan 

Jeep literally made a minivan at one point. In 1958 Jeep released the FC-150, with the risk of making hardcore Jeepers angry. The biggest enemy to an off-roader is a minivan used for taking the kids to soccer practice.

Jeep FC-150 Minivan concept
Jeep FC-150 Minivan

The Forward Center Jeep said goodbye to its truck history and was transformed into a passenger van prototype. This was an attempt at making a Jeep cabover and to fill a niche without a Wagon option. The van was front heavy with a small wheelbase, but unfortunately, it didn’t take off. It looks like a VW van, and we dig it, though. Maybe the new Jeep Wagoneer will be a van instead of a 3 row SUV. 

The Jeepster 

After the Jeep Wrangler made driving without a top look like so much fun, Jeep tried to package that joy in a sports car. Willys-Overland originally produced the Jeepster from 1948 to 1950. It was developed as an attempt to cross over from utilitarian trucks into the sedan market, but that didn’t go too well. 

1948 Willys Jeepster parked at the beach
1948 Willys Jeepster, 2000. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

The Jeepster offered premium luxuries with broad leather seats, white hubcaps, and more. However, it was only offered in rear-wheel-drive with a manual three-speed transmission. Later in 1969, the Kaiser Jeep or Jeepster Commando was released in an attempt to compete with the Ford Bronco before the beloved Jeep Cherokee was released. 

1967 Jeep Commando printed ad
1967 Jeep Commando | FCA

It was similar to the Bronco and original Jeepster car because you could take the entire top off. While these concepts initially failed, they are a part of Jeep’s history as an attempt to grow their offerings from just SUVs to cars, trucks, and vans. Luckily Jeep is still going with what works, the Jeep Wrangler.