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History of the Jeep Gladiator

We all know the Jeep has a great history, but most people forget that Jeep manufactured pickup trucks at one point. The Gladiator has a long history that began in the early 1960s when it first hit the market. Gladiator was later renamed the J-Series blurring the lines between what the gladiator and J-series truly were. It came to an end in 1970s, but it has made a comeback and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is coming to Philadelphia and Jeep dealerships around the country.

The Beginning of the Gladiator1960 Jeep Gladiator

When the Gladiator was introduced in 1962, it was first a truck built on the Wagoneer station wagon frame. The introduction of the Gladiator started the change of the image of the Jeep brand. At the time, the Jeep Gladiator was unique because of the amount of ground clearance despite the low silhouette of the truck. Even though the new body style was unique the Gladiator was even more special because it was the first 4-wheel-drive truck to have an automatic transmission. This feature really became popular everywhere the Jeep was offered.


Similar to many new Jeep styles offered, the Gladiator was available in multiple body styles which made it so versatile. There were different styles available for everything consumers needed it for whether it was cargo focused or not. The Townside was the most popular model because it was a simple pick up that could be navigated through town. The Thriftside body style offered a more workable version of the truck. But the Stake model, really went above and beyond when it came to heavy-duty and heavy cargo loads. The fenced in cargo space really made this style popular among farmers and labor workers.1960 Jeep Gladiator

It Came to an End, but it’s Not Over Yet

But the Jeep Gladiator did really meet the end of its lifespan in 1970 when AMC bought out the Kaiser Jeep Company. After being bought by AMC that is when they changed the name to the Jeep Pickup J Series. History repeated itself when Chrysler bought the brand in the late 1980s, and the Gladiator officially was discontinued in 1988. Although the production of the Jeep Gladiator was cut off before the 1990s, its popularity has been unwavered. Back by popular demand, the Jeep Gladiator has been reimagined and will be hitting the road soon.

The Jeep Gladiator will be rolling into Barbera Autoland this spring. Come in and test drive the hottest new vehicle on the market. If you have questions, our team at Barbera’s on the Boulevard will be happy to help!