We often talk about how Jeep didn’t have a truck offering in its lineup for over 27 years, a fact that came to an end earlier this year (2019) with the introduction of the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. What prompted Jeep to re-enter the midsize pickup segment? The fact that it’s a lucrative segment that Jeep could capitalize on by introducing a one-of-a-kind pickup with off-road capability unavailable from other brands. Jeep sourced tons of inspiration for the Gladiator from its extensive history, here are five past Jeep vehicles that served as inspiration.
Willys-Overland 1940s All-Wheeler Truck
Once World War II came to an end, Willys-Overland switched gears and capitalized on the fact that its vehicle – what would later be known as Jeep – had helped win the war. They crafter “Civilian Jeeps” – the CJ-2A, the CJ-3A, a convertible Jeep, a steel-hooded Station Wagon, and the all-wheeler truck pictured above. The Jeep truck pictured above was created in 1947 and remained unchanged until 1965, establishing the Jeep brand’s penchant for committing to their designs.
Jeep FC Series
By the 1950s Willys-Overland was passing the torch to Kaiser Motors and the new Jeep brand owners were eager to make a few changes to the brand’s dying lineup. The end result after many tweaks was the Forward-Control lineup. Inspired by the existing CJ-5 platform at the time, the FC trucks were designed by Brooks Stevens, the same designer responsible for Jeep’s other post-war cars. By 1966 the FC trucks had been phased out, but they hold a special place in Jeepers’ hearts. Jeep brought back a concept variant of the FC truck at the 2013 Jeep Easter Safari held in Moab, Utah.
Jeep got a little more luxurious with its truck lineup in 1962 with the introduction of the exotic J-Series intended to replace the old truck lineup. The J-Series enjoyed more longevity that its predecessor and experienced how the brand changed hands throughout its generations. Production ended in 1988 when Chrysler acquired then-parent company AMC. Referred to as the Gladiator J-10, Honcho, J-2000, and J-10, this truck shared the same front clip and frame as the iconic Jeep Wagoneer.
Few enthusiasts talk about this model as the CJ-7 and CJ-5 take all the praise, but the CJ-6 model is more of an obscure fan favorite. Limited production of the CJ model meant that Jeep only manufactured about 50,000 units between 1955 and 1981. The CJ-6 enjoyed a lot of popularity outside the U.S., in countries like Sweden, Brazil, and South Africa, where coincidentally a local Volkswagen subsidiary was responsible for assembling them.
Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
The CJ-8, better known as the Scrambler, is usually the first pickup that comes to mind for Jeep fanatics. In fact, up until the Gladiator arrived, everyone thought Jeep would revive the Scrambler namesake. The Scrambler marked the first time in the history of the company that the lines between the company’s pickup truck and off-road capability blurred a bit. From 1981 to 1986 the Scrambler only sold 30,000 units, but due to its rarity and its utility, it is now regarded as one of the most liked Jeep vehicles.
Visit Miami Lakes AutoMall and get behind the wheel of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. With four trims to choose from, there’s sure to be a Gladiator to suit your needs. Follow us on Miami Lakes Jeep social media to stay up to date with the latest Jeep news.