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Introduced in 1962 for the 1963 model year, the Gladiator was a conventional body on frame pickup design that shared its basic frame architecture and front end with Jeep Wagoneer four-wheel-drive station wagon. Designations were J200 (short wheelbase trucks, up to mid-1965); J2000; J300 (long wheelbase trucks, up to mid-1967); J3000; and J4000, the first model with a longer 131-inch (3,300 mm) wheelbase. Gladiators were available in RWD and 4WD, and came either with a solid front axle, or independent front suspension with optional dual rear wheels. The Gladiator had a 7,600 lb G.V.W. (3,447 kg) and almost two-ton payload capacity. A new overhead cam Jeep Tornado engine 230 cu in (3.8 L) straight-six producing 140 hp (104 kW; 142 PS) was standard. Innovations for four-wheel-drive pickups included optional automatic transmission (an industry first), as well as power brakes, power steering, and a Power Take-Off unit for numerous accessories that included snow plows and push plates. In early 1963, Willys Motors changed its name to Kaiser Jeep Corporation. During 1965 the 327 cu in (5.4 L) AMC V8 engine became available. It produced 250 hp (186 kW; 253 PS) and 340 pound force-feet (461 Nm) of torque at 2600 rpm. The standard Tornado engine was replaced by American Motors' 232 cu in (3.8 L) OHV inline six. For 1968, the flared-fender Thriftsides models were dropped while a new camper option was added for the J-3600. From 1968 to 1971 Jeep pickups offered the Buick 350 cu in (5.7 L) 230 hp (172 kW; 233 PS) Dauntless V8 as the optional engine. American Motors Corporation (AMC) purchased the Kaiser Jeep operations in 1970 when Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business. The Jeep trucks moved to all AMC engines to improve performance and standardize production and servicing. The Buick engine was replaced by the 360 cu in (5.9 L) or 401 cu in (6.6 L) AMC V8s. In 1970, the Gladiator's front grille was changed to the same design as the Jeep Wagoneer SUV. This was the truck's first styling change since its introduction. An AMC badge was also added on the grille.

Jeep Gladiator Bed Options

Thriftside (a "step-side")
Stake Bed
Jeep Gladiator Townside Jeep Gladiator Thriftside Jeep Gladiator Stake Bed

Gladiator Truck Optional Configurations

Gladiator trucks were available as:
Cab and Chassis
Stake Bed
and chassis-mounted campers with extended wheelbases.

Gladiator Brochure of Configurations Gladiator Wrecker