What does the future hold for the Jeep Gladiator?

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3.6-liter V6 engine backed by an automatic transmission
2020 Jeep Gladiator 3.6-liter V6 engine backed by an automatic transmission heads to auction | Barrett-Jackson photo

Walking into a Jeep dealer back in the 1980s and early ‘90s was much different than today. Back then, the concept of a Jeep pickup was taken for granted. What Jeep offered at the time was the Comanche, a small but versatile truck and a great option for Jeep enthusiasts looking for a bit more practicality.

Jeep had been producing pickups since 1947 with no gaps between production models, at least not until the conclusion of the 1992 model year. The end of the Comanche was a tough loss for Jeep enthusiasts.

Of course, there were Dodge trucks to take up those who wanted a pickup and also wanted to stick with Chrysler products. But in 2005, Jeep teased a new Gladiator at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

2020 Jeep Gladiator
Features the Scrambler Package, which was custom-designed to give the nostalgic look with extra performance. Designed by Mopar upfitting team | Barrett-Jackson photo

A wave of excitement was stirred within the Jeep community, though it wasn’t until years later that the concept would become a production vehicle.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator officially went on sale just months ago, resulting in a flood of customer orders and ultimately dealer mark ups. The market was hungry for a new Jeep truck and after a 15-year wait since the last Jeep pickup, the new Gladiator has had no issues finding buyers.

With the only engine option being the 3.6-liter V6, a desire for additional power has driven the aftermarket to meet the demand. YouTuber and builder James Condon (aka “TheStradman”) is best-known for his Lamborghini build. He plans to replace the Gladiator’s V6 with  the 1,000 horsepower “Hellephant” crate engine from Mopar.

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TheStradman and his Jeep Gladiator
“TheStradman” YouTuber James Condon and his Jeep Gladiator prepping for the 1000hp “Hellaphant” engine | James Condon Facebook photo

So, will the new Gladiator become an immediate future classic? We may get an inkling Saturday when a 2020 Gladiator crosses the block at no reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast collector car sale.

According to the auction house, Lot 643.1 “features the Scrambler Package, which was custom-designed to give the nostalgic look with extra performance. Designed by Mopar upfitting team, this Jeep is loaded with leather, a removable hardtop, a 5’ truck bed, Scrambler custom gold wheels, Scrambler Appearance Package, 4″ suspension lift, 35″ top-of-the-line Nitto Terra Grappler tires and Fox Racing shocks.

“Inside the brand-new truck is a large multimedia screen with navigation and a backup camera. With less than 200 actual miles, this Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine backed by an automatic transmission.”

See classic and collector Jeeps for sale on ClassicCars.com.

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An experienced automotive motorsports photographer and enthusiast of all things with wheels, Rebecca Nguyen is the Marketing Manager of ClassicCars.com. Former Marketing and Project Coordinator for several aftermarket brands, Rebecca has a unique perspective developed from being on several different sides of the automotive world. From developing innovative automotive products to doing her own DIY modifications on her 2003 Subaru WRX and 2014 Ducati Monster, Rebecca’s passion for the hobby brings fresh ideas to The Journal. In addition, she has spent many years publishing event coverage for events like SEMA, Formula Drift, and Global RallyCross while coordinating the annual Future Collector Car Show in Scottsdale Arizona.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I was excited and contemplated purchasing the new Gladiator – until I saw the outrageous, price gouging $5,000 additional charge – for NO additional items, just pure profit. You can keep your damn Gladiator.

    • I’m a dealer and I’m discounting them not price gouging. I actually have a couple of launch editions that I was able to secure if your interested.

    • William, I hear ya on that !! I would NEVER succumb to dealer gouging. I’m going to wait this out just like I did when Chevy tried to pull this same gouging crap when the (then new) Tahoe came out in ’95. Plus I hoping Chrysler will eventually offer some other engine option other than that underpowered antique 3.6

  2. That 1960 Bubble is cool. Love to have it but my Cash is in a 1992 HumveeH1. Military HumveeH1 not a Hummer. I got the real deal. From Ft Stewart Hinesville Ga.

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