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.
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.
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.