Jeep Gladiator - History

by : Greg Lucas

Where does the Jeep Gladiator fit into the great history of the Jeep line of vehicles. Jeep from its lowly beginnings has risen to the level of a status vehicle for many in the market today.

The Jeep vehicle name started out in the bare bones military unit. Simply designed to meet the rigors of being in the field.

The original JEEP as it was known back in February of 1941 was so named because the vehicle actually did not have a name. In a test drive of the Willys-Overland scout car took a demonstration ride up the Capital steps. When the reporter asked the driver Irving "Red" Haussman the name of the vehicle he said "It's a jeep". The name was then published across the nation in the review article and a new automotive brand was borne.

Willys-Overland inc was awarded the name as it owned the manufacture rights of the first military vehicles. The Jeep went on to nobally serve in World War II. When the soldiers arrived back from the fronts they wanted the Jeeps they had driven during the war.

Willys-Overland was more than willing to produce this grand little car for the common market. The Jeep CJ-2 was the first commercially available vehicle and stayed in basic production through the Jeep CJ-7.

The Jeep CJ-7 was the last military variant of the great Jeep nomenclature. The final Jeep CJ-7 rolled off the production line in the United States in 1987. It was subplanted with the Jeep brand Wrangler or YJ. The YJ for many was designated as the Yuppie Jeep as it had a lower running height and more supple suspension. This Jeep remained in production for 10 years.

In 1997 the YJ was replaced by the current TJ production unit. This unit along with many small tweaks went back to the original Jeeps round headlights. In 2007 the Jeep YJ is slated to be replaced by the Jeep JK model vehicle.

The JK model of vehicles will include three separate variants. The first Jeep variant will be a short wheelbase two door model that will be the direct replacement to the Jeep YJ and hold true to the original form of this model line.

The second model will be a four door variant with a slightly increased wheelbase for those wanting more functionality out of the Jeep. This vehicle should also be better equipped for the less outdoor slanted owner.

The final version will be a pick-up variant Nicknamed the Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator will feature a slightly extended cab. This will not feature a jump-seat for the kids but allow for storage of small items such as laptops, book-bags, overnight bags, and the like.

The bed of this truck will be 7 foot and perfectly square. This vehicle will be rugged and ready for the trails or a quick camping trip with the buds.

The Jeep has come a long way in the last 60 plus years. This great brand is planning on moving into the future with more memorable vehicles at its back.