Gorgeous Jeep Gladiator Is Every Project Garage’s Desire
Sure, it has a sacrilegious Chevy 350 motor in it but this classic pickup is still an absolute bombshell.
While flipping through the listings on the Mecum website for their upcoming Las Vegas auction later this month, we came across this 1965 Jeep J300 Gladiator pickup. This truck appears to have been partially restored with a sharp exterior, a clean interior and a Chevrolet drivetrain. While it is certainly not perfect, this classic Jeep pickup could be a great daily driver, a solid weekend off-road toy or a perfect basis for a light refresh project.
Clean, Classic Look
The truck shown here is a 1965 Jeep J300 Gladiator. The body is remarkably straight and the paint looks great in every picture, so with the lack of badges, we are inclined to believe that the exterior of this truck has been redone.
The grille, headlight trim and bumpers are all painted dark silver, as are the wheels, giving this truck a nice, classic look.
On the inside, almost everything appears to be original, with the exception of the shifter, the steering wheel and some extra gauges hanging from the middle of the dashboard. All of the original gauges, switches and buttons appear to be in place, as is the bench seat, complete with a brutally ugly seat cover that looks like throw rugs that grandma used to have in her entryway. Frankly, the interior could use some sprucing up, but the original look can and should be appreciated by many prospective buyers.
The biggest change made from original is under the hood, as this 1965 Jeep Gladiator is powered by a 1988 Chevrolet 350-cubic inch V8. This engine features modern fuel injection and headers, so it likely packs far more power than the stock mill. That power is sent to all four wheels by means of a General Motors Turbo 400 automatic transmission and 3.70 gears, with a Detroit Locker rear differential.
Other features of this bright yellow Gladiator include an aluminum radiator, power brakes, power steering and the aforementioned B&M shifter.
Really, while this engine provides better power, the engine bay is ugly, serving as the biggest roadblock for this classic Jeep in being a great show vehicle.
However, clean up the engine bay, dress up the interior and finish the exterior and this 1965 Jeep Gladiator would be a great showpiece. In the meantime, it will be a great driver for whoever wins the auction later this month.