Modern Jeep Wrangler Dons Classic Mask

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Jeep JL Gladiator Wrangler Front End

Looking like a ’60s-era Jeep Gladiator, JL Wrangler combines classic look with modern performance, including a supercharged engine.

The Jeep Wrangler won the “4×4 SUV of the Year” award at SEMA for the ninth-straight year at last week’s gigantic convention in Las Vegas, so as you might expect, there were tons of new JLs on display. Many of them were radically modified, but none were customized quite like this one.

This rig from Pro Motorsports wears front end styling from the classic Jeep Gladiator along with a host of other upgrades inside, outside and under the hood.

Jeep JL Gladiator Wrangler Side

Face of a Gladiator

The most significant aspect of this Jeep JL Wrangler is the front end, which sports the design of the classic Gladiator pickups. It appears as though the grille and hood have both been modified to present the classic look, which fits the modern lines perfectly.

That new face is protected by an aftermarket bumper that extends out away from the front end, but there is no winch. We can see a large front-mount intercooler behind the custom grille, so perhaps the builder skipped the winch to allow more air to hit that intercooler.

Jeep JL Gladiator Wrangler Rear

Along the sides, this custom Wrangler has tube doors, custom fenders, rock rails and aftermarket wheels wrapped in big off-road rubber. It may also have some suspension work to provide more wheel articulation and room for the big meat, but it isn’t as jacked-up as many of the Jeeps at SEMA.

Jeep JL Wrangler Interior

Hidden Gems

On the inside, this JL Wrangler with the Gladiator front end has Katzkin leather seats with white stitching in the front and rear. The aftermarket seat skins definitely present a higher-end look, contrasting against the white trim throughout the cabin.

Finally, the Pro Motorsports Instagram channel posts about this Jeep tag ProCharger, so when coupled with the big front-mount intercooler, it is safe to assume that this Wrangler is supercharged. With that in mind, the odds are good that this JL packs the Pentastar V6, offering solid power with the aftermarket forced induction setup.

Jeep JL Gladiator Wrangler Seats

While not everyone will love the classic Gladiator look on the modern Wrangler, it made for a cool, unique show vehicle at the 2018 SEMA Show while contributing to the Hottest SUV title.


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A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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