Jeep's been taunting us with the possibility of building a new pickup truck for several years now. The Gladiator concept truck was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2005, but there'd been rumblings about a new truck before its intro. A few years later we saw the Jeep JT concept, a truck that looked more like a production vehicle than the Gladiator.
In September of 2010, Jeep CEO Mike Manley rolled out a Jeep truck during a dealer meeting in Orlando, Florida, but with no explanations. That glimpse has created a buzz of rumors that Jeep plans to build a small production truck in a couple of years. As much time as they've spent on concepts, Jeep must be seriously thinking about a pickup project -- but the question is, when?
The Gladiator concept truck was unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The truck's open-air canvas roof, removable doors and a fold-down windshield let the driver and passengers feel in touch with the outdoors. An expandable truck bed and extra storage compartments offer enhanced cargo carrying abilities.
This gallery has more photos of the Gladiator truck than you'll see in the Gladiator Facts document above, many are shots I took at its introduction in Detroit.
The Jeep JT is based on the Wrangler Unlimited, but with some borrowed from a vehicle that Jeep builds for the Egyptian government. The JT's hood is from an aftermarket supplier, and word is that some parts of the cab came from a company that does pickup truck conversions for Wranglers.
5. Jeep History
Here's a list of highlights from Jeep's long history, from the 1940 Jeep Quad to the Jeep trucks built in the 1980s.