Arizona Barn Find: 1966 Jeep Gladiator J-3000

The seller refers to this 1966 Jeep Gladiator J-3000 as a barn find and a rust-free Arizona original vehicle and it sure looks solid. The tires don’t give a person much confidence as new tires will most likely have to be fitted before it can be hauled away but that’s a small price to pay for what looks like a great starting point. It can be found here on eBay in Surprise, Arizona with no reserve and a current bid price of $2,850. Thanks to Lee S. for sending in this tip!

I’m not sure what the story is on the tires, they’re absolutely shredded as if someone did a smoky burnout with all four wheels on this 4×4. Maybe they were just deteriorated and when it got dragged out of the barn they totally fell apart? In any case, I hope it didn’t hurt the wheels in the process.

The body on this Jeep looks absolutely rock-solid and really nice, actually. A cut and polish and at least most of it would look great. The mirrors are unfortunately remounted and some former mounting holes have broken away, so that’ll have to be fixed, somehow, without messing up the original patina. You can see some thick, flaking paint on the mirror photo so maybe this one isn’t wearing its original paint after all.

I don’t know if I remember a velour seat in a Jeep, but maybe this is original? This Jeep appears to have a three-speed manual on the column, I expected to see a floor shifter here. I’m guessing that there will be a fair amount of work to do inside due to the Arizona heat and any critters that may have taken up residence. The J-3000 had a 126-inch wheelbase compared to a 120-inch wheelbase in the J-2000. I’m all about a shortbox because I never need to haul serious building materials and I just like the look better. But, for camping duties, and the cap/topper goes with it, a longer box would be welcome.

The engine is AMC’s Vigilante 327 cubic-inch V8 with around 250 hp and it runs, according to the seller. They will send you a video of it driving if you give them a jingle. On your phone. That $100-a-month thing in your pocket that you use for everything but calling. It looks dusty and dirty and I always worry about rodents in the southwest, but hopefully no damage has been done by those little ____… This really looks like a great, solid project for anyone who has been looking for a classic small-grille Jeep.


  1. Howard A Member

    Nice! Any relation to the Jeep J series pickups is strictly coincidental. These were 10 times the vehicle. The military used them for a reason. AMC cheapened these up considerable. Thin metal, shoddy electrics, plastic gears instead of metal, the list goes on. I wouldn’t touch another AMC type, but would take this in a minute. Great find.

    Like 1
  2. Gaspumpchas

    You might wonder why the seller didn’t put some baloney tires that at least held air. Jeep with a rambler engine. hated working on these things, but this one looks sweet and rot free. cheaper than a new one. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Hey GPC, you say “Jeep with a Rambler motor” like it’s a bad thing. Funny how we all have our opinions about vehicles. It’s what makes this a neat site. I think a Jeep with a Rambler motor is one of the best combinations made. I believe it was the only reason Chrysler wanted
      these from AMC.

      Like 2
  3. Mark M,

    How is there of a video of it driving , unless has better tires now, great body and engine, but is video from 20 years ago?

    Like 3
  4. Vance

    I had a blue Tonka toy truck of this model, it and the red Mack dump got me through my sandbox years. Both of those hauled a lot of sand and entertained a little boy for a long time.

    Like 7
    • MrBZ

      My 2 brothers and I each got a Tonka Jeep truck from our grandparents one year, couldn’t tell you what else was under that tree!

      Like 2
  5. Fireman Dan

    WOW ….my 1st roadworthy vehicle was a 1970 JEEP J4000 w a Buick 350 Dauntless and an automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive and 16000 original miles and the same style goofy topper shell mine was a Winnebago 😂
    The owner was a great friend of my dads and had passed away. The owners son and my dad went to high school together/ rifle team together/ the Marine Corps together/ Korea Chosin Resavoir together
    He asked my dad if I was interested I was 15 years old….I’d saved $1500 dollars baling hay / fixing fences/ milking cows
    I was so proud of that old truck and soooo many great high school memories 😋
    I wish I had her back😂
    Thanks for all the great personal stories everyone relates in times like these.
    With everyone sheltered in place it’s nice to here a good story and take us back to a simpler time and less stressful life
    Thanks Barn Finds and your great write staff and all your readers
    Semper Fire

    Like 9
  6. Dan B.

    I had a ‘66 J3000 with the 327 Vigilante and the four speed manual. It was a beast.

    Like 3
  7. JMB#7

    I hope it finds a good home. Great solid truck, and a very reasonable price.

    Like 1
  8. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Jeep pickup sold for $4,800!

  9. Bernard Loeffler

    I have a 69 J3600 almost completely restored. Any chance I can get the seat? Thanks

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