Farm Hand: 1966 Jeep Gladiator J300 4×4

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In my opinion, old 4×4 pickups are the epitome of a no-frills workhorse, and this find is no exception. Located in Connersville, Indiana, this 1966 Jeep J300 is straight from the heart of the Midwest where I’m sure it’s worked many long and hard days, likely on a farm. This find can be found here on craigslist with an asking price of $5,000.

It’s clear that this Jeep has seen several salty Midwest winters over its 53-year long life, as evidenced by the presence of rust throughout the body of the truck. However, despite the rough appearance, the seller claims that the pickup runs and drives excellent. The rear bumper appears to have been swapped out for a more utility oriented unit, as evidenced by the thick construction and pin-type hitch seen in the image. The new tires that the seller put on are tall and knobby and combined with the large mirrors they give this truck a great visual appearance. Additionally, the seller states that the complete brake system has been sorted through and overhauled.

The engine under the hood is the claimed original 230 Tornado inline six which is mated to a three-on-the-tree manual transmission. According to PickupTrucks, the Tornado inline six was rated at 140 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, which should be great for the application we see here. The engine benefits from a recent cooling system and fuel system overhaul. The seller says that he’s added 4,000 of the 41,000 miles shown (no indication on if the odometer has rolled over) in the last year, stating that the Jeep is ready to drive as soon as the next owner acquires the pickup.

The major downside of this find, apart from the rust, is the interior, which the seller openly states needs work. The floor pan has been patched with signs and license plates on both sides, which I find a little bit worrying, although the rockers look fine. Also, according to the seller, some of the gauges are not functional. I couldn’t help but notice the raccoon tail hanging from the rearview mirror and the tractor knob on the wheel, furthering the uniqueness of the truck.

At the end of the ad, the seller summarizes the truck well by saying the truck “old rusty, leaky and dirty but is very unique and head turner.” While it’s certainly not perfect, the truck is not something you see every day and could provide the right person with a lot of fun. Do you think this truck is worth the $5,000 asking price?

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  1. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Well, it’s pictured in a corn field, and what else is there in Indiana, so it’s a pretty good bet, it’s a farm truck. Mileage is actual, farm trucks never had 141K miles. I know I’ll get some flak, but they were great trucks before AMC got a hold of them. I heard the engine was bulletproof. Very typical of a farm truck that spent all it’s life outside. Great truck here, little steep on the price, but worth $3g’s, at least.

    Like 9
  2. Stevie G

    I am not sure why, but I absolutely love this I’m girl! I would fix the floors & interior properly & drive it, even in winter. Once I eventually land in Arizona permanently, I would then restore the body. Sharp truck.

    Like 7
    • Howard A. Howard AMember

      Without any gear ratio mods, best be happy with 55 mph max. Most of these farm spec’d trucks had Dana 44’s with 4:27 or 4:88’s. 55 max and at that speed, that “tornado” motor will sound like one,,.

      Like 5
  3. hatofpork

    Nice truck. I was thinking that some green plastic garbage bags used to cover the door cards might contribute to the rustic look…

    Like 1
  4. edh

    Needs a smaller air cleaner.

    Like 7
  5. angryjonny

    Don’t change those floorboards!

    Like 6
  6. Kevin McCourt

    Love the old school floorboard repairs. Old signs work just fine. I’d drive it as-is.

    Like 6
  7. local_sheriff

    ‘Old, rusty,leaky and dirty’ sure is a fitting description,but apart from the floor repairs the rest of the body seems to have superficial rust only that just seems to fit the outback package.
    It looks ugly as hell,however I’m tempted to claim the dull and rusty finish looks better on it than any paint job would! 5k would be steep, but with a bit of ol’ haggling it could be a brutal cool Jeep that will turn heads both in a nearby bog or around town – some in awe, others in agony…

    Like 3
  8. Karl

    I did not know the 230 i6 was available in these type pickups? Most farmers I know of are almost always pulling stuff with their pickups, combine headers, grain carts smaller tillage equipment etc. That little 230 isn’t going to do much there, I don’t know what gear ratio these pickup had but it’s had better be STEEP to pull anymore than just itself, which would give it a cruising speed of around 40 mph. I have two pickups with this engine and they will teach you patience with a 4 speed could not imagine an automatic. Between the plethora of rust and just the overall setup it had best be real cheap!

    Like 0
  9. Axeltrap

    The Tornado 6 was a OHC engine that used the same cam lobe for intake and exhaust valve. 6 cylinders 6 cam lobes. Only used a couple years in civilian models as the 232 AMC 6 came out in 64. Used much longer for military production.

    Like 1
  10. Daniel Bishop

    The Tornado wasn’t offered in 66. Last year in the Gladiator was 65. They went to the 232 AMC and 327 AMC which were both vastly superior to the OHC 230. This truck is pretty steep for $5k. I wouldn’t pay much over $1,200 -$1,500.

    Like 0

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