Ready for Battle: 1970 Jeep Gladiator

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On occasion, a vehicle catches my eye not only for its impressive survivor-grade condition but also for the capabilities it brought to the table decades before we had hill descent control as standard equipment on Jeeps. Here on eBay is a 1970 Jeep Gladiator in fantastic condition and it looks ready for battle. 

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The seller says this Jeep languished in an elderly man’s backyard for many years before being rescued. In that time, it appears to have stood up to the test of time quite well. Of course, durability was a huge selling point for the SJ platform, a design that went back many years and rarely changed much over its life cycle.

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This Gladiator currently wears a patriotic paint job, but it likely wasn’t always this spiffy: supposedly, it has history as a mining truck and was later repainted when it was used for more conventional duties. But that previous life as a workhorse could be clues as to why this Jeep is shod with locking hubs and a robust winch on the front end.

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Perhaps the best part of the story is the truck’s rust-free condition. It has spent much of its life in dry Arizona after being purchased new in Oregon. The seller notes that the carb could use a rebuild, and not to get too excited about that CB radio – it’s inop, at the moment. But that isn’t phasing bidders, who are smart to take a chance on such a clean truck with no reserve. What about you?

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Comments

  1. Healeydays

    Wow, I like this rig.

  2. mark

    Great find.

  3. DENIS

    I had a couple of these…ugly when new…now interesting. I like it-would love to have it for a toy for the boonies…decent shape it appears..

  4. Matt Tritt

    Having owned a Gladiator very similar to this one back in the early 80’s, I have to say that they are great trucks. Probably the best work truck I’ve ever had.They ALL had Warn locking hubs. Hate the smarmy paint job! Mine had the AMC 327 – what an engine!

  5. ydnar

    An old Jeep truck is on my bucket list as well.

  6. JW

    Love it along with the patriotic paint job, locking hubs and winch. This is old school 4 wheeler. What’s with the 350 V8 (GM) or did Jeep use these also?

    • Dan Drimmie

      Yes they did use the GM (Buick) 350 until the AMC 360 came along about ’72/’73. The AMC 327 was also used but it is now difficult to find parts for. Also a GM 230 OHC was used for an early 6cyl. Lots of issues with that one.

      • Dave Wright

        GM never built an OHC 6 cyl……but jeep did. Starting in the early 60’s or so. They were used in the M715 military version of this truck as well as civilian applications. They were not a bad motor, the biggest problem was the wrench turners would over torque the cam cover bolts and cut the rubber gasket. The engine has a rather flat head casting and holds oil behind the gasket in operation so, they would leak like a sieve…….but with proper torque they worked fine and were reuseable for years. These were good trucks and I have owned many but in general, they got pretty poor mileage compared with the big 3 makers products. I had a Wagoner with the 230 engine. It ran great but sold it because my Suburban was larger, towed more weight and got better fuel economy.

  7. Matt Tritt

    Jeep’s OHC 6 was a great engine – almost. They had a bad habit of losing oil through the rear main seal on steep inclines. Not something you need in an off-road vehicle or ranch truck.

  8. Dan Drimmie

    you’re correct on the OHC 6 Dave…my bad. :)

  9. Dave W

    http://www.overheadcammerschapter.150m.com/history.html
    Actually here is GM s overhead cam 6
    We had one on the lot in a Pontiac lemans that my mom drove for quite a while when I was a kid.
    This is a nice old Jeep

    • Wabbit

      I bought one of the 66 Leman’s with this overhead cam6 and after eating a few cams at about $100 a pop, which in 66 and 67 was expensive for a cam, I don’t remember much about the lift and duration but they were more than the stock cams that I was replacing them with. I did a lot of street racing and was beating all the stock SBC’s and even the stock 396’s around my home town. LOL when asked what I had under the Hood I’d just say Oh it’s just a little 6 cylinder, and of course they would have to look cause no one would believe they had been beat by a 6.

  10. skloon

    It looks like some sort of NASA vehicle- but good

  11. piper62j

    I believe this is a Jeep when Jeeps were Jeeps.. Not the Chrysler “Goombahs” that are made today..

    Nice find.

  12. Steve

    Best plow truck ever…

  13. Sukey

    Awesome
    Pure gold

  14. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Not the most aerodynamic shape I’ve ever seen, but agree that it’s a good truck and would get the job done at the mostly low speeds it would be working at.

  15. Howard A

    These are some of the best Jeeps. This is actually a very important truck, as this was the last year for the “Kaiser Jeep”. AMC bought Kaiser in late 1970, and dropped the “Kaiser” and the GM 350 and began using the 304. I never cared for the AMC Jeeps that followed. I had a ’78 Cherokee that couldn’t compare to this truck. You want a tough truck, that will go just about anywhere, you can’t go wrong here.

    • Matt Tritt

      Word. My truck like this one popped the emergency brake (common with those early foot pedal parking brakes) while idling in neutral at the top of a rural driveway. It rolled downhill, across a paved road and went airborne, backwards, through the top of a 50,000 gallon wooden water tank with a metal roof before coming to rest. We had to pull it out with a big track-layer crane with a cable around the front axle. After setting it on flat ground, I climbed in and it started on the first try – and drove it home with no problems. The only damage was two equi-distant small dents, one on each rear finder below the tail lights. A tank!

  16. Van

    All this spirit of 76 stuff is going to bring a tear to my eyes
    Until I realized how tacky these things look
    I drink tang
    Still sing the mice mouse klub song
    Ah Annette

  17. piper62j

    I was completely and totally in love with Annette.. Beautiful woman forever.

  18. Glen

    I could have bought a j10 with a full box about 15 years ago. The womens’ husband died and she didn’t need it. Always garage parked, and I let it get away. I almost forgot about it, until now. Thanks for reminding me, Jeff !

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      To Glen and every one else that caught my last post. Mostly Howard because he is from Wisconsin as well. Had problems with my Willys upload and tried another photo. Flashing screen. Could not edit. I love this site and do not want to jeopardize it. My computer is still not correct. Computer muffler bearing I guess. I hope you understand, Mike.

  19. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    This is my daily driver when I am laid off, so I can attest to there longevity. Although she is a Willys Overland I see some of the heritage to this day. And fairly certain she will out live me.

  20. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    One of these days I will figure out how to upload photos!

  21. Andy

    I used to have a j20. That thing was a BEAST! 2 feet of snow to that thing was like a summer cruise down the highway for any other car. Guy I bought it from (or someone before him) dropped a 440 (if my memory serves me correct) in it when the original engine blew. Turns out the donor engine wasn’t much better, as it blew the head gasket and the engine seized on me… Ended up sending it to the junk yard as I didn’t have the time or money to replace the engine…

  22. JCW Member

    Wow I am suprised first posting that I have seen that someone did not bash.

  23. Carl

    That’s really nice. I’d love to do my dump runs and cruise in one of those.

  24. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Well, it was not the Willys but it went through, although with out the apologies. Sorry I did not think this load. Better looking than the Willys though, sorry, Mike.

    • Glen

      I don’t know what to say.

  25. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Well, I do not see Glens response. Probably a good thing. I had some issues trying to load a photo of my Willys. Putzing around I tried another photo. That one loaded. When I tried to edit the post my monitor flashed like crazy and would not let me make any adjustments. Shot down. I would never do anything to jeopardies this site, it is so sweet. Got my computer back, not right in my opinion. I think they told me something to the effect of a computer muffler bearing. Sorry, Mike.

    • Andy

      leiniedude, make sure it’s not the muffler bearing belt tensioner. Many times people go for the bearing when actually it’s then tensioner not aligned correctly!

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Andy,thanks for the laugh! At the time it was very frustrating. I will try the tensioner! Thanks again, Mike.

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