Classic Pickups: ’65 Jeep Gladiator J-210

Posted on 12. Jun, 2012 by in Auto News

Story and photos by Jim Allen

The Jeep Gladiator remembers the 1960s as one of the most iconic of the decade pickups. She debuted in late 1962 as 1963 models, replacing a number of Willys trucks, which were always getting on in years. The gladiators were stylish, well-equipped and in some respects decidedly unlike anything else on the market.

But different is not always a good thing. The new jeeps were on the leading edge of the light truck technology in many ways, but this position she left vulnerable to instances nose bloody face-plants.

Jeep had been working on the new truck design, together with a new combination, since the late 1950s years. His lines of utility vans and pickups went back to the mid-1940s, and looked decidedly old-fashioned, but they were well-liked. For a time, with four-wheel drive was enough to offset the styling behind the times, but like the rest of the automotive industry began with light trucks with factory-built four-wheel drive Willys realized it was time to step his game.

Willys Motor Co. was the entity that resulted from the 1953 merger of Kaiser and Willys-Overland Motors. Kaiser cars were doing poorly, not so much from the product side as the business side -. Kind of like what happens when a little guy goes nose to nose with the Big Three Willys-Overland was asserting itself in a niche market, but it did not extend to the capital.

Great things were expected by the marriage between Kaiser and Willys, but they did not materialize. At the time of the merger Willys was only introduced a number of cars. Kaiser car was practically at this point flat-lined, and the company was from the abject failure of its low-cost compact jump, the Henry J, Kaiser pulled the plug shortly after it went through the Willys deal. Kaiser then doubled to Jeep.

The Gladiator alongside another legendary Jeep was introduced, the Wagoneer combined. Those of the common gladiator styling and a large number of components The 120-inch wheelbase J-200-line and 126-inch wheelbase line J-300: From 1962 to 1965 Gladiator trucks were divided into two categories. Both categories were sold with several total weights.

Two pickup boxes were available. It was the old-fashioned Thriftside, which is better than step-side-known these days, and it was the more stylish Townside bed. A factory-installed platform / Stakebed was on the higher gross weight trucks. And of course, you could get every gladiator as cab and chassis.

Gladiators were in two-or four-wheel drive are available at this time, but you could also choose between a solid front driving axle or independent front suspension. Jeep was the first of a four-wheel drive pick-up offer with independent front suspension. Designed by Willys-engineer Miguel Ordorica provided. Suspension carlike ride and handling with a high cross-country mobility However, it was an expensive option that not many people ordered. The system has been known to be a nuisance, and many historians consider it a nosebleed No. 1 The option was discontinued after 1965. Two-wheel drive trucks were hired after 1966, except for special commercial orders.

Spartan was the rule for 4×4 truck back in the 60s, but that was starting to change. The padding shown here is not original on this truck, but from a later. The original door panels and seat were pretty disreputable, with most of the seat went to build a mouse metropolis. A cigarette lighter and four-wheel-drive indicators were to be ordered a la carte.

From 1963 to 1965, the Wagoneers and Gladiators had only one engine, the 230ci Tornado overhead cam six. This was a free breathing powerhouse that delivered more power than comparable sixes similar shift (for more information on the Tornado, click here). It came in two varieties: the standard 140-horsepower, high-compression version (8.5:1) with a two-cylinder Holley carburetor, and an optional 133-hp version of low-compression (7.5:1) with a single-barrel carb.

It all sounded great, and the test drive was a pretty fleet vehicle, but Willys engine soon got his second bloody nose. Persistent oil leaks and oil consumption in the early production engines created a large number of warranty claims headaches.

More likely to question the lack of a total Jeep V-8 was in the lineup. This was a time when you just need have a V-8 option, because selling these motors usually sixes. Willys was always conservative when it came to power, there is a legacy of the company's corporate economy-car days of the late 1930s. Partially in 1965, Willys solved the problem by an AMC 327 V-8 in the list of options. Namely, the newly minted, over square overhead cam 232ci, 145 hp from the – in mid-1965 replaces the Tornado quiet of an AMC six.

Power steering, power brakes and air conditioning were available, as well as an upgrade to a Borg-Warner T-98A HD or four-speed Borg-Warner automatic AS-8W. The Custom Cab offered a plus here seat and door trim with armrests on both sides, and bright trim inside and out, sunblinds, a lighter, wheel covers, a chrome bumper and the coveted "Custom Cab" badge.

Optionally, a gross vehicle weight in the J-200 line was £ 4,000 for the J-200, £ 5,600 in the J-210, £ 6,600 in the J-220 and £ 8600 dualie in the J-230. The total weight in the long version launched J-300 line at £ 5000 and ran through 6000, 7,600 and 8,600 pounds in the J-300, J-310, J-320 and J-330 models are.

Nothing can get a truck-gatherer blood flows faster than finding a barn. The 1965 J-200 First Series by Rick and Paulette Riley is not exactly find the standard definition of a barn, but it has to spend most of his later life in a barn, and in the same condition it was purchased from a farm in Kansas . He sat unused in a barn for years due to a transmission error problem that Rick Riley found pretty easy to fix.

It is a basic model Gladiator J-210 4×4 with a Thriftside bed and a total weight of 5,600 kilograms. The paint and interior are metallic amber. The few options include an oil bath air filter, "deluxe" oversized rear window, chrome wheel covers, locking front hubs, heater / defroster, diamond plate rear bumper and a few other odds and ends. It has. Tornado six standard T-90 "three-on-the-tree" three-speed column-shift manual gearbox and a Dana 20 transfer case The front and rear axles are Dana 44s with 4.09:1 ratios.

The truck can finally restored, preserved, but Rick Riley was enjoying it as a time capsule. In any case, since the Rileys have several buildings full of other members of their collection, it has made its way to edit down for restoration. For now, there are only a few basic repairs, cleaning and maintenance is getting.

This rather basic Thriftside truck is fresh from a long sleep in a barn, only 88,459 miles. When we saw the serial number in monthly production capacity records, it shows the truck was assembled in October 1963. It must have been hanging somewhere unsold because the serial number shows up again in the 17th August 1964 issue of confidential trade bulletin, where it was designated one 65er model. In those days unlicensed remaining trucks to dealers (as well as trucks still in the factory) were often named for the current year. Base price this truck was $ 2,866, but options probably brought it up over $ 3,100. People who picked up the Thriftside needed a bed without interruptions. An otherwise identical Townside truck costs only about $ 30 more. You can change the size and the deluxe rear window, an option that more than doubled the rear glass panel. The rear window was standard in 1967.

When you say "Jeep Gladiator," this is what comes to mind: steel truck and iron men. The Wagoneers got a grille upgrade in 1965, but the Gladiator kept this view through the 1969th If the Wagoneers received a new grille in 1970, got the gladiators hand-me-down.

The tornado overhead camshafts was a sprightly six, and it sufficiently driven the gladiator. Comparative tests showed Tornado powered jeeps were a bit faster than the six-cylinder truck of its competitors. The engine was a high-compression position two-cylinder and an optional low-compression position a barrel. The latter is rarely seen in civilian gladiators. Note the nice flowing exhaust manifold. The intake ports were "Siamesed" and fed by two major ports. Jeep was the first manufacturer to a standard alternator, offer a 35-amp unit in this case.


The Gladiator truck of 1965 came in two series. The first series could also be called the Hundred Series. From their beginnings were the Wagoneers and panels of J-100, the 120-inch wheelbase J-200 and the 126-inch wheelbase 300 J-. When the two engines appeared separate ways in 1965, the new truck was the Thousand Series – the J-200, the J-2000, and the J-300's 3000-J. A J-4000, the family came later.

This co-op tires are at least 30 years old. The share was 7.60 to 15 4-tires, but other sizes were optional. Observe the warning hubs that. An extra-cost item in those days

Here's what looks like a 1965 Townside J-200. Frank Sanborn First Series 4×2 has the standard small rear window. Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the Rileys' truck, including the three-speed tornado six basic accessory level.

This is the modern interpretation of the J-Series Truck, Jeep together for this year's ride in Moab. Jeep concept called J-12 had the Wrangler-based vehicle all. Sophistication and technical 4×4 capabilities of the new platform, with all the eye-catching style of the old