Jeep Wagoneer, Gladiator, Comanche, and Scrambler: Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles

As Jeep sales have skyrocketed in recent years, the company has put more money and muscle behind vintage names like Wagoneer and Gladiator, and has jumped into pickups as never before. But what made their past vehicles good enough to bring their names back now?

The Wagoneer and Gladiator were well ahead of their time in technology, as the first 4x4s with an independent front suspension and automatic transmission. Updates kept them at the forefront of 4x4 technology, but their tough, go-anywhere nature never changed over a long, long product run. The Wagoneer name then hopped to the revolutionary “XJ” series, these tough wagons with an efficient, lightweight unibody design, just as capable off-road as the senior Wagoneers.

With the new Gladiator making a splash, it’s time to look back on Jeep’s pickups, not just the original Gladiator, but also one of the most innovative trucks ever made: the Comanche. It shared a great deal with the Cherokee, but clever design gave it both superior ground clearance and the lowest bed height of any comparable 4x4 pickup. The book also covers the CJ-8 Scrambler, which is possibly more popular off-road today than it was at dealerships when it was made. This book traces the history and present state of some of Jeep’s newest vehicles, including the upcoming Wagoneer and the new Gladiator, and some of its most famous and most-loved, with original and period photography; it’s a “must-have” for any Jeep enthusiast.

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Books by David Zatz