Today, the Jeep Gladiator pickup line is famous since it was one of their bestselling products during the 60s and early 70s. However, the rarest model in the series was the J-300 or J-330, heavy-duty versions of the regular Gladiator. You can easily recognize them thanks to their dually rear axle. Jeep J-330s are quite rare when new and even rarer today.
Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
Even though the ZJ Model Grand Cherokee is a common model, there was one version that was unusual. Our source at Palmer Jeep (Roswell, NM) says it is a real hidden gem in Grand Cherokee history. And that is 1998 5.9 Limited. It was a one-year, top of the line model they equipped with every luxury item Jeep had to offer. And best of all, it came with a 5.9-liter Magnum V8 pumping out a whopping 245 HP. Although 245 HP doesn’t sound impressive today, it was a big number by the late 90s in SUV standards. You could consider the Grand Cherokee 5.9 as a Jeep’s official hot rod model long before any SRT models with powerful Hemi engines were built. They only built approximately 15,000 so the 1998 5.9 Limited Grand Cherokee.
Jeep DJ-5E Electruck
Bet you didn’t know that Jeep was in EV business back in the 1970s! Yup, in 1974 Jeep produced a whooping 352 DJ-5E Electrucks. They aimed them at the U.S. Post Office and other commercial businesses for delivery in urban areas. The idea was that using electric vehicles in the city reduced air pollution. But even though the DJ-5E delivered decent power and a long-range, it proved inadequate.
The Jeep Cherokee XJ was one of the most popular SUVs of the 80s and early 90s. Most people are familiar with this model in its two and four-door configuration, however, Jeep produced a pickup as well; it was called the Comanche. The Comanche shared most of the mechanics, design, and interior with regular Cherokee XJ-series models. Jeep sold it from 1985 to 1992, producing over 190,000 of them.
Although Ford produced this vehicle, it was a military Jeep-Willys MB design converted to an amphibious vehicle. Here’s the story: In 1942, the Army showed interest in a light amphibious vehicle but no one was making one. Ford, however, thought of modifying the existing Jeep into such a vehicle and that is how the GPA was born. Ford called it the Seagoing Jeep. Unfortunately, it wasn’t particularly fast or capable, so they ceased production after building 13,000 examples.
During World War II, Willys, Bantam, and Ford produced the Jeep for the Army and Allied Forces and they made a lot of them. However, they also developed several concepts to improve the basic Jeep layout. One of those concepts was the rare T-29 Jeeps. What distinguished these Jeeps was the addition of an additional axle. It turned the Jeep into a 6 wheel vehicle. The extra axle gave the Jeep tank-like off-road abilities. However, those versions were basically prototypes, so they were produced in very low numbers.