Offered at no reserve by Barrett-Jackson at the Scottsdale 2021 auction, the old-school workhorse rocks a GM Turbo 400 three-speed automatic transmission and disc brakes instead of drums for the front axle. Currently rolling on Fierce Attitude M/T rubber shoes wrapped around Pro Comp 16-inch alloy wheels, the truck retains the original push-button AM radio.
As for the 5.7-liter lump hiding under the hood, the two-barrel Buick Dauntless is a little different from the small-block V8 produced by Chevrolet. The deep-skirt block with increased nickel content comes to mind, along with the longest piston stroke of all 350s from that era. Rated at 230 horsepower when it was new, this engine was discontinued in favor of 5.9- and 6.6-liter AMC options right after Kaiser-Jeep was acquired by American Motors.
“The undercarriage is in good condition,” according to the auction house, which is exactly what you would expect after five years of nut-and-bolt overhauling. All of the glass is clean, the bumpers and badges have been chromed to perfection, and the two-tipped exhaust system is brand-spanking new.
It’s hard to understand why the owner decided to bid farewell to his truck at no reserve, given the money and labor that went into it. On second thought, this truck isn’t exactly a collectible, according to Hagerty. The insurance company says that a concours-condition example is worth $18,700 today, which is about half the price of a base Gladiator for the 2021 model year.