Pair of Ex-Military Jeep Gladiators Found in the Woods, One's a Monster Truck

ex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiators 6 photos
Photo: Bobs Classic Cars & Parts/YouTube
ex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiatorsex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiatorsex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiatorsex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiatorsex-military Kaiser Jeep Gladiators
Introduced in 1962, the Jeep Gladiator soldiered on for a whopping 26 years with minor upgrades, all while spawning a long list of cool iterations. But did you know that the first-gen Gladiator also existed in military form?
It happened in the late 1960s, during the Kaiser-Jeep era. While the Gladiator was born in 1962 when the company was still operating as Willys Motors, the truck was built by Kaiser-Jeep from 1963 to 1970. The military version was created in 1967 and produced until 1969.

Kaiser buffs know it as the Jeep M715, but it was also called the G-890 Truck or the Five Quarter. The latter nickname came from the truck's 1 1/4-ton payload rating.

Based on the civilian Gladiator, it was designed to replace the Dodge M37, which had been in production since 1951. In a departure from its predecessor, the Kaiser M715 was the first M-series U.S. military vehicle to use primarily commercial components.

Even though its production cycle was short-lived and the Toledo plant assembled fewer than 33,000 trucks, the M715 remained in service until the late 1970s. That's when it was replaced by the Dodge M880.

Come 2022 and these trucks are obviously hard to find because many of them were sent to Vietnam and South Korea and never returned to the U.S. It's not the kind of truck you'd expect to find in the woods, but YouTube's "Bobs Classic Cars & Parts" stumbled across one that was parked in such a place.

But make no mistake, this Kaiser hauler is not abandoned. It's actually parked on a property that's home to several other trucks and it's waiting to be put back on the road.

It's not a stock M715 either. This pickup went through quite a few mods since it was released from service. It rides on massive tires and a huge suspension lift and its interior has been altered with a new center console and modern seats. Sadly, it looks like it's been sitting for a few years. That's most likely because it no longer has a running engine.

These trucks were originally fitted with 230-cubic-inch (3.8-liter) inline-six mills, but this M715 had an engine swap and used a 350-cubic-inch Chevy V8 for a few years. The owner says the latter blew up before he bought the truck, so the plan is to put a new powerplant under the hood.

But the really cool thing is that this modified Kaiser is parked behind a mostly stock version of the same truck. It features a metal roof instead of the more traditional canvas top, but, more importantly, it still retains the original Tornado inline-six.

It's hard to pick a favorite between the two, but these trucks are definitely cooler than the modern Jeep Gladiator. I'd love to see them restored or at least running and driving again.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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