The Jeep Gladiator is a solid truck offering. It’s an all-around pickup that can haul, tow, and can even have fun off-road. The problem is, the returning nameplate doesn’t come cheap, with a starting price of $33,545 for the base Gladiator Sport.
If you want to go all out on options, the Gladiator can even set you back for as much as $64,110 for a fully-loaded Gladiator Rubicon – that’s without the unpleasant dealer markups that add up to $20,000 to the MSRP.
In other words, the Gladiator may be desirable but its price tag is reserved for those who have the means. For everyone else, Smyth Cars might have something that you want to consider.
Smyth Cars has unveiled its Grand Cherokee pickup truck conversion kit coming in May 2020. For a price just below three grand, you can now have a Jeep pickup truck – far from the five-digit price tag of a brand new Jeep Gladiator.
Smyth chose the second-generation Grand Cherokee (WJ) as its base because of its live-axle suspension and great engine options (inline 6 and V8). Of note, the Grand Cherokee WJ is the last of its kind to have a live-axle suspension, which makes it a very capable off-roader SUV.
If you’re worried that the conversion will deteriorate the WJ’s structural rigidity, Smyth Cars said that it will add a huge B-pillar reinforcement plate and a subfloor bracing system that connects the bed floor to the front bed wall. The sides of the five-and-a-half-feet long bed are also made of 1/8-inch aluminum plates that connect the wheel well and spring perch areas to the b-pillar plate.
If you’re interested in this build, be ready to shell out $500 as a reservation for the $2,999 truck conversion kit. You’ll also have to prepare the Grand Cherokee WJ donor, which shouldn’t be a problem with so many for sale in the used car market today.