This Perfect 1969 Jeep J2000 Gladiator Joined The 2019 Jp Dirt ’N Drive


We were ecstatic when we saw Bill Cosby’s email application for the 2019 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive Presented by Jeep event. We had caught just a glimpse of his custom 1969 J2000 Gladiator truck at the 2018 SEMA Show, and now we would have the chance to see it in action. This stunning Jeep truck did not disappoint on the trails, and Bill isn’t afraid to wheel his amazing creation. The truck is affectionately known as Frankie, and Bill’s wife, Maria, refers to it as “the other woman.”

Bill spent more than three years in his garage building this one-of-a-kind J2000. The project started with a pair of axles, a frame, and the will to build something different that would still work off-road. The frame is from a 2012 Jeep Wrangler JKU; it has been stretched 4 inches in the rear, and the rear crossmember has been pushed back 2 inches to accommodate the new suspension components. Bill tells us he expanded his fabrication skills on this build, as there were very few custom parts for J-trucks, and he wanted no shortcuts taken on this project. In his own words, he knew that “patience was the main tool needed for a successful end result.”

Bill found a thrift-side J-truck bed and shortened it 16 inches; the stock bed tins were also shortened to fit the fender, and there is plenty of clearance for the 40-inch Toyo Open County M/Ts. He also frenched the taillights on the bedrail and installed additional lighting in the rear bumper.

The bumpers were designed and built by Bill. The front bumper gives Frankie a lean, mean appearance. Housed inside this work of art is a Warn Zeon winch; it is Bluetooth-controlled and the power is wired in to the sPOD. J.W. Speaker 8700 headlights lit the way after those early morning Dirt ‘N Drive drivers’ meetings.

Hard Facts
Vehicle: 1969 Jeep J2000 Gladiator
Engine: Chevrolet 5.3L LS V-8
Transmission: 4L60 automatic with Corvette internal components
Transfer Case: 2012 Jeep JK NP241 with 2.72:1 low range
Suspension: Rock Krawler 3.5-inch X-Factor Stage 2 kit and RRD coilovers with remote reservoirs (front); Rock Krawler 3.5-inch springs with RRD remote-reservoir shocks (rear)
Axles: Ford Dana 60, 5.13 Nitro gears, ARB Locker (front); Ford 10.5-inch Sterling, 5.13 Nitro gears, ARB Locker (rear)
Wheels: 17×9 Method Wheels
Tires: 40-inch Toyo Open Country M/T



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