Will This Tricked-Out SEMA Jeep Gladiator Sell High at Mecum Glendale?

Searching “SEMA 2021” in the FourWheeler.com and TruckTrend.com sections of MotorTrend.com returns dozens of articles about the custom pickup trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs that were on display at the aftermarket’s biggest fandango in Las Vegas. However, while the same can be done for “SEMA 2020,” the content payoff isn’t as robust.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s annual confab, like so many other events that were affected by travel, gathering, and social-distance policies that came about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, became an online affair for 2020. Trucks were displayed virtually through photos on a website, but the experience definitely was a far cry from checking out a “SEMA build” in person.

Prior to last November, we have to look back at 2019 to find reports from an in-person SEMA. And, as these things go, this 2020 Jeep Gladiator might be among the vehicles that appeared in one of many photo galleries. Yes, this tricked-out JT Overland Edition was there, on display in Bodyguard Bumpers’ booth. Although it wasn’t deemed one of FourWheeler.com’s Top 10 Jeeps of SEMA 2019, it’s truly badass, and now it’s for sale.

With no reserve linked to its sale, this special Gladiator is among several other cool rides being sold in similar fashion at the upcoming Mecum Auction in Glendale, Arizona, March 16-19. Depending on where bidding starts, it could be a killer deal for some lucky buyer. Or, because of its SEMA-Show cred, maybe it’ll sell for a ridiculously astronomical number.

The best way to learn this trick truck’s final disposition is by watching the Glendale auction happen in real time. Download and subscribe to Motortrend+ or tune into MotorTrend TV for live coverage.

2020 SEMA Jeep Gladiator

Like any rig that’s had the honor of being shown at SEMA, this 2020 Jeep Gladiator is chock full of upgrades—too many to list, actually. And while its history and our curiosity about how much it will sell for are qualities that immediately attracted us, the fact that the truck’s stock 3.6-liter V-6 engine and manual transmission were pulled out and replaced with 6.2-liters of hopped-up General Motors’ LS3 V-8 and an automatic, makes it one pretty compelling JT. But, wait! Here’s more …

The Beast Within

As mentioned a few sentences ago, brute force from a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 lies under the hood of this SEMA-appearing 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland.

Bruiser Built

Plastic cladding makes it clear that the engine is usually found in Corvettes. The transformation from Jeep V-6 to GM V-8 was executed by Bruiser Conversions, and given the engine’s size difference and the addition of accessories on the LS3, such as cold-air-induction tubing, ECM, etc., we have to say they did a great job.

Overhead View

This look from above the Gladiator shows off the roof rack as well as a Diamondback diamond-plate bedcover that can be opened from two points.

Modest Interior

The cabin is highlighted by heated seats that are dressed in tan leather. The steering wheel is also heated. Air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo make up the rest of the notable interior features.

Less Is Fine

There’s not a lot to talk about inside, save for these Maximum Elevation Off-Road leather seats. They’re pretty nice.

The Back Is Basic

For this build, interior mods clearly took a back seat to functional upgrades that present well on the Gladiator’s Graphite exterior. The tan leather seats look good and hopefully are comfortable for all of the occupants of this rig.

Ready for Rocks and More

Suspension on the Gladiator is hardcore, and headlined by Rebel Off-Road’s dual-shock system featuring King Off-Road Racing Shocks’ 2.5-inch triple-bypass coilovers. Note the front fender flares. They’re also on the back of the Jeep (with liners all around).

Stance

Check out this profile, an example of perfect lifted/leveled stance for a Jeep Gladiator. In addition to rock sliders that run the full length of the body, a Bodyguard RX steel armor package is in place to protect the sheetmetal when off-roading gets serious.

Rolling Stock

A full set of Kevlar and Method 17-inch beadlock wheels with 42-inch Goodyear Wrangler MTR tires help make the number of places this Jeep can be taken almost infinite. The front rollers are mounted on Warn locking hubs, with one-ton disc brakes and stainless steel braided lines in place for stopping on a dime.

Ready for Bed

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator’s bed is fully lined for protection from damage caused by shifting cargo. A heavy-duty coating covers the walls, with carpet installed on the bed floor and tail gate.

Front View

When facing the SEMA Jeep, immediately seen are its Bodyguard RX front bumper and a Warn 12K winch and synthetic rope. Looking below that, EVO Manufacturing mid arms, Currie Johnson joints, and King steering stabilizers are in place, as is a Dana Ultimate 60 axle with 5.38 gears, an Eaton E-locker, and custom bulletproof driveshafts with 1410 U-joints.

Rear View

In the back there’s a Bodyguard RX rear bumper that’s fitted with Diode Dynamics reverse lights. The rear underpinnings also include a Dana Ultimate 60 axle and 5.38s, an E-locker, and the same additional driveline hardware that’s found up front.

2022 Mecum Auction Schedule

Here are the remaining 2022 Mecum Auctions that can be viewed on MotorTrend+ streaming service and MotorTrend TV:

  • March 18-19: Glendale, Arizona
  • April 1-2: Houston, Texas
  • May 18-21: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • June 10-11: Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • July 28-30: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • August 19-20: Monterey, California
  • September 8-10: Dallas, Texas
  • October 14-15: Chicago, Illinois
  • November 11-12: Las Vegas, Nevada

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