Immediate respect will come from truck owners everywhere.
Trucks like this are becoming rarer every year. That's a consequence of the passage of time. Unless they're properly taken care of over the years, these old school analog trucks are going to rot, sad to say. The Jeep Comanche, the ancestor to today's Gladiator, fits this description. They're becoming increasingly difficult to find, especially one in good shape.
The Comanche launched way back for the 1986 model year and remained on sale through 1992. Based on the same platform and underpinning as the XJ Cherokee, the Comanche was presented to consumers as a viable alternative to regular cars. Jeep was owned by AMC at the time and its CEO decided he wanted something to compete with Japanese-built compact trucks. Unlike most trucks back then, the Comanche had unibody construction instead of body-on-frame.
It also used the Cherokee's Quadralink front suspension with coil springs and upper control arms on a solid axle that resulted in a more comfortable ride. It was still highly capable off-road. The rear suspension, meanwhile, utilized leaf springs to help retain that smoother ride when carrying a heavy load in the bed. Standard payload capacity came in at a respectable 1,400 pounds. There was a choice of three engines: the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 2.8-liter V6 sourced from GM, or a Renault-supplied 2.1-liter turbo diesel. A four-speed manual was standard and a five-speed automatic was optional, though the turbodiesel could only be had with the slushbox.
In 1988, the year after Chrysler bought AMC, the Comanche (and Cherokee) received the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V6, good for 177 horsepower and 224 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, this upgrade and others, courtesy of Chrysler, were not enough to keep the Comanche alive.
A combination of disappointing sales and concerns over internal competition with the Dodge Dakota doomed the Comanche. A grand total of just under 191,000 Comanches were built during its lifetime. Now that the latest examples are nearly 30 years old, the Comanche is definitely a classic and, as previously noted, somewhat challenging to find in solid shape.
Right now, there's one up for auction on Cars and Bids with a total of 266,300 miles on its clock. Power comes from the 4.0-liter though this is a crate engine installed in 2008. This Dark Baltic Metallic with a gray interior example is also equipped with the Pioneer Package, meaning it's got a rear step bumper, lower body moldings, a sport steering wheel, and body graphics. Currently, the highest bid is $6,000 and the auction ends on December 16.