History of the J10 Jeep

by Rob Wagner

The Jeep J10 J-Series pickup truck was produced by AMC from 1974 to 1983 and featured the Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 trim packages. An older version, the Gladiator, was manufactured from 1963 to 1973 and is virtually identical to the subsequent J-Series pickups. All trucks shared the same body work of the Jeep Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward, and were offered with step-side or traditional slab-sided bodies.

Older Brother

The Gladiator is identical to the Honcho and other trim versions in every respect.

The Gladiator was not classified as a J10 but a J-Series 200, 300, 2000, 3000 and 4000. It was identical to the post-1973 J10 models.

Identity Crisis

The Jeep J10 was a leader in four-wheel-drive recreational off-roading.

The Honcho, Golden Eagle and 10-4 were never model names for the J10, although the Honcho designation ultimately became the J10's common moniker.

Size

The Golden Eagle was the lesser known sibling of the Honcho.

The J10 was offered with a 7-foot bed on a 119-inch wheelbase or an 8-foot box on a 131-inch wheelbase.

10-4

Jeep J10s at the AMC assembly plant.

The more obscure J10 was the 1970s trendy 10-4 model, which made the most of the CB trucker craze of the era. It was named for the "10-4" trucker sign-off and equipped with an optional CB radio and trucker style body graphics.

Outdoor Image

This step-side Honcho features heavy body graphics and optional roll bar.

The J10 was offered with extensive pin-stripping, bold graphics, a roll bar and even an interior clothed in Levi's jeans.

Many Donors

A 1981 ad for a Jeep Honcho.

Late in its production run, the J10 was using a General Motors steering column, Ford air conditioning, a Motorcraft ignition, a Chrysler transmission and Chevrolet transmission mounts.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera AMC, Chrysler LLC