It is Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. So why not debut the latest Matchbox Jeep and new off-road wheel?

I think I have mentioned a few times that my job takes me to Moab, Utah several times a year.  I come in the winter, when it is basically a truck stop, and in the summer, when the area is crawling with folks from all over the world.  It is a total joy to be able to work here, as it is truly one of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet.  Just today I found myself watching the sunrise at one of many iconic arches in the area:

In all my time visiting this area, I have followed one rule given to me by the locals: Don’t come during Jeep Safari.  Easter Jeep Safari is by far the busiest week of the year here, and one where the locals leave if they can.  Jeeps of all sizes and styles from all areas of the country descend on the Moab area and take full advantage of the trails that make Moab the off-road capital of the world.

I have always stayed away during Jeep Safari, until this year.  My schedule required me to be here, and to be honest, I want to come back.  I have never been a Jeep guy, but I have learned you don’t have to be one to get into how awesome this week is.

I visited Jeep’s display area, where they unveiled the new Cherokee TrackHawk, which is apparently the fastest production SUV ever made.  I watched the Jeep caravans out in the desert make their way to and fro, and I ate and drank with a few here among the red rocks.  I even saw some of the folks I have met through these blogging endeavors, like Nitto Tire and Skyjacker.

I think you can tell it has been a good week.

So that got me thinking.  Being in a Jeep mood, and seeing that Matchbox teased the new Jeep Galdiator on their Instagram page, I texted Abe to see if we could debut the Gladiator this week in honor of Jeep Safari.  Not only did Abe oblige, he took some cool pics.

Not only is the Gladiator the latest Jeep from Matchbox, it also debuts the latest off-road wheel.  It doesn’t have an official name, so maybe we can help with that.

So with 510’s and Juniors and G63 6×6’s all debuting this year, I haven’t given much to the Gladiator. Maybe a mingling with some Jeeps in Moab around Easter changed that, because I am now pretty excited about this one.  It looks good.

I need to see now how it will do on the rocks of Southeastern Utah.

(Thanks to Abe Lugo from the Matchbox Design Team for the photos.)

13 Replies to “It is Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. So why not debut the latest Matchbox Jeep and new off-road wheel?”

  1. The model itself looks stunning…simple deco, taillight tampos, an overall nice, clean, simple model.

    As for the wheels…they're decently attractive and realistic, but they seem awfully similar to the existing open-dot dash wheels, albeit a little chunkier.

  2. I think the wheels should be called Gladiators, in honor of their debut model. It does look good even if I was hoping they would holdout and debut the 2018 jeep pickup.

  3. I don't like the spare. It won't match the mounted tires unless the model has black trim, and if the wheel type ever changes, then it won't match at all. The side without it looks much better.

  4. Yep, it's a 2005 concept. Matchbox was supposed to have offered it in 2006, around the same time Jeep was supposed to put it in production. But something happened at Daimler Chrysler (DCX, Jeeps's owner at the time) that cancelled production at the last moment, and forced everyone with a replica license, including Matchbox, to halt production as well. The best guess is that Dodge/Ram, which carries a lot of weight in Chrysler, stopped the Gladiator's production and subsequent model production. Dodge/Ram always felt that it should be the only Chrysler unit to offer pickups, not Jeep or anyone else.

    This is probably why you're not going to see the new Jeep-Wrangler-based pickup anytime soon, until it has a Ram badge on it.

  5. Lobster Claw Treaded 5-Spoke Wheel. As a previous person commented, at first glance they seem like the open-dot dash five spoke wheel, but that has a pronounced open dot. These have a chunkier spoke and just a touch of “open” space right at the outer rim. It reminds me of a lobster clasp closure on jewelry.


  6. I can’t wait to get these and start chopping them up
    i will make all the new “military” jeeps from this…..
    just like I did when I took the “super lift”
    and chopped off the doors and the roof to make the Jeep from “Terminator”

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