When it comes to off-roading fanatics, there is no brand more iconic than Jeep. Throughout the brand’s entire history, their vehicles have been some of the toughest and most capable when the going gets tough. While we’ve all seen a number of Wranglers and Gladiators chock full of off-roading upgrades, few people decide to use the Kaiser Jeep M715 as a platform. However, that is exactly what the folks over at Blacksmith Garage have done.
Off-road fans may be familiar with the Eden, Utah-based shop, who’s entire operation is run out of the restored J.M. Wilbur & Son Blacksmith shop. If building trucks in a national heritage site isn’t cool enough, wait until you get a load of their latest five-quarter ton off-roader.
The 1967 Kaiser Jeep M715 was the U.S. Military’s replacement for the Dodge M37, and was based on the civilian-model Jeep Gladiator platform. The truck saw military service during the war in Vietnam, however it was largely panned as a downgrade from the Dodge it replaced. That said, this example of the Kaiser Jeep is far from stock. In fact, just about everything apart from the chassis, body and firewall is new.
The entire donor chassis was sandblasted, galvanized and then epoxy painted to ensure it’s structural soundness moving forward. That is important, as the truck now carries a 6.4L Hemi V8 under its hood which produces 485 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. All of that modern power is run through a 545 RFE automatic gearbox mated to a 4.3:1 Atlas transfer case. A full coil-over link style suspension and Dana 60 axles ensure this truck can handle most obstacles.
This Kaiser Jeep M715 is still underway, as it gets prepped for paintwork and a custom interior done by the geniuses at Upholstery Unlimited. While we will just have to settle for the rendering for now, this is an off-road build worth following.