OG40: The Ultimate Overland 2020 Jeep Gladiator Built by Off Road Evolution
Several weeks ago, we took you to Off Road Evolution to get the sneak peek behind Mel Wade's latest build. Starting as a bone stock, pre-production 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport, Mel and the EVO team began tearing into the truck in preparation for the upcoming 2019 Easter Jeep Safari. After an intense 10 days of wrenching around the clock, Mel and his team completed the build and it's hardly recognizable from the last time we saw it.
Sitting high atop a set of 40x13.50x17 Nitto Trail Grapplers and KMC Machete beadlock wheels, the Gladiator, dubbed OG40 (Overlanding Gladiator on 40s), is one of a kind. It rides on an EVO short arm suspension system paired with King Shocks for a smooth but predictable ride. Doing the heavy lifting under the Jeep is a set of Dana Spicer Ultimate 60 axles with electronic locking differentials. The OG40 is sporting a Warn Winch, KC HiLites Pro6 and Flex LED lights, a Roam Adventure Co. roof top tent, ARB Fridge-Freezer, Bestop Sunrider soft top and EVO sliders, bumpers, rear tire gate and bed rack.
In order to put the new build to the ultimate test, Mel and his crew took the OG40 Gladiator to Moab for the annual Jeep event. With a plethora of trails ranging from mild to wild, Moab is an ideal proving ground for this build. We rode along with the EVO crew as they tackled Steel Bender, a moderately difficult trail in Moab that's full of fun obstacles. The Jeep handled the trail with ease, putting to rest many rumors of wheelbase and departure angles being problematic for the pickup truck. It seemed to just flow over the rocks without a hiccup, and that's exactly what Mel built this truck for.
Check out the video above for more details on this incredible build, and to see it in action on the red rocks. Mel has lots of plans for this Jeep for the remainder of 2019, so be sure to stay tuned as we see what this build can do in some of the world's toughest environments.