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From Toy to Reality: Matchbox-Inspired RealTruck Gladiator Heads to Auction

RealTruck built this sweet Jeep Gladiator to mimic a Matchbox toy. Now the truck accessory company is auctioning off the Jeep for charity.

Realtruck Matchbox Jeep Gladiator(Photo/RealTruck)
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It’s a Jeep Gladiator based on a super-cool Matchbox model. The SEMA-build truck is going to auction with the proceeds to build homes for vets and first responders.

Doetsch Off-Road in Arizona built the custom Gladiator for RealTruck to replicate the 1:64-scale Matchbox version. It started with a 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. Then Doetsch went to town on the Jeep, starting with a 4.0-inch lift from Superlift Suspension Systems.

4-Inch Lift, Model Car Accents

Realtruck Matchbox Jeep Gladiator

The big lift kit allows fitment of the 37-inch General Grabber tires mounted to 17-inch Raceline wheels with Matchbox Orange painted rock rings. Rugged Ridge inner fender liners help make sure there’s clearance enough for the tires, and Fox 2.0 shocks handle the up-and-down movement. It also has Doetsch’s own 2.5-ton steering kit to keep the death wobble at bay.

From there, it’s a seemingly endless list of add-ons. Function, form, and gear are all covered. Front and rear bumpers picked to match the toy, a 12,500-pound winch, locking hood latches, and a Matchbox Orange roof rack all come from Rugged Ridge.

The Gladiator’s bed has a RealTruck Go Rack bed rack. The functional rack is loaded with RotoPax fuel cans, traction boards, a roof tent, and more.

To make the exterior graphics perfect, Doetsch got the file directly from Matchbox. The full-size truck’s wrap matches the Matchbox model perfectly, which is a seriously cool touch. If it’s not wrapped, it’s probably powder-coated in whatever shade matches the original.

RealTruck Matchbox Jeep Gladiator Revealed at SEMA

Realtruck Matchbox Jeep Gladiator

RealTruck revealed the full build, along with its auction plans, at the SEMA show last year. After sitting on display for the show, the Matchbox Jeep Gladiator is ready to head to the block to find its new home.

RealTruck said that all of the auction proceeds will be going to Building Homes for Heroes. The truck and SUV parts and accessory company has donated more than $1 million to the charity, which it says has helped build or renovate 300 homes.

Buying a Matchbox copy of your ride has been a cool thing to do for decades, but it’s not very often you get a chance to do the opposite — to buy the ride that was built to match the Matchbox.

The auction takes place on January 27 at 4:30 p.m. MST at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.

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