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What Year Was The First Ford Bronco?

What Year Was The First Ford Bronco
1st Generation Bronco ( 1966 – 1977 ) The Original Ford® All-Purpose Vehicle | Ford® Bronco History.
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What years did Ford make a Bronco?

Fourth generation (1987) – Motor vehicle Fourth generationOverviewProduction1986 –19911987-1991AssemblyUnited States: () Venezuela: ()Body and chassisFull-size SUV3-door Powertrain300 cu in (4.9 L) 302 cu in (4.9 L) 351 cu in (5.8 L) V84-speed Borg-Warner T-18 5-speed manual3-speed 4-speed automatic4-speed Dimensions104.7 in (2,660 mm)Length180.5 in (4,580 mm)Width79.1 in (2,010 mm)Height1987–1989: 74.0 in (1,880 mm).1990–1991: 74.5 in (1,890 mm) For the 1987 model year, the fourth-generation Bronco was designed as a short-wheelbase version of the,

  1. Sharing its chassis with the previous generation, the 1987 Bronco was given a number of updates to both the exterior and interior.
  2. Sharing a common front fascia with the F-Series, the Bronco received a reshaped front bumper, flatter front grille, and reshaped hood; composite headlamps replaced the previous sealed-beam units.

In another body revision, the wheel openings were reshaped. The interior was given redesigned front seats, door panels, dashboard and controls (including a new steering wheel), and instrument panels. The Bronco returned its 4.9L inline-6, 5.0L V8, and the 5.8L H.O.

V8 engines from the previous generations; first introduced on the 5.0L V8 in 1985, fuel injection was added to the inline-6 for 1987 and to the 5.8L V8 for 1988. For the 1988 model year, a Mazda-sourced 5-speed manual was introduced. The 3-speed C6 automatic was offered from 1987 to 1990, phased out in favor of the overdrive-equipped 4-speed AOD (1990 only) and heavier-duty E4OD (1990-1991).

In the interest of safety, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) became standard for the 1987 model. As an option, push-button control was introduced for the four-wheel drive system for 1987. For 1988, skid plates for the transfer case became standard equipment.
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How much is a 1966 Ford Bronco?

Cost Of A 1966 Bronco Today – What Year Was The First Ford Bronco Via: Ford Despite having a poor run at the end of its days, the 1966 Bronco was iconic because it was one of Ford’s first attempts at civilian trucks, The fact that they succeeded at creating a perfect SUV on their first attempt meant that Ford had more to offer than we were ready to receive.

  • The best proof of Ford’s efficiency is the success of their Bronco brand and the 1966 Bronco’s ability to sustain its value over 50 years after it first graced our roads.
  • Classic.com estimates the average going rate for the 1966 Ford Bronco around $69,212 (up by over $6,000 in less than a year) while the top price was at $275,000.

Well-kept six-figure 1966 Broncos with around 50,000 miles on the odometer are quite common in the used car space, and we even came across a 175-miles 1966 Ford Bronco for sale on Classicars.com for a whopping $295,000, There are more modern models of the Ford Bronco with better powertrains and more endearing features than the 1966 Bronco, but history will always remember this Bronco for its role in perfecting our ideas of SUVs.
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What came first Bronco or Jeep?

Which came to first Bronco or Jeep? – The name Wrangler was first used in 1987 while the Bronco was the first SUV model developed by the company which came into production in 1966. So, Bronco came first.

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  • Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.
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He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said.” Latest posts by Sagar Khillar ( see all ) Loading. Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family. Cite APA 7 Khillar, S. (2022, May 5). Difference Between Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects. http://www.differencebetween.net/object/auto-object/difference-between-jeep-wrangler-and-ford-bronco/.
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How much is an original Bronco worth?

Prices Of A 1960s Ford Bronco Today – What Year Was The First Ford Bronco Via: Bring a Trailer The price range for first-generation Broncos can range from the reasonable to the downright ludicrous, and it all comes down to the model year and trim level. Classic.com states that the first-gen Ford Bronco that sold from 1966 to 1977 can go for anything from under $10,000 to a mind-boggling $1.9 million! In fact, the world’s most expensive and famous pick-up truck is now a 1969 Ford Bronco ‘Big Oly’ which is the same truck that fetched close to $2 million at the Mecum Indianapolis auction in 2022. What Year Was The First Ford Bronco Via: Mecum Acutions And despite its insane demand, there is no dearth of first-gen Broncos in the used car space. And if you are serious about owning one of Ford’s iconic cars of the 60s, things are just a few clicks away. Classiccars alone has about 149 first-gen Ford Broncos for sale right now, Sources: Ford, Classic Cars, Bring a Trailer, Classic Ford Broncos, Mecum Auctions
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What is the most sought after Ford Bronco?

This 1969 Ford Bronco Recently Became The Most Expensive And Famous Pickup Truck Welcome back to another episode of, a new series from HotCars where we showcase some of the most iconic and successful off-roaders ever built. On our latest episode, we delve into the world’s most expensive Bronco to ever grace the earth: former Baja 1000 winner “Big Oly.” Just last year, this 1969 Ford Bronco sold for an astonishing $1.7 million (plus $187,000 in fees) at a Mecum auction in Indianapolis.
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Which is bigger Wrangler or Bronco?

Four-door Broncos have 35.6 cubic feet (38.3 with the soft top) behind their rear seats and 77.6 cubic feet (83.0 with soft top) with the rear seats folded. The Wrangler Unlimited has 31.7 cubic feet (27.7 on the 4xe PHEV) behind its rear seats and 72.4 cubic feet (67.4 on 4xe) when they’re folded.
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Why did Ford discontinue the Bronco?

On August 11, 1965, Don Frey, the Ford Motor Company Vice President and Ford Division General Manager introduced the Ford Bronco by noting the company had added another pony to the stable to join its big brother, the Mustang. The Ford Bronco became the first automobile called out specifically as a “Sports-Utility Vehicle,” and an American classic was born.

  1. Why and how did Ford develop the Bronco? For that story, we need to return to World War II.
  2. In addition to its other war-time production, Ford was one of three companies which worked to develop the Jeep.
  3. During the war, Ford produced more than 250,00 Jeeps and were renowned for their quality.
  4. After the war, surplus Jeeps were the choice of returning veterans and outdoor enthusiasts.

However, with the improving highway system and demand for a more comfortable driving environment, even on the trails, Ford saw the chance to design and develop a best of class utility vehicle that could also serve as a sports vehicle. We already had experience building the Jeep, and during the late 1950s and early 1960s Ford designed and built the MUTT, a troop utility vehicle.

In 1962, Ford began to extensively survey Jeep and International Harvester Scout owners to see what they liked and disliked about their vehicles. These findings were summarized in an internal memo on July 11, 1963 noting that both vehicles had “poor comfort, ride, noise and vibration qualities” and that the size and power of both were also unsatisfactory.

These findings, indicating a gap in the market, went to the Product Planning Committee on October, 23, 1963 with the recommendation for “funds for further development of a Ford utility vehicle, code named Bronco.” A fascinating memo a week later had the subject line “1966 G.O.A.T” as it heading.

  • The G.O.A.T.
  • Terminology was indicative of the desire to develop a Goes Over All Terrain vehicle while the document itself describes the drivability of the car.
  • The earliest sketches for the Bronco, dated July 24, 1963 were developed by designer McKinley Thompson, and show the now familiar box shaped vehicle with the recognizable round headlights and two door layout.

The one jarring feature of the early design documents was the placement of the spare tire inside the vehicle’s rear storage space! McKinley Thompson, was part of the larger team working on the Bronco, but stands out because he was the first African American automobile designer working for Ford.

The vehicle underwent constant revisions over the next year as its features were molded, so as Don Frey described it was “neither a conventional car nor a truck, but as a vehicle which combines the best of both worlds. It can serve as a family sedan, as sports roadster, as snow plow, or as a farm or civil defense vehicle.

It has been designed to go nearly anywhere and do nearly anything.” Initially, the Bronco was offered in three body styles, the Roadster (open air model,) Sports Utility (with pickup bed,) and Wagon (two doors, tailgate, full top.) The Roadster was the most basic and least expensive of the three with doors and roof as options! The Sports Utility featured a short top, seating for two or three with a bench seat and a pickup style bed.

Over time, the Sports Utility was known as the “half-cab.” The most popular model was the Wagon with a full-length hardtop roof and seating for up to five people with rear bench seat. While there were a tremendous number of optional packages, all three models came with standard four-wheel drive, a 3-speed manual transmission, and a 105 horsepower 170-cubic inch six cylinder engine.

On March 2, 1966, the 289-V-8 was offered as an upgrade and the Bronco’s horsepower and torque rating increased to the top of the sports-utility field. While those were the basic specifications, Don Frey also signaled the available customization of the vehicle by noting “like its older brother, the Mustang, it will be offered with a wide range of options and accessories that will permit it to be the many things to many people.” The accessory catalogs for the first-generation Broncos reads like an outdoorsman’s dream with equipment like snowplows, front mounted winch, tow hooks, locking hubs, power take off and even two-way radios.

  1. The early advertising for Bronco reflect its outdoor use, and the customization and accessorizing of the vehicle.
  2. In essence, the Bronco became a palette that each owner could, and did, modify for their lifestyle.
  3. In its basic configuration, the Bronco was as comfortable on the highway as the trailhead, but with some modification, could win at Baja.
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The Bronco was an immediate favorite for outdoor off-road racing. Bill Stroppe was given a Bronco before its public release and prepared it for competition. That six-cylinder Bronco was the overall winner at the 1967 Riverside Four-Wheel Drive Grand Prix.

The Stroppe Broncos also racked up victories in 1968 at Riverside, the Mint 400, and Baja 1000, where Larry Minor and Jack Bayer drove a stock Bronco to victory in its class. In 1969 Minor and Rod Hall took the class and overall victory as their Bronco was the first vehicle of any kind to cross the finish line setting a new record.

The off-road racing scene also attracted a number of celebrities who wanted to try their hand at racing Broncos. Actor James Garner and band leader Ray Coniff were just two who joined the Ford team. Possibly the most famous driver was Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, who joined the Stroppe team as a driver.

Their modified 1970 “Big Oly” Bronco soon became the talk of the Bronco community and is still arguably one of the best known off-road racing vehicles of all time. Winner of the 1971 and 1972 Mexican 1000 Race, the Parnelli Jones Bill Stroppe driving partnership cemented the legends of both men. While upgrades were made to the Bronco after its introduction in 1966, the vehicle remained essentially unchanged until 1973.

That year the long awaited power steering and automatic transmission were introduced as part of a “Bronco Revolution.” When the 302 V-8 was selected buyers were able to choose the SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed transmission. Additionally, a new 200-cubic inch six replaced the 170-cubic inch six that had been standard since the introduction.

Even with the upgrades, the first generation Bronco was reaching the end of its viability. Initially slated for introduction during the 1974 model year, the redesign (codenamed Shorthorn) was delayed because of the 1973/74 oil embargo and resulting economic downturn. The 1978 Bronco was entirely redesigned to offer the 4×4 market a tremendous off-road vehicle with equal highway performance.

The new Bronco was based on the F-Series platform, which increased the length and width of the vehicle, offering a smoother ride and more passenger comfort. The 1978 model offered two V-8 engines and for the first time did not have a V-6 option. The interior of the new 1978 model was completely redone as well, offering more space and more comfortable buckets seats in the front and, with a new recessed footwell, much more leg room for the passengers in the rear seats.

The new model also had two first time features, air conditioning and AM/FM radios were offered as options. One popular carryover option was the recognizable swing-away tire carrier. The redesigned Bronco was a sales hit with more than 180,000 sold the first two years. Three of those 180,000 second generation Broncos underwent quite a transformation.

The Broncos were to be modified for use by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the United States between October 1 and October 7, 1979. The Bronco “Pope Mobiles” were open in the back so he could stand and be seen. The exteriors were painted Wimbledon White while the interior was done in Wedgewood blue.

After the modifications were complete, the three Broncos were turned over to the US Secret Service for their special passenger. The 1980 to 1986 generation Bronco became smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic and fuel efficient. The Bronco was based on the shorter F-150 platform and featured both V-6 and V-8 engines.

The timing for the new generation was providential as the second oil crisis had seen gas prices climbing astronomically. Additionally, this generation Bronco was the first to offer independent front suspension replacing the monobeam front end. Work on the independent front suspension for front wheel drive vehicles had been researched since the early 1970s and Ford was awarded a patent on the system in 1976.

  • The new axel required a frame change, so its implementation was delayed until the 1980 release.
  • The increased fuel efficiency and new suspension were heavily touted in in advertising and were well received by the buying pubic and automotive press.
  • The Bronco II was introduced in March 1983 as a 1984 model.

The smaller brother to the Bronco, the Bronco II was built from 1984 through 1990. As the Bronco was based on the F-Series frame, the Bronco II was based on the Ranger platform and both were manufactured at the Louisville, KY plant. The vehicle came with four V-6 engine options.

While first introduced with the 1984 Bronco II, the 1985 Bronco was the first to feature the Eddie Bauer trim package. Advertising touted the rugged toughness of the Bronco and Eddie Bauer gear. The distinctive Tu-Tone paint treatment and accent stripes were easy to spot! After 1990, the Bronco II was discontinued as the new Ford Explorer was introduced in that segment.

The 1987 to 1991 generation Bronco received an aerodynamically redesigned front end and a variety of modernized features. This generation saw the introduction of electronic fuel injection, rear anti-lock brakes and, after 1988 two 5-speed manual transmissions.

A few of the custom trim packages are worth noting. The special 25th anniversary edition offered a special Currant Red color and charcoal leather seating. For the Nite edition, the top and body were painted Raven Black and all the body trim was blacked out. A body side tape stripe ran the length of the body and was only available in Aegean Blue and Azalea Pink.

The final generation of the Bronco was between 1992 and 1996 and was the last lap for the venerable two door off-road utility vehicle. The changes to the body and styling were minimal but the vehicle was enhanced with a number of safety and utility features.

  1. Ford advertised the 1992 Bronco as the “Smartest Bronco ever.” This generation was the first to feature driver’s side airbags, three point seat belt systems and, by 1994, an air conditioning system that used a refrigerant that was free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s).
  2. The Eddie Bauer and Nite editions were continued with this generation.

If the 1979 Bronco had a notable passenger when Pope John Paul II used it as his PopeMobile, a 1993 Bronco had one of the more notorious passengers ever, O.J. Simpson. When asked to turn himself in as a suspect in the death of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, O.J.

instead fled the police. After eluding authorities for most of the day on Friday, July 17, he was spotted late in the day by the police near I-5 in Orange County as a passenger in Al Cowling’s white 1993 Bronco. The resulting two-hour slow speed chase around the city was televised around the world with an estimated 95 million viewers.A.C.

had purchased a white 1996 Bronco to match O.J.’s own white Bronco that was later confiscated as evidence. Al Cowlings and O.J. eventually pulled into O.J.’s Brentwood driveway where both gave themselves up to authorities. The last Bronco rolled off the assembly line on June 12, 1996 at the Michigan Truck Plant.

  1. The taste of the American consumers was changing, and the stalwart two-door sport utility vehicle was being replaced in the Ford lineup by the four-door Expedition.
  2. During its 31-year run, 1,148,926 Broncos were built, but even more important than the number, the Bronco became ingrained in the imagination of the public.

From enthusiast clubs in Iceland (where a large number of the 1st generation Broncos were sold,) to off-road groups across the US, to numerous appearances in movies and songs, the Bronco became a cult classic. Some Broncos were painstakingly restored to their original condition while others were modified like “Big Oly” had been 50 years before.
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Is the Bronco bigger than the Cherokee?

While the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and the Jeep Cherokee have comparable interiors, the Bronco Sport outperforms in headroom and front legroom by several inches. The biggest disparity between the two models, though, is in their cargo space.
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How old is the oldest Ford Bronco?

1st Generation Bronco ( 1966 – 1977 ) The Original Ford® All-Purpose Vehicle | Ford® Bronco History.
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How much does a 70s Bronco cost?

First-Generation Ford Bronco, 1966-1977 – As you may have suspected, first-generation Broncos are the originals that everyone wants, built on a chassis not shared with any other Ford vehicle. Aside from engine specification, the original Bronco didn’t undergo a whole lot of changes from inception to the final 1977 model year.

Because they tend to be the most desirable, they also boast the highest values of the classic Broncos today. Hagerty lists average values for the first 1966 model year as $35,900 for the enclosed wagon body style, $28,500 for the pickup, and $34,200 for the open-top roadster. Broncos from the first year originally came with a 300-cubic-inch inline-six; no other engine was offered.

In 1967, a 289-cubic-inch V-8 engine became optionally available, and with more power, the price goes up. The 289-equipped Bronco wagon is worth an average of $38,100, says Hagerty, while Bronco pickups average $33,900, and the Bronco roadsters average $36,500.
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Which Bronco engine is best?

Here’s some potential bad news for reservation holders (and owners) of 2021 Ford Broncos equipped with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 engine. A thread on Bronco6G documents numerous failures allegedly traced to issues with the valvetrain, resulting in dead motors.
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Why are Broncos so rare?

The Rarity – Although Ford mass-produced the first-generation Bronco for 11 years, the overall production numbers weren’t that high, at least compared to modern car industry standards. During that span, Ford produced exactly 207,347 examples of the first-generation Bronco. What Year Was The First Ford Bronco Those modest production numbers, rust issues, and the harsh life that most of those Broncos led are primary reasons why the first generation is rare nowadays and so sought-after by collectors. It’s hard to tell how many survived, but the number of genuine and original examples is extremely low. Most were crudely modified, crashed, used and abused, and then sent to the junkyards.
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Is a 2 door Bronco better than a 4 door?

The 2-Door Bronco is Less Money – The 2-door Ford Bronco has a base price of $30,800 — which is very reasonable when compared to its competition. The 4-door model costs about $5,000 more, which is a 15 percent pricing premium before adding popular trims or options.
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How much was the Bronco when it first came out?

In 1966, Ford offered 3 body types, including a two-door wagon and half-cab pickup, and open-body roadster. At its $2,194 base price, the Bronco sold approximately 24,000 vehicles the first year.
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How much do dealers mark up Bronco?

Get a Bronco Cheaper Ford is crediting some buyers the price difference between the 2022 and 2021 models. However, the final selling price on the lot is set by Ford dealers, which has led to price markups of more than $40,000 at dealer auctions, according to Chris McMahon, owner of McMahon Ford in Norwalk, Connecticut.
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What are the 3 Bronco models?

2022 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport – Bill Brown Ford is here to help you choose which Bronco model is right for your lifestyle by breaking down the differences between available trim levels and packages to help get you just what you want out of your next adventure! Six trim levels are available for the Ford Bronco in the 2022 lineup: Base, Big Bend™, Black Diamond™, Outer Banks™, Badlands™, and Wildtrak™. Big Bend Ford designed the Big Bend to have additional comfort features, including a power inverter, heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a remote starter, and aluminum wheels. Black Diamond The Black Diamond trim comes standard with heavy-duty skid plates, standard rear locking differentials, rock rails, and steel front and rear bumpers. Two packages are available for this trim: Mid and Sasquatch. Ford has designed a washout interior and marine-grade vinyl seats for easy post-wheeling cleanup. Outer Banks With three package options, the High, Sasquatch, and Lux, the Outer Banks trim level is equipped with features that give it an advanced off-road style. It has signature tail-lamps and LED headlamps, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, powder-coated tube steps, and body-color fender flares. Badlands Next to the Black Diamond, this is the most capable trim. It has front and rear locking differentials, Bilstein position-sensitive monotube shocks, and a stabilizer bar disconnect. The tires are also designed for all kinds of terrain and package options include High, Sasquatch, Mid, and Lux. Wildtrak The Wildtrack trim features a V6 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged engine, 35-inch tires, and Bilstein position-sensitive monotube shocks allowing drivers to conquer any terrain. Both Lux and High packages are available on this trim. The Bronco Sports durable build and standard 4×4 capability, G.O.A.T. modes, HOSS suspension, and easy-to-clean surfaces allow drivers to take on the toughest adventures. Base The Base model has five G.O.A.T modes in its terrain management system with a safari-style roof to equip it for all kinds of adventures—Including 7.8″ of ground clearance and SYNC® 3 with an 8″ LCD touchscreen. Big Bend To accommodate the outdoor, Big Bend has red floodlights, zipper pockets with a MOLLE strap system, SecuriCode keyless-entry keypad, a rear view camera with Washer, and an easy to clean rubberized cargo floor. Outer Banks The Outer Banks has a stylish interior and exterior. The interior is leather-trimmed, while the body flaunts a black shadow roof, a bold black grille, and 18-inch machined-face aluminum ebony black-painted wheels. Badlands The Bronco Sport Badlands is designed ped for ff-road performance and rugged terrain. This trim features an advanced 4×4 with the twin-clutch rear-drive, rear differential lock, metal bash plates, and advanced four-by-four Trail Control. To find the all-new Bronco that’s best for you, contact Bill Brown Ford to speak with one of our professional sales representatives today! : Compare Ford Bronco Trim Levels and Packages | Bill Brown Ford | Livonia, Michigan
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What year did Ford stop making Bronco?

On August 11, 1965, Don Frey, the Ford Motor Company Vice President and Ford Division General Manager introduced the Ford Bronco by noting the company had added another pony to the stable to join its big brother, the Mustang. The Ford Bronco became the first automobile called out specifically as a “Sports-Utility Vehicle,” and an American classic was born.

  • Why and how did Ford develop the Bronco? For that story, we need to return to World War II.
  • In addition to its other war-time production, Ford was one of three companies which worked to develop the Jeep.
  • During the war, Ford produced more than 250,00 Jeeps and were renowned for their quality.
  • After the war, surplus Jeeps were the choice of returning veterans and outdoor enthusiasts.

However, with the improving highway system and demand for a more comfortable driving environment, even on the trails, Ford saw the chance to design and develop a best of class utility vehicle that could also serve as a sports vehicle. We already had experience building the Jeep, and during the late 1950s and early 1960s Ford designed and built the MUTT, a troop utility vehicle.

In 1962, Ford began to extensively survey Jeep and International Harvester Scout owners to see what they liked and disliked about their vehicles. These findings were summarized in an internal memo on July 11, 1963 noting that both vehicles had “poor comfort, ride, noise and vibration qualities” and that the size and power of both were also unsatisfactory.

These findings, indicating a gap in the market, went to the Product Planning Committee on October, 23, 1963 with the recommendation for “funds for further development of a Ford utility vehicle, code named Bronco.” A fascinating memo a week later had the subject line “1966 G.O.A.T” as it heading.

The G.O.A.T. terminology was indicative of the desire to develop a Goes Over All Terrain vehicle while the document itself describes the drivability of the car. The earliest sketches for the Bronco, dated July 24, 1963 were developed by designer McKinley Thompson, and show the now familiar box shaped vehicle with the recognizable round headlights and two door layout.

The one jarring feature of the early design documents was the placement of the spare tire inside the vehicle’s rear storage space! McKinley Thompson, was part of the larger team working on the Bronco, but stands out because he was the first African American automobile designer working for Ford.

  • The vehicle underwent constant revisions over the next year as its features were molded, so as Don Frey described it was “neither a conventional car nor a truck, but as a vehicle which combines the best of both worlds.
  • It can serve as a family sedan, as sports roadster, as snow plow, or as a farm or civil defense vehicle.

It has been designed to go nearly anywhere and do nearly anything.” Initially, the Bronco was offered in three body styles, the Roadster (open air model,) Sports Utility (with pickup bed,) and Wagon (two doors, tailgate, full top.) The Roadster was the most basic and least expensive of the three with doors and roof as options! The Sports Utility featured a short top, seating for two or three with a bench seat and a pickup style bed.

Over time, the Sports Utility was known as the “half-cab.” The most popular model was the Wagon with a full-length hardtop roof and seating for up to five people with rear bench seat. While there were a tremendous number of optional packages, all three models came with standard four-wheel drive, a 3-speed manual transmission, and a 105 horsepower 170-cubic inch six cylinder engine.

On March 2, 1966, the 289-V-8 was offered as an upgrade and the Bronco’s horsepower and torque rating increased to the top of the sports-utility field. While those were the basic specifications, Don Frey also signaled the available customization of the vehicle by noting “like its older brother, the Mustang, it will be offered with a wide range of options and accessories that will permit it to be the many things to many people.” The accessory catalogs for the first-generation Broncos reads like an outdoorsman’s dream with equipment like snowplows, front mounted winch, tow hooks, locking hubs, power take off and even two-way radios.

The early advertising for Bronco reflect its outdoor use, and the customization and accessorizing of the vehicle. In essence, the Bronco became a palette that each owner could, and did, modify for their lifestyle. In its basic configuration, the Bronco was as comfortable on the highway as the trailhead, but with some modification, could win at Baja.

The Bronco was an immediate favorite for outdoor off-road racing. Bill Stroppe was given a Bronco before its public release and prepared it for competition. That six-cylinder Bronco was the overall winner at the 1967 Riverside Four-Wheel Drive Grand Prix.

  • The Stroppe Broncos also racked up victories in 1968 at Riverside, the Mint 400, and Baja 1000, where Larry Minor and Jack Bayer drove a stock Bronco to victory in its class.
  • In 1969 Minor and Rod Hall took the class and overall victory as their Bronco was the first vehicle of any kind to cross the finish line setting a new record.
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The off-road racing scene also attracted a number of celebrities who wanted to try their hand at racing Broncos. Actor James Garner and band leader Ray Coniff were just two who joined the Ford team. Possibly the most famous driver was Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, who joined the Stroppe team as a driver.

  1. Their modified 1970 “Big Oly” Bronco soon became the talk of the Bronco community and is still arguably one of the best known off-road racing vehicles of all time.
  2. Winner of the 1971 and 1972 Mexican 1000 Race, the Parnelli Jones Bill Stroppe driving partnership cemented the legends of both men.
  3. While upgrades were made to the Bronco after its introduction in 1966, the vehicle remained essentially unchanged until 1973.

That year the long awaited power steering and automatic transmission were introduced as part of a “Bronco Revolution.” When the 302 V-8 was selected buyers were able to choose the SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed transmission. Additionally, a new 200-cubic inch six replaced the 170-cubic inch six that had been standard since the introduction.

Even with the upgrades, the first generation Bronco was reaching the end of its viability. Initially slated for introduction during the 1974 model year, the redesign (codenamed Shorthorn) was delayed because of the 1973/74 oil embargo and resulting economic downturn. The 1978 Bronco was entirely redesigned to offer the 4×4 market a tremendous off-road vehicle with equal highway performance.

The new Bronco was based on the F-Series platform, which increased the length and width of the vehicle, offering a smoother ride and more passenger comfort. The 1978 model offered two V-8 engines and for the first time did not have a V-6 option. The interior of the new 1978 model was completely redone as well, offering more space and more comfortable buckets seats in the front and, with a new recessed footwell, much more leg room for the passengers in the rear seats.

The new model also had two first time features, air conditioning and AM/FM radios were offered as options. One popular carryover option was the recognizable swing-away tire carrier. The redesigned Bronco was a sales hit with more than 180,000 sold the first two years. Three of those 180,000 second generation Broncos underwent quite a transformation.

The Broncos were to be modified for use by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the United States between October 1 and October 7, 1979. The Bronco “Pope Mobiles” were open in the back so he could stand and be seen. The exteriors were painted Wimbledon White while the interior was done in Wedgewood blue.

  • After the modifications were complete, the three Broncos were turned over to the US Secret Service for their special passenger.
  • The 1980 to 1986 generation Bronco became smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic and fuel efficient.
  • The Bronco was based on the shorter F-150 platform and featured both V-6 and V-8 engines.

The timing for the new generation was providential as the second oil crisis had seen gas prices climbing astronomically. Additionally, this generation Bronco was the first to offer independent front suspension replacing the monobeam front end. Work on the independent front suspension for front wheel drive vehicles had been researched since the early 1970s and Ford was awarded a patent on the system in 1976.

  1. The new axel required a frame change, so its implementation was delayed until the 1980 release.
  2. The increased fuel efficiency and new suspension were heavily touted in in advertising and were well received by the buying pubic and automotive press.
  3. The Bronco II was introduced in March 1983 as a 1984 model.

The smaller brother to the Bronco, the Bronco II was built from 1984 through 1990. As the Bronco was based on the F-Series frame, the Bronco II was based on the Ranger platform and both were manufactured at the Louisville, KY plant. The vehicle came with four V-6 engine options.

  1. While first introduced with the 1984 Bronco II, the 1985 Bronco was the first to feature the Eddie Bauer trim package.
  2. Advertising touted the rugged toughness of the Bronco and Eddie Bauer gear.
  3. The distinctive Tu-Tone paint treatment and accent stripes were easy to spot! After 1990, the Bronco II was discontinued as the new Ford Explorer was introduced in that segment.

The 1987 to 1991 generation Bronco received an aerodynamically redesigned front end and a variety of modernized features. This generation saw the introduction of electronic fuel injection, rear anti-lock brakes and, after 1988 two 5-speed manual transmissions.

  1. A few of the custom trim packages are worth noting.
  2. The special 25th anniversary edition offered a special Currant Red color and charcoal leather seating.
  3. For the Nite edition, the top and body were painted Raven Black and all the body trim was blacked out.
  4. A body side tape stripe ran the length of the body and was only available in Aegean Blue and Azalea Pink.

The final generation of the Bronco was between 1992 and 1996 and was the last lap for the venerable two door off-road utility vehicle. The changes to the body and styling were minimal but the vehicle was enhanced with a number of safety and utility features.

Ford advertised the 1992 Bronco as the “Smartest Bronco ever.” This generation was the first to feature driver’s side airbags, three point seat belt systems and, by 1994, an air conditioning system that used a refrigerant that was free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). The Eddie Bauer and Nite editions were continued with this generation.

If the 1979 Bronco had a notable passenger when Pope John Paul II used it as his PopeMobile, a 1993 Bronco had one of the more notorious passengers ever, O.J. Simpson. When asked to turn himself in as a suspect in the death of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, O.J.

  • Instead fled the police.
  • After eluding authorities for most of the day on Friday, July 17, he was spotted late in the day by the police near I-5 in Orange County as a passenger in Al Cowling’s white 1993 Bronco.
  • The resulting two-hour slow speed chase around the city was televised around the world with an estimated 95 million viewers.A.C.

had purchased a white 1996 Bronco to match O.J.’s own white Bronco that was later confiscated as evidence. Al Cowlings and O.J. eventually pulled into O.J.’s Brentwood driveway where both gave themselves up to authorities. The last Bronco rolled off the assembly line on June 12, 1996 at the Michigan Truck Plant.

  1. The taste of the American consumers was changing, and the stalwart two-door sport utility vehicle was being replaced in the Ford lineup by the four-door Expedition.
  2. During its 31-year run, 1,148,926 Broncos were built, but even more important than the number, the Bronco became ingrained in the imagination of the public.

From enthusiast clubs in Iceland (where a large number of the 1st generation Broncos were sold,) to off-road groups across the US, to numerous appearances in movies and songs, the Bronco became a cult classic. Some Broncos were painstakingly restored to their original condition while others were modified like “Big Oly” had been 50 years before.
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Why did Ford discontinue the Bronco?

The Ford Bronco has seen its share of notoriety over 30 years, and now that it’s been brought back, why did Ford discontinue making the original Bronco? For years, the Bronco was an integral part of the Ford lineup, and America seemed to love every aspect of it.

Spanning five generations of happy customers, the company decided to pull the plug on the original Bronco quite suddenly in 1996, even though it had been a best seller for them. And now that the new Bronco is out and more popular than ever, you wonder what the deal was with the original. Did a particular football player driving a white Bronco to happen to have any effect? Was Ford so upset that their SUV would be linked to one of the century’s most notorious crimes that they just scrapped the vehicle to avoid bad press? Or were there other issues going on? What factors were in play in 1996 that would have convinced Ford to abandon this iconic landmark? Ford decided to discontinue production of the Ford Bronco due to America’s love affair with larger and more comfortable SUVs.

Sensing a growing demand of families for third-row SUVs, Ford replaced the smaller Bronco with the Expedition and their most extensive offering – the Excursion. The new Bronco is more popular than ever, with Ford announcing that it has stopped taking orders and would continue production requests for the 2023 model sometime later this year.

  1. The company underestimated the demand for this new Bronco, and many Ford enthusiasts will tell you that they should never have stopped making the original in the first place.
  2. What was the reason Ford made the momentous decision to stop production? We’ve scoured the net, sales charts, and Ford forums from days gone by to see if we can separate fact from rumor.

More than likely, Ford simply found itself at a crossroads with its large 2 door workhorse and felt it wasn’t worth morphing the nameplate into an entirely new beast.
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