Will The Bronco Return?

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By Mark Weisseg

The Bronco’s of this era are making a big comeback. Sure back in the day we thought of them as a small box on wheels. Most had the straight six cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. Bucket seats in the front and a very hard rear bench seat.
These were the days when you wanted your four wheel drive to work you had to do the following. Get out of the vehicle, go to each front wheel and turn the hubs as we called them and return to the cab. Now, turning the hubs meant you turned a small red lever about a half of turn. Lots of fun in the rain, cold, or snow of course. Upon returning to the cab there was another gear shift lever on the floor that you had to activate by pushing into a gear. They had a low or granny gear, a regular gear, and a high gear set up. So if you had a winch you could hook onto that stump and once in granny gear slowly pull it out. Or, if you just wanted to drive down the road in four wheel drive you could put that lever in regular four wheel mode and go. Quite the difference today as where you lean over and push a button. Or, some vehicles are always in four wheel drive or AWD as it may be called. These Vehicles were great utility vehicles but if you had to drive six hours to see Grandma you were in for the longest ride of your life. Ford also offered these vehicles with a 302 V8 engine which in most cases were very fast for this very short wheel base.

As the years wore on the Bronco got bigger and many more luxury items were added. You could get a Bronco that had all the bells and whistles of any car or truck on the road. Many used them to plow snow, haul a camper or boat, but the Bronco was generally used as a everyday vehicle. Just like the popular Chevrolet Blazer.

Finally, like many things the Bronco wore out its welcome. Competition was the biggest enemy. Then, Ford dropped the name and vehicle and it became a foot note in history. Until now. Now, there are very hard rumors that the Bronco may return in some fashion and in the next year or two. Of course everyone has an opinion as what it should look like and I will bet Ford is paying attention.

The Eco Boost engines today provide great fuel economy while also provides the power the consumer likes in its modern vehicles. But what about the older models like the one in the picture? For years they lingered and nobody really paid any attention to them. Now the heat is on and the old Bronco’s are enjoying a new life as rock climbers, sand buggies, and even more. The guys today have renewed interest in the Bronco and are starting to drop big engines in them, large wheels and tires, and comfortable interiors. The roofs come off now, and some are making it there “Jeep”.

There is nothing more fun than riding in the sun, wind blowing in your hair, and the music cranked up a bit. These older vehicles are now hip again and most of us could not be happier. Heck, believe it or not there is brand loyality. I say that with tongue in cheek because you already know that. Some people will drive only a Ford or only a GM and swear they would rather have jungle fever than be caught dead in the other….

The little Bronco lives again and that is good news. Not many survived from way back as they were used and used hard. They also like everything else back then rusted in the poor climates. But for those that did survive they are loving life again. The new builders are rebuilding the Bronco the way they want to now. They are also in hope Ford Motor company will bring back this model. Let’s face it folks, truck sales are booming. It seems like when you watch any type of sports event on TV nearly every commercial is truck related. My guess is if the Bronco returns it won’t be a truck. Look at the Explorer. It’s on a Taurus frame to give it a car like ride. Of course four wheel drive will be hard too. You may need to lean over and push a button.

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