Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ford Bronco puts the 'can' in American, but will its price put the 'dumb' in freedom?

Lets' talk a minute about the one bad thing about America, okay? I'm talking of course about our cheese. Have you tasted American cheese? It's like someone thought that delicious cheese flavor was the devil's playground and so we should only eat this bland crap that makes grilled cheese sammies (which are the best grilled sammies) taste like greasy old text books. Blech! Aside from that - and obviously, Florida - I think this great nation rocks out with its... well, let's just say I like it here.

Thankfully not in Florida, and hence not weird but pretty damn cool, comes this 1986 Ford Bronco, tarted up as only Eddie Bauer can. The Bronco, as you know, started life as a spare and capable Jeep CJ competitor. Those early trucks are now hotly sought-after, and today command astronomical prices in comparison to their parsimonious kit.

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In the late-seventies, Ford re-aligned the Bronco as a short-wheelbase two-door wagon version of their hugely successful F-series pickup. These models shifted from competing directly with the CJ and instead targeted Chevy's almost identically proportioned Blazer. These models today do not hold the cachet of their earlier brethren, however they did carryover one of the earlier version's best features: vent wings!

This 1986 Bronco is the second generation of the truck's F-series based run, sharing that truck's newly downsized platform, and carrying a body style that, with a few tweaks here and there, and a couple of new noses, would run for another decade.

The truck is also an Eddie Bauer edition. You might remember Eddie, he was Jack's younger, less violent brother, and he has dressed Ford Trucks for decades. That usually means some fancy two-tone paint, and sure enough, this 141,000 mile Bronco sports a brown over beige rocker color scheme.

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That paint is a pretty recent addition, and the ad offers some shots of the work in progress. I especially like the use of what looks to be Christmas wrapping used as a masking medium. That's an awesome idea. The seller says that the car comes from Southern Indiana and only had minor rust which was all ground down and POR15'd before the respray.

Underneath the shiny new coat there lies what's said to be a rebuilt EFI 302 engine, which the seller says makes 180-bhp. Of course what you want in a truck like this is torque, and I'll bet it makes enough of that to get out of its own way.

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Helping you use whatever the engine makes is an auto box (to help you shoot commies on the run according to the ad) and a two-speed transfer case for the 4wd. A butt-load of new parts adds to this truck's bonafides, while inside a CB radio and Stars and Stripes headliner make it a place to exhibit your pent up patriotism. The rest of the interior seems well-used and not overly worn, and thankfully appears to be 100% O.J. Simpson-free.

What's not to love here? Well, the steering box has apparently given up the ghost. The seller has a new one, but lacks the tools to replace it owing to a recent move. I'm guessing that with the proper tools, that's a three-beer Saturday morning and a trip to the alignment shop job.

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The steering issue is the reason the seller has dropped his price by a grand, to where it now sits at $3,500. What I'd now like to know is your opinion on this truck at that price. Do you think this Bauer'd Bronco could command that kind of scratch? Or, for that much, is this just so much American cheese?

You decide!

Grand Rapids Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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