Ford may have lost out to Willys for the design of the WWII Jeep, but as today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bronco attests they eventually could compete with its civilian stepchildren. With a new Bronco likely delayed, let’s look at what this old-school edition could conceivably cost.
Yesterday’s 2014 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Coupé R-spec may not have been the most handsome of cars. And admittedly, the badge Hyundai applied to its grille did look embarrassingly like a cartoon June Bug. The thing of it is, all that was countered by some aggressive-looking Brembo clampers and a drivetrain oriented for track-antic fun. That yin and yang made for an overall positive package. Throw in a $16,800 asking price and you had a 54 percent Nice Price win to start your week.
Let’s see if we can keep the good times rolling with this 1966 Ford Bronco. That should be pretty easy since the first-generation Ford Bronco is a pretty hot ticket these days. Maybe not as much so as about four years ago, but that’s owed to the entire collector car market having taken a collective dump. Still, these continue to find a reasonably solid market.
This one comes with little in the way of description and absolutely no interior shots in its ad. For all we know, there could be a wormhole to a whole other dimension waiting in there.
What we do know from the ad is that the truck’s 170 CID six has gained a rebuilt head. According to the seller, that was done to allow it to run on today’s caustic alcohol-rich fuels, and likely means it now sports hardened valve seat inserts and maybe some other updates.
It looks pretty nice in the capacious engine compartment, what with its gleaming coat of Ford Blue. These are remarkably stout and low-stressed engines with a rep for longevity so that preventative measure should keep the OHV straight-six ticking over for decades to come.
Of course, that low-stress means there’s only 105 (gross!) horsepower at hand here. That’s dealt to the part-time four-wheel-drive system through a column-shifted three-speed manual and two-speed transfer case. The front hubs are manually locking, requiring getting out and twisting the dial on each wheel center like the cavemen once did.
The Bronco was Ford’s take on the iconic Jeep CJ and seeing as Ford was tasked in WWII with providing expanded production capacity to the Willys truck, it’s surprising that it took the company until 1966 to enter that market. Like the Jeep, the Bronco was a short wheelbase (92 inches) two-door with a removable roof. The Bronco proved a little more modern than the Willys with a full envelope body and a whole lot of Falcon bits—like that drivetrain—underneath.
This one looks to be in decent shape, although it’s unlikely to be picked first at the dance owing to a kind of tired appearance. The seller claims it to be solid under the dull paint and the here-and-there dings. All the glass looks to be intact and the chrome on both the front and rear bumpers appears to be newly minted. Fender flares add both width and visual interest and bracket newish-looking Bridgestone knobbies on aftermarket deep-dish wheels.
The truck is claimed to be a “solid” SUV and comes with a clear title. No mileage is given but on something this old and dirt-simple who carries what it has done? Other issues here include an apparent AWOL door lock on the passenger side, absent badging on both sides, and that mystery interior. Keep all that in mind when we get to the price tag.
There’s a current renaissance in the small off-roader world. Jeep recently introduced its latest vision of the classic CJ/Wrangler style, while Land Rover has given us a new Defender that’s… well, it’s pretty cool, but absolutely nothing like its hair shirt progenitor.
Ford too is feeling nostalgic and is bringing back the Bronco in a big way. There will be two models, a Bronco and a smaller Bronco Sport (why they didn’t call it the Bronco II I’ll never know), and I guarantee you that neither of those will be a visceral or basic as this OG edition. In this Bronco you’ll likely hear every gear spin, feel every bump and breeze, and will still be buzzing a half-hour after every ride. Yeah, it’s not for everybody.
For those hearty souls who find appeal in the raw-edged nature of an old truck, this might just be the ticket. At $15,000, we’ll have to decide just how good a deal that basic nature might be.
What do you think, is this Bronco worth that $15,000 asking? Or, is this a throwback that has a price that makes you want to throw up?
H/T to Don H. for the hookup!
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