The Bronco is coming back, but it’s unlikely the new one will be as old school in concept as today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe ’96 is in reality. Could that comforting aesthetic be worth its old school asking?
Volkswagen has applied the Syncro nameplate to a number of different platforms over the years—transverse front-engine, longitudinal front-engine, longitudinal rear-engine—as way to denote each model’s conversion to AWD. In the case of yesterday’s 1988 VW Quantum Syncro, that name could have been Quattro since the car shared its AWD system, and in fact its entire platform, with the Audi 80 Quattro.
Of course, yesterday’s Quantum Quattro (see? Doesn’t that sound better?) had also been lovingly called into road warrior duty with a raised suspension, some cool GTI bits strewn throughout, and a totally bad-ass Radwood cred. Unfortunately, all that seemed out of sync with its $4,000 price, and the car fell in a not so rad 58 percent Crack Pipe loss.
Hey, what’s your preferred Bronco take: old school first-gen Jeep-like, or next-gen O.J. Simpson attempted escape pod? I don’t think you could go wrong choosing either path, but today we’re taking a stroll down the latter.
One of the great factors of the later Bronco models like this 1996 4X4 Eddie Bauer edition is that, unlike the first-gen they seem not to have yet been sprinkled with crazy-price dust by the appreciation fairy. That guy ruined Porsches for people like us, and he’s done the same thing to the crude but capable early Broncos too.
This later one, presenting in black with contrasting beige cap and pin-striping, will prove a lot more comfortable, more capable on the road, and as we’ll see, hells bells cheaper to buy as well.
Yep, I hear you saying, “first-generation Bronco who?”
The seller says that this truck “Runs and drives good!” and sports working A/C, hot heat, and a CD player. A new water pump joins a refreshed alternator, belts and hoses in making the 351 Windsor V8 a solid citizen. That fuel injected mill was factory rated at 205 horsepower and an impressive 328 lb.-ft. of torque.
It’s a fairly big and lazy engine so it should still have most of those ponies hanging around the stable. A four-speed A4OD automatic backs that up and sends power to both axles via a two-speed Borg Warner 1356 transfer case.
The 4X4 system is claimed to work as it should and spins two new tires in the back. Centerline-style steel wheels keep those from rolling away and underpin black plastic wheel arch eyebrows. I’m not sure if those are Ford or aftermarket, but either way they don’t look bad.
The seller says that the truck does suffer from some rust but other than surface pocking here and there the only major spot afflicted seems to limited to the rocker panel just aft of the driver’s door. That patch also seems to extend under the driver’s door.
The ladder frame underneath looks to be solid, however. A dent and some rust in the tail gate are the final visual demerits, as might be the odd aftermarket headlamps if you’re not into such things. Oddly enough, the rear window is a piece of plexiglass that will need to be replaced along with the rusty gate if you want to keep things on the up and up.
The interior looks to be in decent if somewhat worn and grungy shape. A good cleaning and some new seat covers would work wonders in here. The truck features a column shift but the bucket seats and wide center storage console mean it’s exclusively two-up in front. One assumes there’s a bench in back but we don’t get to see it.
The house of Windsor is another place on this truck that could stand a good once-over. The engine bay is dirty and, again, shows surface rust in places. Nothing seems terribly out of place nor are there any missing pieces made evident by their absence. The truck has done a remarkable 215,000 miles and comes with a clear title.
Rust is something that scares off a lot of buyers, but is a factor of most cars for a huge swath of the country’s car buyers. This Bronco lives in Ohio and you can bet that its honored place along the salt belt means that car buyers there just take for granted that they’ll have to deal with a little road rot on any used vehicle, and probably most Tinder dates.
The fact that this truck has some issues means its price isn’t in the stratosphere. It’s also, as noted in its ad, seemingly not too far gone to fix. At a $3,200 asking, it’s now incumbent upon you to determine if someone should accept that challenge.
What do you think, is this battle scared Bronco worth that $3,200 asking? Or, for that much, would you want a horse of a different color?
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