“Oh great,” I muttered to myself, browsing Twitter. “Somebody stretched the face of a Super Duty over a classic Bronco in Photoshop and posted it for instant virality and indigestion.” You see enough works of fiction like this and you really begin to tire of the culture around car renders. The “what if?” game gets old surprisingly fast.
Except this time-crossed Bronco was no fake. I quickly learned it was real. And not just real, but due to be auctioned in January via Mecum in Kissimmee, Florida. The listing goes into some detail, but regrettably not as much as you’d hope for:
Featured extensively on social media and shown in a builder build-off for Goodguys, this Bronco combines the classic styling cues of the second generation with a modern Ford truck. Built over the course of two years, it’s powered by a new Coyote V-8 from Ford Motorsports and a new 6-speed automatic transmission from Ford.
While we’re told this 1978 Bronco was built for a Goodguys Rod & Custom show, the page doesn’t tell us who was behind it. Turns out this is the handiwork of Vintage Iron & Restoration of Scottsdale, Arizona, which combined the front fascia, headlights, taillights and wheels from an F-250 with the frame and body of the Bronco. The interior is fully upgraded with a new dash and the unmistakable Kingsville and Java leather seats out of a King Ranch.
The result is a stunning, almost seamless combination of past and present. If Ford never stopped making the Bronco and kept it as an F-Series derivative, it’d probably look something like this today.
Vintage’s work is as comprehensive as it gets. This Bronco has a five-liter Coyote crate engine, six-speed auto and Wilwood disc brakes all around. The King Ranch badging low on the doors and tailgate lend the cherry on top that make it all feel official.
As much as it hurts my brain to look at something simultaneously so old and so new, I have to commend Vintage on the fit and finish. I was convinced this was a weird, one-off Ford skunkworks project the Blue Oval was afraid to put its name on for some reason, and am so impressed it’s in fact the work of an independent shop. It really seems like no detail was spared. Even the Bronco’s signature sculpted indentation running the length of the body meets the taillights perfectly, and the F-250 face fits snugly into the old SUV’s packaging.
Mecum estimates this truck will go for between $160,000 and $175,000 when it hits the block. Interestingly, it last sold not very long ago at Mecum in Glendale, Arizona in March of this past year.