This Bronco's Patina Hides a Lot of Crazy Secrets

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

This first-year Ford Bronco has lived a good long life full of dents, scratches, and maintenance. It served its time, it earned its scars, and it remained intact many years after many of its kin went extinct. And now, thanks to Icon 4x4, the early Bronco is going to live a second life as one of Jonathan Ward’s weird and wild “Derelict” models.

Icon already has their BR series of gorgeously restored and classically updated Broncos. This example has received the same mechanical upgrades, including the same modern 5.0-liter Ford V8 crate engine, the same transmission, suspension, axle, and brake upgrades, and on and on. The difference with this Bronco, however, is that it retains all its original patina. This is a special piece.

The fact that the original owner met his wife in this vehicle, that they used it for decades afterward, and that it’s in the most incredibly patinated state, led Mr. Ward to determine that this body needed to be preserved in situ. The original Bronco is one of the best off-roading body shapes, and Ward’s sympathetic restoration and upgrades process has only proven to exacerbate how good best can be.


This might the best looking street-going Bronco in the world. And it’s even more capable off road than it was when it was new. Take a classic shape, keep its hard-earned scars, and add modern mechanicals to create the greatest thing ever. I’d be scared of rolling the thing over and using my head to punch the ground, but add in a roll bar and it’s damn near perfect.