The Ford Bronco Half Cab was a rare version off the iconic 4×4, just 2602 were built in 1967, as the overwhelming majority of buyers opted for the slightly more practical wagon body style. Officially called the Bronco Sport Utility Pickup, the motoring public quickly nicknamed it the “Half Cab”, and today this is the name that’s almost universally used.
The Story of the First Generation Ford Bronco
The concept of the Ford Bronco was developed by the same two men who came up with the idea for the Mustang and subsequently created the pony car genre, forever transforming the American sports car market.
The men were Ford product manager Donald N. Frey and Lee Iacocca, and in the 1960s they were likely the two most important men working at Ford, and certainly two of the most influential in the American motor industry. They developed the Ford Bronco concept to compete with the International Harvester Scout, Jeep CJ, and the Land Rovers coming out of Britain.
The engineering was kept simple, front and rear axles were borrowed from the F-100, as well as the brakes. A simple box-section ladder chassis was developed with a 92 inch wheelbase – offering excellent manoeuvrability off-road.
The first engine offered was the reliable 170 cubic inch straight-6 with solid valve lifters, a heavy duty oil pump, and a carburettor with a float bowl designed to tolerate tilting.
The body design was kept simple, with not much consideration given to aerodynamics. The windscreen is a flat pane of glass and both door skins are identical – with the exception of the location drilled for handles and hinges.
The first generation Bronco was built between 1966 and 1977, and over the course of its life additional engine options were added to offer more power. Starting with the original 170 straight-6, the 200 straight-6 was next, followed by a 289 V8 and a 302 V8 – the latter of which offered 205 hp – which was probably slightly more than was wise considering the suspension and brakes on offer.
Ford built second, third, fourth, and fifth generation Broncos – the fifth generation was made famous for all there wrong reasons by O. J. Simpson in 1994. In more recent years Ford announced that the Bronco would be returning in 2020, this new immediately set the automotive world alight with speculation – with many hoping it would be a return to the simpler styling of the first generation Bronco, following in the footsteps of the retro-futuristic Mustang released in 2005.
The 1969 Ford Bronco Half Cab Shown Here
The Bronco you see here is one of just 42 built in 1969 in this color combination and it was sold new at Jess Hunter Motor Company in Pueblo, Colorado. As it was built in late ’69 it benefits from the switch to electric windshield wipers, and it’s still fitted with its original 3-speed manual transmission.
After being comprehensively restored in 2008 including a rebuilt 302 V8, the Bronco now wears a fresh coat of its original Code-A Raven Black paint (confirmed by an accompanying Marti Report), it also benefits from a James Duff floor shift conversion, sport version Mustang Pony interior upholstery with a matching center console, a dual exhaust, Warn locking hubs, dog dish hubcaps, and a new OE style AM/FM radio with Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity.
If you’d like to read more about the Bronco or register to bid, you can click here to visit its listing with Mecum.