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 the wrong reasons by O. J. Simpson in 1994. In more recent years Ford announced that the Bronco would be returning in 2020, this 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 1975 Ford Bronco Custom Shown Here
The Bronco you see here has been comprehensively rebuilt to ensure it’ll have no problem at all keeping up with modern traffic. The most significant upgrade is the fitment of a Ford 302 cubic inch V8 under the hood with an MSD ignition, Edelbrock heads, an Edelbrock manifold, and a custom stainless exhaust.
Power is sent back to a 3-speed manual transmission with a Hurst shifter, and the Bronco rides on American Racing-style alloy wheels with Warn locking hubs, shod with Pro Comp All Terrain tires. The wheel arches have flares fitted, albeit subtle ones, in order to keep the wider-than-stock tires covered.
There are twin bucket seats up front, with a wood-rimmed steering wheel, with a diameter that tells you that the Bronco has power-steering fitted. The original speedometer has been replaced with a modern digital gauge that displays voltage, fuel remaining, oil pressure, and coolant temperature along with the speedometer and tachometer. A “Tuffy” center console is fitted, and equipped with a CD player with an iPhone connector, while the dashboard retains the original controls and Ford radio/cassette player.
RM Sotheby’s will be offering the Bronco as part of the Dingman Collection on the weekend of the 23rd of June with an estimated value of between $40,000 and $70,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
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