This 1976 Ford Bronco belonged to Formula 1 racing legend Gilles Villeneuve, it was reportedly prepared by him for serious off-road use and it’s been in storage for decades – remaining untouched as it was in when he passed away in 1982.
Villeneuve was a remarkably talented racing driver and possibly the only person to ever win a snowmobile world championship and move up into F1, where he raced at the highest levels of the sport for both McLaren and Ferrari.
Fast Facts – The Gilles Villeneuve Ford Bronco
- Gilles Villeneuve remains one of the most beloved drivers to ever compete in Formula 1. His ragged-edge driving style and natural talent saw him race for McLaren and then Ferrari, for whom he won six races and nearly took the Drivers’ Championship in 1979.
- Villeneuve was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. He was fascinated with racing and vehicles from a very young age. He started his professional career in snowmobile racing before moving up into single seat racing, and then into Formula 1.
- A tragic accident at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix resulted in Villeneuve’s death at the age of just 32. As a result he would never win the Formula 1 World Championship, however 15 years later in 1997 his son Jacques Villeneuve would win the Championship to widespread acclaim.
- This 1976 Ford Bronco was purchased new by Gilles Villeneuve and then prepared by him to a high level. It’s been in storage since his death, and it’s now being sold requiring a restoration.
The Great Gilles Villeneuve
Gilles Villeneuve was born on the 18th of January 1950 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada to piano-tuner Seville and his wife Georgette Villeneuve. He took to motor vehicles from a young age, as a teen he used to drag race his modified 1967 Ford Mustang before entering the world of Formula Ford racing and winning 7 of his first 10 races.
Above Video: This is the film Ferrari made to remember Gilles Villeneuve in 2021. It shows Ferrari team members from the era discussing Villeneuve and his legacy.
Villeneuve’s professional career was a whirlwind after this, he moved up to compete in Formula Atlantic after his successes in Formula Ford. He won his first Formula Atlantic race in 1975, then won every race but one in 1976 to win both the Canadian and American Championships, then he won the Canadian Championship again in 1977 for good measure.
During the early-to-mid 1970s Villeneuve had actually made most of his money competing in snowmobile racing, a wildly popular sport in Canada. He went on to win the prestigious World Championship Snowmobile Derby in 1974.
Villeneuve’s life would forever change in 1976 when he was invited to take part in a Formula Atlantic race against Formula 1 driver James Hunt and a number of other F1 luminaries. He shocked the field by beating them all, McLaren was so impressed with him that they hired him as their third driver for five races in the 1977 season.
He would move to Ferrari for the last two races of 1977, having been hired by Enzo Ferrari personally due to the fact that he reminded him of pre-WWII racing legend Tazio Nuvolari.
Villeneuve later said “If someone said to me that you can have three wishes, my first would have been to get into racing, my second to be in Formula 1, my third to drive for Ferrari.”
He would remain at Ferrari for five years, until his death at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Today he’s remembered as one of the most talented and daring drivers of the era, and he remains a favorite among the tifosi.
The Ex-Gilles Villeneuve Bronco Shown Here
This 1976 Ford Bronco was bought new by Gilles Villeneuve and kept by him for the rest of his life, spanning his entire career in Formula 1. This vehicle is said to have been used by him in Monaco and the Alps and the listing states that it was prepared by him – it has a well-thought out list of modifications.
Among these upgrades is a wide body kit, dual fuel tanks, a modified 5.0 liter V8, a Doug Nash 4-speed gearbox, a Hurst Competition shifter, Recaro buckets, white steel wheels, extra wide Mickey Thomspon tires, a front-mounted winch, a rallye-style steering wheel, and a steering column-mounted tachometer.
This unusual Bronco is due to be offered for sale by Aguttes on the 14th of December with a price guide of €80,000 – €120,000 which works out to approximately $83,000 – $124,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Aguttes
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