About the Ford Bronco
The Original Ford Bronco, built from 1966-1977, was an Off-Road Vehicle designed to contend chiefly with Jeep CJ models as well as the International Harvester Scout. The Bronco's compact size, operating on a 92-inch wheelbase got it popular for off-roading and many other purposes, but not practical for some work related projects like towing. The Bronco became Ford's initial compact SUV, until Ford's compact and midsize SUV niche were later on occupied by the streamlined pickup structured Ford Bronco II (1984–1990), Ford Explorer (1991–present) and the Ford Escape (2001–present).
The concept guiding the Bronco started with Ford product manager Donald N. Frey, who also designed the Ford Mustang. Lee Iacocca, also a prime-mover over the Mustang, drove the Bronco from conception into production. In several ways, the Bronco proved to be an even more original idea than the Mustang; in contrast to the Mustang, which was founded on the Ford Falcon, the Bronco possessed a frame, suspension, and body which were completely new. The Bronco was developed under the leadership of head-engineer Paul G. Axelrad. Even though axles and brakes were procured from the Ford F-100 four wheel drive pickup truck, the front axle was positioned by radius arms and a lateral track bar, making it possible for the application of coil springs which offered the Bronco a 34-foot turning circle, extended wheel travel, along with an anti-dive geometry making it practical for snowplowing. The rear suspension was more traditional, with leaf springs in a standard Hotchkiss construction. A shift-on the-fly Dana Corp. transfer case and locking hubs were standard-issue, and heavy-duty suspension was also optional.
With the Ford Bronco, bells and whistles was minimized to offer Spartan-like simplicity and affordability. All glass was flat (not beveled), bumpers were made with simple C-sections, the frame was a basic box-section ladder, and the standard door skins on either side of the cab were exactly the same with the exception of mounting holes. The early Broncos were presented in wagon, the timeless favorite halfcab, and less prevalent roadster designs. The initial base price was merely $2, 194; however the lengthy optional list included front bucket seats, a rear bench seat, a tachometer, and a CB radio. One could also add practical items including a tow bar, an secondary gas tank, a power take-off, a snowplow, a winch, and a posthole digger. Aftermarket add-ons included campers, overdrive devices, and the typical variety of wheels, tires, chassis, and engine parts for improved performance.
Nowadays fans of these awesome 4×4’s have are devout in their love for thier Broncos, forming clubs and Ford Bronco events throughout North American and beyond. Ownders of first-run Ford Broncos all agree there is nothing like keeping and mainting a timeless classic like these 1966-1977 Broncos.