That’s right, Ford’s legendary off-road outlaw and suspect interstate transporter are back after a twenty-year hiatus. The reports were confirmed a few days ago when a representative of the United Auto Workers said: “We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly, that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.” So, bam just like that the Bronco AND the Ranger are back in the mix. But let’s be honest, we are mostly excited for the Bronco. Ford teased us, in 2004, with a concept car that never became anything more. In addition to that, their 20-year absence from the compact SUV market left us with only Jeeps. As great as those are we want and crave a little variety.
The Original Bronco
What has us all worked up over this return is what the original Bronco did. In 1966, it was introduced to rival the CJ Jeep and the International Scout, a task it did exceedingly well. It was also very inexpensive, but the technology that went into it made it perfect for beating its competitors.
Float-bowl carburetors kept fuel flowing even when the car was at an odd angle, such as low-speed all-terrain movements. The short wheelbase provided a tight turning circle and nimble handling. Long wheel travel allowed it to clear obstacles and terrain and an anti-dive suspension setup provided stability in utility uses. The car came at a scant, $2,190 and all of this made it easy to fix and easy to take off into the forest.
Development of the Bucking Bronco
The Bronco was produced until 1996. Over the years it grew longer, heavier, more luxurious and less of a Jeep competitor. This would eventually lead to its discontinuation when the Ford Expedition launched. At that time almost everyone pulled out of the market for small, two-door off-road SUVs, which left us with just the Jeep – until now.
No matter how great the Bronco was, it was very great, nothing it could have done would overshadow its rise to stardom in 1994. Wanted for murder, famous ex-football player O.J. Simpson and his buddy Al Cowlings became involved in a low-speed chase with Los Angeles PD down the freeway to LAX airport. The chase lead all over the city and famously shows the bright white Bronco slowly meandering its way back to a house in the hills where he was taken into custody. It is so legendary, that Ken Block’s Gymkhana Seven created a hilarious tribute to the chase.
Although we love how famous it is, we are mostly happy that it is coming back and we have new mudding options. The renderings make it look good but don’t expect it to look like that, concept renderings rarely do. Regardless, there are two things that we can expect. A lot of people selecting white for their first Broncos and a lot of new off-roading modification shops to sprout up.