Diamond in the Rough: Ford Bronco...Bruiser On A Budget?
I was toiling around the neighborhood on my mountain bike looking for my son, EJ, who was overdue for dinner. I would cruise past an intersection do a quick-left, quick-right check and pedal to the next street. On the third block I jumped hard on the brakes, but it wasn’t EJ, it was a classic Ford Bronco. Looking a ways up the street I could ID the backside of the old-timey Bronco as if it were a billboard. I took a detour, dinner could wait. I rode past the Ford, coasting by slow enough to run through my mental checklist; Rust Amount, Rust Placement, Paint Condition, and maybe a quick Interior Evaluation. I was careful not to go so slow as to garner attention. Enticed, I took another lap but caught the eye of the owner who was mowing his lawn. He pulled up on his riding mower and dismounted like he was cowboy jumping from a horse before it had come to a full stop. Was I in trouble? No, Joe proceeded to tell me the truck, a 1970 Ford Bronco Sport, was his but he had lost it to his wife in their divorce and was ‘storing’ it until she figured out what to do with it… Wow, truth is really stranger than fiction. We talked a short while and he asked me if I was interested and I said sort of but not seriously. Gotta love those ‘70s graphic stripes, they really ‘pump up the volume’ of this classic Bronco. 1970 was the year the Sport package graduated to Sport model status. These trucks featured chrome interior and exterior accents and that cool bucking bronco on the emblem. I just hope there’s a V8 under the hood. Diamond plate rockers are a little disconcerting, usually a last-gasp rust repair of some sort, they’re especially suspect on a rig this old and neglected… The Ford hasn’t been registered since 1999. Like an iceberg, the rust you see is just the tip… in nature that equates to about 10 to 15 percent of the entire berg, yikes. Early Broncos are highly prized and even examples in this nick are regularly in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. First-gen Broncos in restored, daily driver condition can fetch $15,000 or so and fully built off-road ready or pristine show rigs can top $20,000. If I were to wrangle this bucking horse into my stable I would try to revive the original paint, ‘70s disco-inspired stripe and all. A tall order for sure; think off-roader meets rat rod. It’s all about patina. The raised white letters on the tires are bleeding white as if they’re looking into a mirror, seeing the condition of the truck they are on, and wailing uncontrollably. New rolling stock would definitely be on the list, as well as a full mechanical makeover. I would go the road-going driver route; no rock crawlers or show rigs here. Yep, there is a lot to love about this old Ford but she has been rode hard and put away wet too many times…hence the rust… but still…. I have been by Joe’s place a few times, prepared to drop a business card on him and officially affirm my ‘interest’ but he hasn’t been around. I am not sure if he would take offense at the gesture like I was taking advantage of his recently terminated nuptials or be happy his wife doesn’t end up with the rig. But he did ask if I was interested… where’s my bike. -Evan Griffey Continue to the Next "Diamond in the Rough", Jaguar E Type: Paradise Found...Paradise Lost