In the embarrassment of riches that is the LA automotive scene, there is always one "anti-status car" that becomes the latest "status car". It's the car that says, "I’m not participating in this ridiculous competition, I'm opting out." And by doing so, they make themselves and their vehicle even hotter. For a while it was the Toyota Prius. Every celebrity, their agent, and even the paparazzi that chased them drove a Prius. Then it was the Tesla - no matter how many caught on fire, LA's elite had to have them. But now, the Ford Bronco is having its day in the sun.
When I first moved to LA, my boyfriend drove a Bronco. He was a gorgeous, blond, tan surf instructor so it didn’t matter if he was seen in OJ’s getaway car. His stinky Bronco, populated mainly by moldy wetsuits and Double-Double wrappers looked like this:
But now, over 15 years later, this is not the vehicle that rules the City Of Angels. That Bronco looks like this:
And in that time, this once ostracized American classic has catapulted to an Angeleno favorite. And let me tell you why. First of all, there's OJ - Mr. Simpson and his vehicle have moved from a hot button political/racial/gender issue to a punch line. We are far less likely to argue whether or not the glove fits and far more likely to compete for the best OJ joke. So the Ford Bronco is no longer guilty by association.
However, it's still not quite out of the American consciousness, so Ford isn't quite ready to remake it - that makes it rare. And there's nothing competitive people love more than things that are rare (if diamonds grew by the side of the freeway, Tiffany would sell plutonium engagement rings). Thus, the restored, vintage Bronco is born and she is a beauty. And she is everywhere:
From Beverly Hills:
From West Hollywood:
To Home Depot in the Valley:
But to be a Bronco status symbol, you need to do it right. First of all, it needs to be a First Generation Bronco (1966-1977) because then and only then, was the Bronco a compact SUV. If the model is any later, it basically becomes a bloated F-150 with a hard top (and, not coincidentally, OJ's vehicle of choice). But the First Generation is a beautiful, nimble little box of fun.
Next, you're either pre-pimp or super pimp. LA doesn't tolerate anything in between. You've either got a paint job as new and as flawless as Paris Hilton’s pedicure:
Or you're a recent acquisition:
Just one residual check/IPO/hit series away from owning the valet line at the Ivy.
You see, this is LA. If you drive a Lambo, it'd better be next year's Lambo. 911? Nobody cares because everyone's obnoxious, rich uncle drives a 911. And if you think your vintage Ferrari is special, well, Leno's got 20 more where that came from. So for those looking to stand out in a crowd and not be the loser in last year's 7 Series - the restored Bronco is THE perfect fit. Until, of course, the next trend comes along and everyone is dumping their Bronco for … a Pinto? Maybe not, but until then, those Broncos look pretty fly.