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Rumble with the Broncs: A LGE-CTS Baja Forged Double Feature

When Ford retired the Bronco SUV back in 1996, the world was a very different place. Jackie Chan's star was on the rise in the U.S. thanks to films like Rumble in the Bronx, dial up was the height of internet technology, and I still had some semblance of a hairline. But eventually the Bronc came out of retirement as a new animal, updated with 25 years worth of lessons learned by Ford engineers. The off-road customization game had seen its share of changes, too. In the midst of the chaotic maelstrom that we know as 2020 and 2021, Ford brought the sixth generation Bronco to market. LGE-CTS had a long tradition of working with Ford on SEMA builds so it made sense that LGE-CTS and Baja Forged would get the nod for transforming two Broncos for the event. When Ford dropped the new Bronco, companies like LGE-CTS and Baja Forged were ready to catch it.

2021 Ford Broncos with Nitto Tires parked in desert

What they weren't necessarily ready for was changing up a brand-new Bronco in time for SEMA; let alone two of them. Sara Morosan and Theresa Contreras know their way around the world of off-road customization. They're also very familiar with the ins and outs of the Ford Bronco. As Theresa puts it, "For years we have been sending in proposals to Ford Motor Company for SEMA project vehicle builds. Sometimes we were picked, and sometimes we were not. We were excited to be awarded a vehicle in 2021 for the debut of the all new sixth generation Ford Bronco. Ford was looking for a high-end version of their Bronco to display, so we designed the Baja Forged Lux edition Bronco for their SEMA booth." Having said that, even they were challenged with the time crunch they faced to get their respective Broncs SEMA-worthy in time for the big show.

lge-cts ford bronco driving desert on nitto tires

Work Smarter, Not Harder

So let's do a head count here. Two seasoned customizers, two brand-new vehicles hot out of the design oven, two booths at SEMA, and one short period of time to get all the work done. Theresa's green Lux edition build was destined for the Ford booth while Sara's blue take would pull in eyes at the Baja Kits exhibit.

2021 ford bronco on nitto tires off roading

Rather than try to upgrade everything all at once under the gun, Sara and Theresa played it smart by focusing on what changes were most important to get the end results they wanted. On top of the merciless march of time, all of those supply chain issues of 2021 we all know and love made the job extra spicy. As Theresa summed it up, "I literally got the paint materials a week before SEMA and tires about two days before. I remember seeing a builder at SEMA that showed no tires on his vehicle, because it was that crazy with supply shortages."

baja forged ford bronco wheeling desert on nitto tires

On the power side, both Broncos were left largely stock but there were a couple of enhancements nonetheless. They came in the forms of a Borla exhaust for the Lux edition and Injen Evolution cold air intake and AWE Catback exhaust with Bashguard 5-inch Diamond black tip for Bruno (aka Sara's blue Bronco).

icon off road suspension on ford bronco in desert

Now, the suspension is a different story. As you'd expect, Sara and Theresa gave their respective rides the shocks and arms you'd want for terrain conquering. You'll find Icon Stage 8 suspension systems on the green Lux. Bruno packs Baja Kits' billet arms and pivot plates with King 2.5-inch coilovers both front and rear. 

nitto recon grappler tires on 2021 ford bronco parked in desert

Grappling Hooked

Both Fords also got big improvements in the wheels and tires department. Both run on Nitto Tires, Theresa's Lux edition with 37-inch Recon Grapplers over custom-painted Method Race Wheels and Bruno on 37-inch Trail Grapplers with Method Race Wheels as well. For both Fords, the tire choices were perfect. "I love the look of the Recons!" Theresa says. "Not only should a tire perform well, but it should also look good!  It’s a big part of the aesthetics on the vehicle, so to find the right tire to fit your stance and style, is important! The Nitto Recon Grapplers, have a more aggressive A/T look, drive amazing on the streets with very little road noise, and handle perfectly off-road to grip different terrains with ease." Sara added, "The Nitto Tires are amazing. The way they handle and grip on the rock and when off-roading but still have a nice ride on road. They are my favorite. I know when I am running my Nitto tires, I don’t have to worry."

ford bronco on nitto tires off roading in desert

Skin Game

Move your eyes up from the tires and they'll meet two very different sets of paint and bodywork. Baja Forged swapped in ADV 2-inch fenders and quarter panels on Theresa's Lux machine and its PPG paint blend comes from the Vibrance collection. It's an Envirobase paint in a custom color Theresa dubbed "Saguaro." Seeing as how she created the color, it's only right she get to name it. "I think it’s the first thing that grabs everyone’s attention," she told us.

Saguaro green Ford Bronco on Nitto Recon Grappler tires

"And it changes as you look it. I love to create colors that change as you walk by it, so it grabs your attention, but its subtle enough so you even might not notice it at first. It flops from a solid dusty green/tan to a green and gold pearl that changes as the light hits it. I really do love how you can create such complexity with paint!" Other custom colored accents were added to highlight the fenders and other body lines. Theresa finished the exterior with RIGID industries 40- and 20-inch Adapt Light bar and rock lights.

2021 baja forged ford bronco custom off roading the desert

Sara kept Bruno a little simpler, though. "For my Bronco I wanted something simpler and more durable. I go out to Moab, Colorado, and wheel in California a lot." She kept Bruno's bodywork stock but did Ford a solid when it came to painting the Bronco: "When Ford asked us to build the Jay Leno Bronco back in 2019 for the SEMA show, they wanted us to build a Bronco in the same color the following year to match but it would be the new Bronco." That would be Ford factory Anthracite paint. The 2020 SEMA show was virtual, as we all know. It wasn't until 2021 that she'd get the chance to make that happen. Sara crowned Bruno with Baja Designs LP6 Pro LED auxiliary light pod, LED rock light kit, and XL Pro LED auxiliary lights.

LGE-CTS Ford Bronco driver side front on Nitto Trail Grappler tires

Department of the Interior

As much beauty as the two Broncos have on the outside, it isn't all skin-deep. Venture into the cab of either one and the interior decorating becomes obvious.

ford bronco custom interior

Theresa tapped Rogelio's Upholstery to handle the custom seats and panels for her Lux while Sara was able to custom build Bruno's Katzkin Seat Covers online.

baja forged custom ford bronco interior

Don't Call it a Comeback

For three decades, the Ford Bronco was a go-to SUV and off-roader. It took a 25 year hiatus but it came back to a very welcoming fanbase, eager to hop in and put the Bronco through its paces. Not only were consumers ready for it, so was much more refined aftermarket industry. If this is what great companies like LGE-CTS and Baja Forged can do with two sixth gen Broncos in its infancy, we can't wait to see what happens over the next thirty years.

a Pair ofLGE-CTS customized Broncos in the desert on Nitto Tires

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