The Ford Bronco was first produced in 1966 with the intentions of competing with the Jeep CJ-5. This was genius; though much-loved, the Mustang was based off the Ford Falcon and lacked that “one of a kind” vibe. The Bronco, however, had a unique frame, body, and extension and Ford was able to market it as one of the first civilian “Sports Utility” vehicles. I’d have to say Morrie’s Heritage’s 1973 Bronco fits the description perfectly!
Looking under the hood, the ’66-’77 model had an inline 6 while the updated model was given a V8. It also gained a catalytic converter and emission controls.
In 1978, Ford wanted to make Bronco bigger so they used F100 pickup truck chassis, its biggest competitor became the Chevy Blazer. Also, Like the Country Squire, the Bronco got folding rear seats and a roll down back window too. Oh, and of course, the popular external spare tire.
In 1980, Ford made the Bronco lighter and shorter hoping for a more efficient powertrain. It was given an inline 6 engine again and only made it available in manual transmission. This time, it was built on an F150 chassis.
In ’87 the Bronco got a facelift, mainly with the intentions of giving the truck better aerodynamics. They reshaped its front bumper and hood, gave it a flatter front grille, and gave it composite headlamps.
In ’92 the last remodel took place focusing on safety updates such as crumple zones, seatbelts in the rear, more airbags and a center-rear break light.
In 1996 the Ford Bronco was discontinued to focus on the introduction of the Ford Expedition. I miss it too, but no worries! Ford announced that a 2020 model will be produced. Supposedly the new SUV will NOT be an Americanized rebadging of the existing Ford Everest sold in the Asia-Pacific region.. rather it’ll share the body frame of the new Ford Ranger with an independent front suspension and solid rear axle. They describe it as being “mildly overbuilt”, it’ll compete most closely with the Jeep Wrangler. Get excited folks, the Banana Bronco is soon to be a big brother!