Ford Bronco U13 289 1967

Car producer : 

Ford

Model:

Bronco U13 289 1967

Year:

1966-1977

Type:

115500 USD



The original Bronco was an off-road vehicle (ORV) intended to compete primarily with Jeep CJ models and the International Harvester Scout. The Bronco's small size, riding on a 92-inch (2,337 mm) wheelbase, made it maneuverable for some uses, but impractical as a tow vehicle. The 1966 Bronco was not only Ford's first compact SUV — its marketing also shows a very early example of promoting a civilian off-roader as a "Sports Utility" (the two-door pickup version).

The idea behind the Bronco began with Ford product manager Donald N. Frey, who also conceived the Ford Mustang; Lee Iacocca pushed the idea through to production. In many ways, the Bronco was a more original concept than the Mustang; whereas the Mustang was based upon the Ford Falcon, the Bronco had a frame, suspension, and body that were not shared with any other vehicle.

The Bronco was designed under engineer Paul G. Axelrad. The axles and brakes from the Ford F-100 four wheel drive pickup truck were used, but the front axle was located by radius arms (from the frame near the rear of the transmission forward to the axle). A lateral track bar allowed the use of coil springs that gave the Bronco a 34-foot (10.4 m) turning circle, long wheel travel, and an anti-dive geometry, which was useful for snowplowing. The rear suspension was more conventional, with leaf springs in a typical Hotchkiss design. A shift-on the-fly Dana transfer case and locking hubs were standard, and heavy-duty suspension was an option.

The initial engine was the Ford 170 cu in (2.8 L) straight-6, modified with solid valve lifters, a 6-US-quart (6 L) oil pan, heavy-duty fuel pump, oil-bath air cleaner, and a carburetor with a float bowl compensated against tilting.

Styling was subordinated to simplicity and economy, so all glass was flat, bumpers were straight C-sections, the frame was a simple box-section ladder, and the basic left and right door skins were identical except for mounting holes.

The early Broncos were offered in wagon, pickup, and a less popular roadster configuration. The roadster version was dropped, and the sport package, which later became a model line, was added.

The base price was US$2,194, with a long option list that included front bucket seats, a rear bench seat, a tachometer, and a CB radio, as well as functional items such as a tow bar, an auxiliary gas tank, a power take-off, a snowplow, a winch, and a posthole digger. Aftermarket accessories included campers, overdrive units, and the usual array of wheels, tires, chassis, and engine parts for increased performance.

The Bronco sold well in its first year (23,776 units produced) and remained in second place after the CJ-5 until the advent of the full-sized Chevrolet Blazer in 1969. Lacking a dedicated small SUV platform, the Blazer was based on Chevrolet's existing full-size pickup, which was a larger and more powerful vehicle, offering greater luxury, comfort, and space. The Blazer's longer option list included an automatic transmission and power steering, and thus had broader appeal. Ford countered by enlarging the optional V8 engine from 289 cu in (4.7 L) and 200 hp (150 kW) to 302 cu in (4.9 L) and 205 hp (153 kW), but this still could not match the Blazer's optional 350 cu in (5.7 L) and 255 hp (190 kW) (horsepower numbers are from before horsepower ratings changed in the early to mid-1970s.)

In 1973, the 170 was replaced by a 200 cu in (3.3 L) straight six, power steering and an automatic transmission were made optional, and sales increased to 26,300. By then, however, Blazer sales were double those of the Bronco, and International Harvester had come out with the Scout II, a vehicle closer to the Blazer in its specifications. By 1974, larger and more comfortable vehicles such as the Jeep Cherokee (SJ) made more sense for the average driver than the more rustically oriented Bronco. The low sales of the Bronco (230,800 over twelve years) did not allow a large budget for upgrades, and it remained basically unchanged until the advent of the larger, more Blazer-like second-generation Bronco in 1978. Production of the original model fell to 14,546 units in its last year, 1977.

Sold for: 115500 USD
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