1976 Ford Bronco - $59,900
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We haven’t had many vehicles that can attract attention like this big orange Bronco.

The off-road sport utility vehicle isn’t a new invention. As early as the 1940s, companies like Marmon-Harrington were taking production vehicles and adding 4-wheel-drive, and when the Jeep came home from WWII, well, America was in love with playing in the dirt. There are arguments about what the first modern SUV might have been, perhaps the Willys Station Wagon introduced in 1949 with factory 4-wheel-drive, but there’s little debate that the SUV was perfected by the Ford Bronco. Just the right size to be nimble, available with V8 power, and flexible enough to be used just about anywhere, from the suburbs to the park service, the Bronco really could do it all. And who can forget the most famous 4x4 of all, a white Ford Bronco that captivated the nation for a few hours on a warm summer night. If you ask someone to name the 4-wheel-drive truck they desire most, the Bronco’s name is apt to come up more often than not.

Today, the early Ford Bronco is a hot property. After languishing for years as an afterthought, Broncos are suddenly A-List collectables with values going up faster than the price guides can be printed. And the collectors don’t seem to care whether it’s a stocker or a resto-mod like this 1970 Bronco, all they care about is quality. If that’s what you’re after, then this gorgeous Copper Metallic Bronco will deliver the kind of thrills you expect from a modern build.

Starting with a remarkably clean truck from down south, this off-roader has been extensively upgraded for use in today’s world without losing what’s awesome about the early Broncos. The bodywork was finished to a level usually reserved for vehicles that weren’t designed to get dirty, and the flat Bronco bodywork is particularly demanding simply because every surface reflects like a mirror. There’s just no place for bad bodywork to hide here. Everything but the custom cowl induction hood is steel, including the front fenders, and finish quality is impressive. You’ll note that the rear fenders have been subtly modified with a set of front fender wheel openings to change the arch ever so slightly (you’ll need a stock one next to it in order to spot the work) and a custom rear roll pan under the tailgate to add a finished look. Everything was painted a late-model Mitsubishi color called Bizen Orange Sunset (code M03) which glows in the sunlight—the lighting in our studio just doesn’t do it justice. That cowl-induction hood wears a pair of stripes (Ford code 6960 Medium Gold) that set it off just right, as well as a set of ‘302’ badges that look like they could have been installed by the factory. Of course, you get a simple factory grille painted the same color as the stripes, plus shiny chrome bumpers, bright chrome ‘Bronco” emblems, door handles, and aftermarket tubular step bars. Side mirrors from a 1970 Ford Torino GT look right on the potent Bronco and you will note that the license plate bracket still pivots down to show the plate even when the tailgate is lowered. We haven’t had many vehicles that can attract attention like this big orange Bronco.

The interior is just as nicely finished as the bodywork, including upgraded seats from a 2008 Jeep Wrangler that wear new tan neoprene seat covers. The whole inner tub was treated to a color-matched layer of spray-on bedliner material, so it’ll last forever and you don’t have to worry about getting it dirty—just hose it out after a day of playing in the mud. You’ll note that the door panels were refinished to match and the door frames were modified so they can be removed entirely for a very clean look with the top removed. A Tuffy center console was installed so you have some secure storage and a pair of cup holders, although they probably won’t do much if you’re in the rough. A tilt steering column from a 1978 Ford F150 looks right in the vintage Bronco and it’s topped by a wood-rimmed steering wheel that looks like it belongs in a Mustang. Original gauges are in the simple round housing to the left of the steering column, while a modern Jensen AM/FM/CD/iPod/satellite head unit (marked “Heavy Duty”) is in the center of the dash, along with a pair of power outlets and iPod connections. A full roll cage was installed for safety and the rear seat folds down to add storage capacity. There’s also a bit of cargo space and the truck includes an expensive off-road jack secured to the cage in back. There’s a removable soft top and frame, along with a bikini top for some protection from the sun.

The engine is a stock 302 cubic inch V8 that’s still running a 2-barrel carburetor, as it would have in 1976. In a tall vintage 4x4 like this, that’s more than enough to make performance entertaining. It was rebuilt about 18,000 miles ago and runs great with no fussiness and a smooth idle that comes from sticking to the factory recipe. A giant radiator an auxiliary electric fan live up front, so slow going in the mud isn’t going to stress the engine, and an HEI ignition system fires it reliably under all conditions. Thanks to proper tuning, it starts quickly, idles nicely, and runs superbly. Power steering and power disc brakes are part of the package, too, so it’s easy to handle both around town and in the rough. The photos show that almost everything under the hood is new, and it remains a fantastic driver that’s ready to have fun.

The undercarriage was finished with black spray-on bedliner material for protection, and most of the components that were bolted on were painted to match. The brakes, booster, hoses, rotors, calipers, drums, and all the hard lines under the truck are brand new and custom driveshafts were built just for this truck. A C4 3-speed automatic transmission was rebuilt with a shift kit and feeds a fresh Dana 20 J-type transfer case with high and low ranges. The front axle is a Dana 44 with 3.56 gears, while a heavy-duty Ford 9-inch was built with 3.55 gears and oversized drum brakes, making this a very formidable truck in the slippery stuff. The suspension offers a modest Rancho 2.5-inch lift with adjustable RS2000 shocks at all four corners, as well as a steering stabilizer and drop radius arm brackets to improve steering feel and precision on the road. Nickel-coated long-tube headers feed a custom stainless exhaust system with a 2-into-1 Magnaflow muffler, giving this Bronco a fantastic soundtrack that’s more Mustang than utility vehicle. Just check out the photos and you’ll see that this truck is super solid and beautifully built. It sits on polished Pro-Comp Extreme aluminum wheels and giant 305/65/17 off-road radials that have just a few hundred miles on them.

Broncos are red hot today and if you want one that combines V8 power and great looks, one that’s in incredible shape, and one that is built using all the parts you’d use if you were doing it yourself, this is a smart choice. Why build when you can buy this one today and be playing with it by next week? Call now!

Harwood Motors welcomes and encourages personal or professional inspections of any vehicle prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1976 Ford Bronco
Price: $59,900
Stock Number: 116119
Mileage: 52,791
VIN: U15GLA59912
Engine: 302 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.56
Wheelbase: 92 inches
Wheels: 17-inch polished aluminum
Tires: 305/65/17 Pro-Comp off-road radial
Exterior Color: Burnt Orange Metallic
Interior Color: Tan neoprene
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