1966 Ford Bronco Roadster - $79,900
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This truck was restored to be the best, and that meant getting things right.

This is, without question, the finest early Ford Bronco in existence. We usually shy away from talking in absolutes about old vehicles, but this Bronco was restored by experts who know these trucks inside and out. It is a real U13 Bronco Roadster. They used as many NOS parts as they could find (cost no object), saving original components whenever possible. They replicated every detail that is unique to this truck, because it is a very early production model with features that were not included on later vehicles. And the workmanship is simply outstanding in every possible way. This Bronco is a shoo-in for the top trophies at virtually any event and remains 100% sorted and ready to drive if that’s your preference.

It is undoubtedly the best Bronco Roadster you will ever see.

If you’re wondering about the unique open look of this Roadster, rest assured that’s how the factory built it. There were three basic Bronco styles, the U13 Roadster seen here, the U14 “half cab” pickup, and the familiar U15 Wagon. They are easy to identify, as the first digits of the VIN show which model they are, although parts are widely interchangeable and more than a few standard Broncos have been converted to Roadsters, which were only built in 1966, ‘67, and ’68. Out of the 225,585 Broncos built between 1966 and 1977, exactly 5000 of them were U13 Roadsters, with most experts suggesting that fewer than 250 still in existence. For the Bronco fan, this is a remarkable find.

This truck was restored to be the best, and that meant getting things right. It was a complete, running, driving truck when it was discovered in Texas, having been used on a cattle ranch since it was new. Because of that, it wasn’t driven a lot and the 54,912 miles showing on the odometer are accurate. The first thing they did was check the door tag (which is inside the cowl, since Roadsters do not have doors). It was remarkably well preserved, still wearing its original code 8 Springtime Yellow paint—even the original Roadster door inserts were still in excellent shape. Sure, it was faded and scratched and bumped, but for the most part, the sheetmetal was in excellent condition needing only a few very small patches in the usual places, but no wholesale replacement of any major components. At one time, someone added a CB whip antenna on the rear quarter, but filling those holes was the only major surgery required externally. You could even see the original red rocker stripes still clinging to the original paint!

It was torn down to a bare shell and rebuilt from there, with every single component either being rebuilt or replaced. As I mentioned, the bodywork was completely stripped and the final finish is quite impressive—so nice that we’re guessing that this Bronco’s days of playing in the dirt are well and truly over. Those are original fiberglass door inserts, not repros, and they fit better than you’d expect. You’ll also note little details like the correct early tailgate with the stamped relief running along the upper edge, a proper grille with the “eyebrows” over the headlights that was only used for the first four months of production, and a round fender-mounted mirror that can cost as much as $1000—if you can find one. The only notable non-OEM pieces are the hood, because the original was damaged beyond repair, and the Bronco script emblems on the front fenders. Experts will spot the taillights that do not have back-up lights, which is correct for the early ’66 Broncos and those big chrome bumpers are correct, with later versions being trimmed on the ends to match the curve of the body instead of sticking out. Both the pinstripe and the rocker stripe were options, but they were on the truck when it was new so they went back on after the paint was dry. Like I said, the guys who restored this one did their homework and it shows.

The only interior you could get in 1966 was silver, so don’t call and complain about it—it’s totally correct. The bucket seats look a lot like Mustang buckets (and that’s what a lot of restorers use when they can’t find real Bronco seats), but these are indeed authentic early Bronco buckets. They were correctly reupholstered using durable vinyl and reproduction hinge covers were used simply because the originals are all long since turned to dust. Bare floors with a rubber mat is how all the Roadsters were delivered, so that, too, was accurately reproduced and you’ll note that the floors are in outstanding condition, not patched back together. The dash was painted gray, which was correct for 1966 models only and all of the details on the dash are likewise unique to the early Broncos, including the gauges, dash pad, and even the layout of the controls. Everything is new or rebuilt and fully operational, including the windshield washer system, which was an option in 1966. There is no radio, but it does have a remarkably effective heater and the rubber shift boot for the transfer case lever is another 1966-only part. They were really sweating the details here! In back, there’s a good-sized cargo bay with a correct spare tire assembly and jack locked into its own little bracket, which were also features that changed a few months into production. The only thing missing is a jack decal on the right inner wheel house, but a correct one is on its way and will be on the truck probably about the time you read this. That’s how impressive this truck really is.

You could underestimate the 170 cubic inch inline-6 that lives under the hood, but it would probably be a mistake. There are few better ways to get to inaccessible places than an early Bronco with a bulletproof six-cylinder engine, and with the right gearing in the transmission and axles, these trucks were legendary for their climbing abilities. No, it’s not an 80 MPH freeway flier, but that’s not really the purpose of the Bronco. No, it was built to go to remote places, maybe for a rancher with a lot of land to manage or the National Parks Service, which was one of Ford’s biggest customers for the Bronco. Regardless, this one is correct and likely the original engine, but with Fords of this vintage, there’s no way to be positive. It was fully rebuilt to stock specs and it runs as smoothly as a sewing machine—this is no crude industrial engine. Colors, finishes, and hardware are exacting throughout the engine bay, from the heavy-duty oil bath air cleaner (1966 only) to the Autolite downdraft carburetor to the cast iron exhaust manifold. Bright Ford Blue paint makes it really pop in the yellow engine bay and even things like the hoses, hose clamps, and bolts are exactly what Ford was using on the early assembly line. Details like the cad plated master cylinder cap ($75 if you can find one) and all the wiring are things that need to be right if you’re going to win at the highest levels. This truck also carries a metal fresh air box on the driver’s side, a detail that was changed to plastic in October of 1965 so only the earliest Broncos use it.

The three-speed manual transmission shifts nicely and with a column shifter, it feels more car-like than you’d expect. The chassis around it is immaculately detailed, with correct red oxide primer on the floors and just enough overspray to let you know this was a production vehicle. Heavy-duty axles front and rear carry 4.11 and 4.10 gears, respectively, which is part of why it’s such a tenacious off-roader. Correct shocks, bushings, and a new exhaust system give it the right feel and sound, while all the new componentry ensures that you can drive and enjoy this Bronco if that’s what you decide to do with it. Standard steel wheels were all painted white, but this truck carries optional stainless wheel covers (again, unique to the 1966 models) that cost about $400 each today. New 7.00-15 off-road bias-ply tires are very similar to the “high flotation 15-inch bias mud/snow tires” that Ford originally used.

The restoration is extremely well documented with receipts and photos, but you can tell at a glance that this is a remarkable Bronco. We don’t like to speak in absolutes but I can pretty much guarantee that you will never see a better one with a more accurate restoration. If you seek the best, this is it, no excuses required. Call today!

Vehicle: 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster
Price: $79,900
Stock Number: 115017
Mileage: 54,912
VIN: U13FL753600
Engine: 170 cubic inch inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.11/4.10
Wheelbase: 92 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 7.00-15 Power King off-road
Exterior Color: Springtime Yellow
Interior Color: Silver vinyl
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