Extremely Rare Ford Bronco Roadster Is The Perfect SUV

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At least it will be following a complete restoration.

The triumphant return of the Ford Bronco is rumored to be happening at the 2020 New York Auto Show this April. The legendary SUV was initially sold from 1965 until 1996 when it was discontinued so that Ford could focus its SUV efforts on the Explorer and the first-generation Ford Expedition. The Bronco nameplate no longer fit with the type of SUV Americans wanted: a premium and far more comfortable vehicle that did a far better job at hiding its pickup truck roots.

Ford launched the original Bronco as a competitor to the Jeep CJ-5 and another long gone SUV, the International Harvester Scout. The Bronco's 1965 launch also forced a certain crosstown rival to respond with the original Chevrolet Blazer. The SUV war had officially begun and it's still ongoing. Because SUVs were still a relatively new thing at the time, automakers were experimenting with various body styles. They simply didn't know yet what customers wanted.

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This is why the first-generation Bronco was sold as a three-door SUV, a two-door pickup, and even a roadster. You read that last part correctly. From 1966 until 1968, an open-body roadster body style, codenamed U13, was offered. About 5,000 examples were made before the option was dropped because of slow sales, though only 200 or so known examples exist today. This is one of them.

Up for sale on Craigslist Los Angeles is a very complete and extremely rare 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster. As you can see, it's in dire need of a complete restoration. Fortunately, the sale includes a ton of original parts for a vehicle with a well-documented history. It was originally bought in Crescent City, California, by a guy who worked at the Ford dealership. He knew something wicked cool when he saw it, and even bought it on special order, requesting front bucket seats, a rear bench seat, and both soft and hard tops.

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After passing away in the late '80s, the Bronco was bought by a close friend who drove it for years. He later decided a full restoration was required and began to take it apart. Unfortunately, bad health prevented him from finishing the project and it's remained in its current state ever since. The seller claims the Bronco is in really good condition given its 54 years. It still has all of its original sheetmetal. Even the four wheels are original. The windshield was removed, but it's still included in the sale, along with a host of other vital parts.

The interior is also original and in decent shape. Even the ashtray is there. The engine is also original, though it hasn't been started in several years.

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The seller believes this six-cylinder motor is still salvageable, though it'll require some serious expertise. So, how much? The list price is $20,000 for everything you see here. Given just how rare this Bronco Roadster is and the sheer amount of original parts included, this is a pretty solid bargain. The restoration itself, however, will take plenty of additional time and money, but the end result will be one of the coolest SUVs out there.

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