This restored 1975 example is proof.
Even before the reveal of the reborn 2021 Ford Bronco, prices for original examples were increasing fast. First launched in 1965, Ford's SUV has a long and proud history and many thought it was unjustly cut short when the fifth-generation model was discontinued in 1996 without a successor. It's taken nearly 25 years for its return. During that time, the Bronco community survived on the sidelines, watching their arch-rival, the Jeep Wrangler, dominate the spotlight. But those loyal enthusiasts maintained their original Broncos, with partial or full restorations and even restomods.
Today, many of them sell for tens of thousands of dollars more than the most expensive 2021 Bronco. This 1975 Bronco is one of the latest examples, selling for an impressive $85,000 earlier this week on Bring A Trailer.
To compare, a fully loaded new Bronco tops off at over $70,000, but this first-gen example received a body-off refurbishment in 2017 and was purchased by its now-former owner earlier this year. The refurbishment was quite an extensive process that included a replacement 5.0-liter fuel-injected V8 and three-speed automatic gearbox.
Originally Parrot Orange, it was repainted in dark blue metallic paint with an Arizona Beige hardtop a few months ago. The chrome bumpers, dual side mirrors and exhaust outlets, and power bulge hood were also replaced. The SUV rides on a set of 16-inch American Racing Baja wheels wrapped in 33-inch Rolling Big Power Repulsor rubber. Power-assisted front disc brakes, manually locking front wheel hubs, and a 2.5-inch lift kit are some modern and much-welcomed touches.
Inside, the front bucket and rear bench seats have been upholstered in a very cool tan vinyl and houndstooth trim combination. Air conditioning and power steering will make the driver's life easier, as will a lockable center console with integrated cupholders. There's also a new Kenwood stereo and a rollbar. But what we really love are the little things, like the wood-trimmed steering wheel and aftermarket instrumentation gauges. The odometer reads 3,000 miles, but that's only what's been driven since the upgrades were completed, meaning original mileage is a mystery.
The fact that old school Broncos not only remain highly desirable but still fetch seriously high prices is further testament to the nameplate's legacy and adoration. It's reasonable to expect higher prices in the years ahead, despite the new sixth-gen model's arrival.