Classic Cars

Unearthed: 1976 Ford Bronco

Discontinued but not forgotten, the Ford Bronco helped pave the way for the modern full-size SUV.

Launched in 1966 and built until 1996, the 30 year reign of the Ford Bronco helped pave the way for full-size SUVs. Originally built as a competitor to the Jeep CJ-5 and the International Harvester Scout, the Bronco was designed to handle off-roading and towing duties. It was originally powered by a 2.8-liter straight-6 and offered features such as front bucket seats and a rear bench seat, a tachometer, and even a CB radio. Other aftermarket accessories included a variety of wheels, tires, chassis, and engine parts that could help to increase performance.

We found this wonderfully restored 1976 example and were immediately impressed with the amount of time and detail put in. It's a fresh frame-off restoration, with the frame having been blasted and painted black. The owner also added all-new sheetmetal, a removable fiberglass hard top, and 16x10 chrome wheels in mud terrain tires. A new Ford Racing 302 crate engine with 345hp was installed along with aluminum heads and a Magnaflow dual exhaust. The interior was upgraded with a customized dash, Autometer Phantom gauges, new factory bucket seats, and a spray-in bedliner.

The exterior, painted in GM Performance "Torch Red" with white accents, also has a Shelby inspired flip gas cap. The finished product looks stunning and we have no doubt that it's an absolute blast to drive. Photos courtesy of slcorrell

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