A Bucking Brief Bronco History
Now that Ford has officially announced its comeback in 2020, let’s look back at the Bronco’s past.
Yesterday, at Ford’s official NAIAS 2017 press conference, the automaker officially confirmed they’d be bringing back the famed Bronco nameplate in 2020.
However, after watching the video and actually listening to what he said, I’m not exactly sure why the Ford faithful are so happy. I imagine the new Bronco is going to be much smaller than anticipated and more watered-down than most are dreaming.
We would all love to see a massive, two-door model based upon the Raptor or even an entirely new chassis but that's probably not in the cards. Check out the 2020 Ford Bronco Concept Rendering thread over on the Bronco forums for some amazing renderings of what the new Bronco should look like.
Taking a look back, the Bronco certainly has had an interesting past and the recent uptick in interest in first-generation models says a lot for the storied utility vehicle.
The first-generation Ford Bronco was produced from 1966 to 1977 and was created to compete with the Jeep CJ. There were a few different body options available such as the standard wagon, strange half-cab and topless roadster.
ICON 4x4 could be credited with bringing back the attention to the first-gen Ford Broncos. Their renditions of what that platform is capable of are amazing and have sparked other restoration outfits to try their hand as well. Time Warp Customs created one of the best examples to date with this 1974 model built on a 2008 Ford Explorer chassis.
In 1978, the Bronco was completely overhauled increasing in size considerably. Based on the F100, Ford claimed it could seat up to six adults and came standard with a 351 V8 under the hood, Ford 9-inch rear axle and Dana 44 front axle.
After only two years of production, the Bronco saw another redesign in 1980. The third generation spanned from 1980 to 1986 with the major difference being that it was a bit shorter, had a new hybrid independent front suspension and offered smaller, more fuel-efficient engine options.
The fourth-gen Bronco was produced from 1987 to 1991 and was the recipient of an updated aero body design. If you had the Eddie Bauer edition, you were kind of a big deal.
If we're being honest, the Ford Bronco really wasn't a part of American automotive culture until that infamous day in 1994. The 1993 Bronco that O.J. Simpson and his buddy Al Cowlings took a joy ride in made the Bronco one of the world's most recognizable vehicles, ever.
The fifth and final generation of the Ford Bronco was produced from 1992 until 1996 when it was ultimately discontinued. The Bronco was replaced by the ever-popular Expedition.