The Ford Bronco is back, and it has been racking up accolades that include the most recent one: North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. Lining up against the Jeep Wrangler at the line of scrimmage, the Blue Oval didn’t hesitate to launch itself straight toward Jeep’s seven slots.
Even F1 champions like Jenson Button are fans, and four years ago the former Brawn GP and McLaren driver snapped up a 1970 Bronco for leisure cruising. However, after pouring $20,000 into the restoration of the 4x4, Button has apparently wrung out all the fun he’s going to have in it and is selling the vintage Bronco on the auction site Collecting Cars.
Originally, the 1970 Bronco was offered with a 105-hp 2.8-liter six-cylinder or an optional 4.9-liter V8 running with 205 horses. Button's Bronco is equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.9-liter V8 making an estimated 300 horsepower, and the Bronco has been customized with a number of options like a Fitech fuel injection, an Edelbrock filter, and an MSD ignition kit with push-button start. The engine is paired with a three-speed automatic transmission, and a Borgeson power steering rack and new polished steering column were added to the mix along with a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Collecting Cars says there is no known prior accident damage, and any rust in the floor and wheel arches was repaired during the restoration process. Some wear and tear on the Dark Blue finish is apparent, and it's still in good condition after 50 years. Listed with 170 indicated miles, I'm not sure where Button drove this thing; it sounds like it has been well pampered in its most recent four years.
A half roll cage and 17-inch Method allow wheels wrapped in 35-inch all-terrain tires make it look like it’s suited up for off-roading. The raised suspension, Bilstein shocks, and new Wilwood front disc brakes won’t hurt its toughness factor, either. On the other hand, a new Bimini top suggests it’s more likely to be found rolling on the sand at the local beach.
With the installation of a Kenwood stereo and USB cable, whomever buys this is getting a much-improved audio system over the original. Maybe they’ll play Lil Nas X and Doja Cat instead of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Three Dog Night.
In the time it took me to write this article, the bidding jumped from $55,000 to $61,000 with three different bidders circling each other in increments of $500 and $1,000 at a time. The auction ends on January 20.
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