A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £28,125
Ford's Bronco, introduced in 1966, changed little over succeeding years. It didn't need to. Rugged, practical and simple, the Bronco served a particular purpose and did it exceedingly well. Based on a separate frame, the Bronco's body changed with the times, gradually evolving from a Jeep equivalent into a family hauler, but always with practicality winning out over style and ostentation. For the 1978 model year, the second-generation Bronco was introduced to better compete with the Dodge Ramcharger, Jeep Cherokee and our own Range Rover, the Bronco entered the full-size SUV segment. Originally intended for a 1974 launch, the second-generation Bronco, named "Project Shorthorn" during its development, was postponed to 1978 in response to fuel economy concerns related to the 1973 fuel crisis; the second-generation Bronco was released for sale after development in 1978 with a limited production run of just one year until 1979 due to the 1980 launch of the third generation Bronco.
Perhaps it was understandable that Ford UK wanted to stay within the family when it required a competent 4x4 with driver comforts, such as air conditioning, that the Range Rover of the time did not offer. Sporting a 5.7-litre V8 Cleveland 350 engine mated to a two and four-wheel drive train and manual gearbox. The 1978 model Bronco had four seats with a removable hard-top and was the last Bronco to feature one.
This Bronco was shipped across the Atlantic and registered to Ford UK at their Dunton Technical Centre in Essex on 20/04/1978. There are reams of detailed paperwork relating to the time at Dunton until 1991 when the Bronco was registered to Ford New Holland Ltd. in nearby Basildon. Further paperwork covers the seven-year period until 1998 when it was sold to an ex-employee and it's now in the ownership of our vendor, a passionate collector of American cars. In her own words our vendor had to buy the Bronco when it came available:
“My mother and I used to work at the Ford Motor Company in Dunton. The signatures in the documentation are of men who were colleagues of my mum and they worked in research and design in her department under her boss, my mum was the secretary.”
Light restoration works were started by the penultimate owner and finished by our vendor and it is presented to auction in fine fettle with new part-leather seats and a re-spray in period silver. The detailed history file is bursting with old MOTs warranting the 33,750 miles, workshop manuals, invoices, original brochures and paperwork relating to Ford UK’s ownership. The Bronco was dry stored between 1996 and 2019 when the latest MOT was issued without advisories, expiring in May 2020. The private registration SOI 979 is also generously included. This is a unique opportunity to buy the rarest of all Broncos which combines retro-good looks, a special Ford provenance, and is one of the few American cars to be registered brand new in the UK.