Ford introduced the Bronco in 1966, arguably the brand's first Sport Utility Vehicle. It was practical, simple, and rugged and was intended as Ford's competitor for the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. Over the years that followed, the Bronco saw minor changes with practicality winning out over style and design. The longevity was attributed to its functionality and reliability, proven on the messiest winter roads and muddiest backwoods trails.
The original idea behind the Bronco began in the early 1960s with production commencing in early 1964 following final approval from Lee Iacocca. Originally designed with its own frame, the Bronco sold well before SUVs grew in popularity for their on- and off-road capabilities heading into the mid-to late-1970s.
Through five generations, the original Ford Bronco was sold from 1966 to 1996. 23,776 examples were sold during its introductory year, followed by 14,230 in 1967 and 16,629 in 1968. First-generation sales peaked in 1974 when 25,824 examples were sold. 1972 was the third-best year for the first-generation Bronco, with 21,115 examples produced.
The Bronco rested on a short 92-inch wheelbase and used box-section body-on-frame construction. It used a shift-on-the-fly Dana 20 transfer case, locking hubs, four-wheel drive, a Ford 9-inch axle, a Dana 30 front axle (replaced in 1971 by a Dana 44), and Hotchkiss drive and leaf springs. Instead of the Twin I-beams used on Ford's larger trucks, the Bronco received a lateral track bar and radius arms to locate the coil-sprung front axle.
Power was initially sourced from a Ford Falcon-derived 170 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine delivering 105 horsepower. Modifications included a heavy-duty fuel pump, oil-bath air cleaner, solid valve lifters, a 6 quarter oil pan, and a carburetor with a float bowl. A 289 CID V8 with 200 horsepower became optional in March of 1966, and in 1969, it grew to 302 cubic-inches. The base engine became a 200 CID inline-6 in 1973 and continued through 1977.
The only transmission initially available was a three-speed, column-shifted manual unit with a floor-mounted transfer case shifter. A three-speed automatic became optional in 1973.
Body styles in 1966 included an open-body roadster, half-cab pickup, and a two-door wagon. The open-body roadster was removed after the 1968 model year due to slow sales. The half-cab was removed after 1972. The factory base price for the Bronco in 1966 was $2,195. Optional equipment, either through the factory or dealerships, including bucket seats, a rear bench seat, a tow bar, auxiliary gas tank, a power take-off, a snowplow, a winch, a posthole differ, a CB radio, and a tachometer. Additional aftermarket accessories included an array of wheel and tires, engine parts, overdrive units, and campers.
The Sport optional package was introduced in 1967 consisting of chrome exterior trim and wheel covers, and red-painted Ford grille lettering. The Bronco Sport became its own model in 1970 rather than an option package.
Ford offered the Ranger trim package for 1972, similar to the F-Series trucks, that added model-specific wheel covers, cloth seats, carpeted interior, woodgrain door panels, and body stripes. by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2020
Related Reading : Ford Bronco History
From 1966 through 1996 Ford produced a stylish and popular SUV named the Bronco. In 1994 a Ford Bronco was seen on TV in a low-speed chase being pursued by the Los Angeles Police Department. Behind the wheel was O.J. Simpson. The Ford Bronco sat atop a small 92 inch wheelbase which made it suitable for off-road excursions. Its body, frame and suspension were all new and did not share with any.... Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Ford Bronco History
A original concept designed under engineer Paul Axelrad, the Ford Bronco was an SUV produced from 1966 through 1996. Original and distinct, the Bronco had a body, suspension, and a frame that wasnt shared with any other vehicle or modeled off of prototypes. Produced in Wayne, Michigan at Fords Truck Plant, the full-sized Bronco and the successor Expedition were met with public approval, but.... Continue Reading >>
This 1972 Ford Bronco 4 x 4 has a teal and pearl exterior with a teal and pearl interior. It has the 302 V8 backed by a four-speed manual with LT 305/70R16s on American racing rims. It has been completely restored and has a Fusion AM/FM stereo, remov....[continue reading]
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