The name Bronco conjures up images of being unbridled, wild and free, tearing across the landscape and leaving the ordinary world behind.
Now Ford its bringing back its Bronco, along with the Ford Ranger pickup, and the story of the rugged, off-road SUV can pickup where it left off 21 years ago. Ford CEO Mark Fields confirmed the news to USA TODAY in the lead up to the North American International Auto Show this week in Detroit.
The Ford Bronco began life in 1966 as a boxy off-road vehicle and it had a good 20-year run. As production ended, the Bronco became known chiefly as O.J. Simpson’s intended getaway vehicle, driven by his friend Al “A.C.” Cowlings, as he sought to elude police rather than face murder charges in the stabbing death of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her boyfriend.
But those who love Broncos look much farther back into its history, taking stock of its capabilities and practicality.
Dave Kunz, auto reporter for KABC-TV in Los Angeles, is the proud owner of a 1977 Bronco, which he says was the last production year of the original version before it was redesigned.
What’s to love?
“I guess part of it is that the vehicle is so simple and basic, but it had Ford’s style of the day. Another aspect from pretty much Day 1 is that the vehicle is easily modifiable to suit an owner’s taste,” Kunz says.
It doesn’t matter if you take your Bronco on road or off, “the world is your Bronco Oyster, so to speak,” he adds. “In fact it was introduced as ‘a sports car for off-road.'”
In 1978, the Bronco got a big change. Now it was built off a shortened F-Series truck chassis. Its prime competition was the Chevrolet K5 Blazer and Dodge Ramcharger.
The vehicle changed but the name didn’t — and many enthusiasts have been urging Ford to bring it back for years.
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