"It's not slow, it just isn't fast...it's kind of medium," are the words of 1977 Ford Bronco owner Dave Kunz. He's brought his bone-stock classic SUV over to Jay Leno's Garage so the comedian and car guy can take it for a spin.
There's something special about an old car that's been left alone. A stock classic is an amazing way to sample a life potentially lived decades ago. Dave's Bronco has had its seats redone and the paint refinished but the truck has otherwise been left alone. There's no modern Ford V-8 swapped in or a massive lift pitching the truck into the sky. This is clean, classic, and certainly very cool.
Dave informs Jay that the Bronco came to be as a means for Ford to offer an alternative for Mustang owners. It was originally marketed as a sports car for off-road adventures, and it was meant to take aim at International's Scout. Ford, of course, eventually blew away the Scout until competition arrived from Chevy, which went even larger by introducing the full-size Blazer. Jeep also got into the fray with its Cherokee.
Under the hood here you'll find a 302 cubic inch V-8, and this Bronco is backed up with a three-speed automatic gearbox. That makes for a great cruising combination, which is what the Bronco is all about. Paired with manual roll down windows, appropriately sloppy steering, and a bouncy ride, the original Ford Bronco is an excellent place to start for anyone looking to experience an older car or truck.
Of course, these old SUVs and pickups aren't getting any cheaper. The vintage SUV is a hot item at the moment, and you can spend tens of thousands on a clean, stock example, or hundreds of thousands on an example rebuilt by a company like Icon.
It's the stock version, however, that gives you the best taste of what a given vehicle is all about. Dave's old truck is a lovely example of the tail end of a great era for Ford.
As Jay says, "This is what you got for your $3,000..." We wonder if the new Bronco that Ford is readying for 2020 will offer similar value, inflation adjusted of course.