Mini-Feature: A Competitive Bronco from SST Lake Elsinore 2018

The thrills of Stadium Super Trucks came to Lake Elsinore recently. We had a fantastic time watching racers like Apdaly Lopez, Robby Gordon, and Jerett Brooks rock the Storm Stadium with their high-flying antics, but guys like Michael Cox had spiffy rigs all their own, too.

Far from staying true to Ford power, Michael went the GM route where it made sense. “I gave it a Chevy motor, Chevy transmission, and a Ford rearend,” he said. “I built it in my garage. It’s always been a build I’ve wanted to do.”

Michael finished his build on the Bronco in or around 2013. It sports an LS V8, a rear tube chassis, a set of 37-inch Toyo tires and flashy KMC wheels, and TTB front suspension.

Hailing from Chino, California, Michael wound up with the Bronco as payment for some work he had done. “I got it about seven years ago and drove it around as a stock truck,” he explained. “I did one build-up on it, just leaf springs and coilover shocks, took it out, and realized it sucked.”

Thus began a two-year process of building up the Bronco the way Michael wanted it. He began by cutting the Bronco in half and doing a full tube chassis all the way to the back. “I only built it to be a prerunner, never to race it,” he said. “But it performs well for what it is, so I figured I’d come out here and ‘send it.'”

A very thought-provoking gauge cluster, to be sure.

"Everything that's fabricated on the Bronco was built by hand in my garage," said Michael. "I did an extra-special job with the exhaust. They're all equal-length header tubes with step primaries. Each header tube is 36 inches long, and each one fires rotary into the collector, giving it an excellent sound."

Still equipped with power windows and locks (as well as wipers), the Bronco has some of its creature comforts intact, but make no mistake, it’s off-road to a “T.” Michael, for his part, has been no stranger to racing in his SUV.

“I’ve raced in SST before, in Costa Mesa a few times, and in Las Vegas one time,” he said. “This is my first time in Lake Elsinore. It’s scary as hell. I’ll need to put together a good lap, come out the turns at the right angle, right wheel spin, and good forward bite, and I’ll go.”

Of course, this works best with the right tools for the job. To that end, the Bronco has an LS2 V8, LS6 intake manifold, 4L80 four-speed transmission with a manual valve body, and Kuster coilovers on all fours – very old-school, but just the right price for Michael. “I bought them off of a Pro 2 truck sponsored by a strip club,” he said.

All in all, it was simply an amazing Bronco to behold at such a humble venue as the baseball stadium in Lake Elsinore, California. What do you think of this machine? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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