With the introduction of the new Ford Bronco, one thing’s for certain, as cool as the new rig is, it’s just not the same as Ford’s old-school original. When new, most Broncos were run hard, put away wet, and susceptible to the tin worm. Unfortunately, they also drove exactly like they left the factory; big, clunky underpowered trucks.
The original Ford Bronco was first introduced in 1964 and ran all the way to 1996 in five different generations. Hundreds of thousands were built. The brainchild of Donald Frey, (who was also a key player in the development of the Mustang,) it was conceived as a Jeep competitor but promised a more car-like experience. Initially, it sold well, but when the bigger Chevy Blazer debuted, sales of the Bronco shrunk, and Ford up-sized it in 1978.
Old Broncos are very cool aesthetically but woefully dated today and if there was a perfect candidate for the restomod movement, the old-school Ford off-roader fits the bill. Enter Velocity Restorations based out of Pensacola, Florida. Owners Stuart Wilson and Brandon Segers were bitten by the Bronco bug around 2006 and their team now build 50+ Blue Oval off-roaders a year. The Bronco restomod is their signature build, but they create custom International Scouts and Toyota FJs as well. Practice makes perfect these guys have got the process down to a fine science.
One look at some examples of their work is a testament to their expertise. Brandon explains “We can return your Bronco to factory fresh or do a complete custom build. With our restomods, we improve every part of the truck. We make the rig run stronger, steer better, with the confidence of a modern braking system. Our bodywork and paint exceed anything that came out of a Ford factory in the ’60s or ’70s. We use Griot Garage products to add the finishing touch to all our builds. No build is the same either. The customer can tailor the truck exactly the way they want it and we are happy to accommodate their wildest dreams. Our facility is 130,000 square feet of workspace with everything built on-site. We have 75 of the best automotive craftsmen we could find and always looking to add more qualified techs.”
Let’s take look at a recently completed 1974 Bronco restomod. You might want to get a bib or napkin so you won’t get spittle on yourself. From the Pacer polished wheels to the custom Brittany Blue PPG paint and modern drivetrain, this build is a skillful balance of classic good looks and up-to-date features. Built on a powder-coated factory chassis, it’s wrapped in a body massaged to better than new tolerances. The vintage FoMoCo look is maintained with new hardware, glass, weather seals, upgraded J.W. Speaker headlights, power-retractable side steps, and molded fender flares.
Under the hood, a Ford Performance Coyote 5.0L V8 crate engine and automatic overdrive transmission is a serious upgrade to the ancient stock powertrain. It exhales through 3-inch custom exhaust and headers, and it looks as tough as it sounds sitting on a 2.5-inch suspension lift, a rugged four-wheel-drive suspension, and Wilwood brakes.
This truck dominates any road surface. In addition to the above gear, Velocity adds proprietary components that give clients the edge in performance and exclusivity compared to competitors. The interior features custom-upholstered high-back front seats and a fold-and-tumble rear bench. The custom sewn dash pad, door cards, and shifter boots are color coordinated to the interior. The look and feel of a classic Ford Bronco are accentuated with vintage-inspired Velocity digital gauges, Vintage Air conditioning, and one-off monogrammed shifter knobs and floor mats.
For those folks who can build a car or truck themselves, a high-end build like this might bring snickering from the cheap seats. But for the rest of us who skipped auto shop in high school, the dream of owning the truck you’ve always dreamed of can become a reality. There are a limited number of Broncos available, but if you like this baby blue beauty, it’s for sale. A Velocity Bronco restomod starts at $224,900. Go to Velocity for more information.
Typical Bronco Restomod Equipment List:
- Ford Performance Coyote 5.0 Crate Engine
- 4R70 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Atlas 20 Transfer Case
- Velocity Exclusive Serpentine System
- Custom PPG Paint
- Chrome Accessories
- JW Speaker Headlights
- All-new glass and weather seals
- Six-point roll cage