Jeff was walking though the annual 4x4 ford spring swap meet in Hudsonville Michigan, when he noticed two broncos on a trailer. One was a blue ‘68 wagon and a red ‘66 wagon with a snowplow. Both broncos were in poor shape the ‘68 was rusted and missing an engine, trans and transfer case, the ’66 was battered and beaten.
Later in the day jack a friend of Jeff’s said “did you see the red ’66 on the trailer, that might be a roadster.” Jeff soon headed back to the bronco and asked the owner if he had the title. Looking at the title there in was U13NL831369, U13 was for the roadster model and N for the 289 V8 Engine. A deal was struck, the bronco would be heading back to Brighton. There it was a V8 roadster hiding under a later model full top and windshield frame. The bronco had one early door on the passenger side and later on the driver’s side. Looking closer you could see the screw holes in the doorposts where the door inserts mounted and lack of holes in tip of the quarter panels where the full top would mount.
Later when checking out the VIN# it was a march ’66 production date and with the first V8 roadsters made in mid march this could be one of the first V8 roadsters built. Now a bronco that spent most of its life in Traverse City, Michigan would now become the next Bronco Graveyard project
The 1972 U14 Bronco was purchased in early 1972 by the Mechanicsville Hose Co. (Mechanicsville, PA). The all Rangoon red Bronco was later fitted with a 2-way radio, CB radio, sirens, and flashing lights. Mike Reno, current fire chief (1982), said the truck was used for brush fires in remote hard to reach areas. The fire chief quoting older fire fighters said the Bronco could climb hills like a mountain.
The Bronco was used on into the early 1990’s when it was sent to the Fire Truck Museum in eastern Pennsylvania. The Mechanicsville Hose Co. needed to purchase new equipment, so they put the Bronco up for a close bid. Jeff was the lucky bidder and picked up the all-original 302 V-8 (2830 miles) in June 2006. On the trip home he stopped by the 40th Bronco Anniversary at Carlisle All Ford Nationals, where Stacey David, host of “Geaz” and former host of “Trucks,” picked the truck as most original Ford Bronco.
The safety green 1979 ford truck was originally purchased by the Novi Michigan fire department in march 1979 from John Mach ford in Northville Michigan. The truck 1979 F-250 custom 4 wheel drive with a 351M engine and a new process 435 4-speed transmission. The F-250 was outfitted to be used as a brush fire and support fire vehicle.
In the later years the truck was also used in the winter as a support vehicle to pull the rescue divers’ team trailer. The F-250 saw action on walled lake for dive exercises and real life search and rescue.
As the Novi area grew from rural to a city the fire department determined the truck no longer needed. In may 2001 the F-250 with 26,000 miles was put up for auction. Jeff was the high bidder and received the truck in June, while driving the truck home Jeff discovered the truck runs, stops and steers like a new vehicle. Driving the truck lets a person go back in time over thirty years to see how the truck of the time performed.
The truck is basically all original (tires, battery, radiator) and came with a maintenance record book with all entries for the truck including, engine oil to tire pressure checks.
The 1991 silver anniversary bronco was built in October 1991 the Michigan truck plant. The bronco was deviled to Barney Goldfield ford mercury in waterloo Illinois. A man from Springfield, Illinois purchased it and he owned the bronco for 8 years. The bronco was sold and ended up in Lewiston, Idaho area. According to maintenance records it stayed in Idaho to spring of 2008, Jeff purchased the bronco from Mike Shash of Ramsey New Jersey in June 2008.
The currant red bronco is all original including factory Goodyear tires. With just over 26,000 miles on it the bronco is in near showroom condition. Looking under the bronco one can tell the vehicle was not driven in the Midwest winters.
The silver anniversary package included matching currant red roof and bumper and body side molding. The interior included red leather striped seats and red carpeting, Special emblems on front fenders and rear cab pillar. While on the inside embroidery seats and floor mats. The bronco is a fully optioned vehicle the only other options available after the 25th anniversary package were the 351-W engine, block heater, triner tow package and limited slop rear axle. Jeff also received all maintenance records and a 25th anniversary leather jacket with matching leather travel bags.
• 6" Procomp Suspension System
• AirLift automatic rear load leveling system
• 35” BFG Mud Terrains on Procomp rims
• 4.56 gears f/r with rear limited slip
• EDGE Evolution Power Programmer
• Flowmaster 40 series exhaust system
• K&N high performance air intake kit
• FX4 skid plate package
• Precision Grilles EZ Billet Grille
• Grippin Door Handles - Triple Shot
• Power Step by Bestop running boards
• 30% Window tint
• Front DVD Video head unit
• Rear DVD unit with wireless headphones
• Kicker amps & dual voice coil sub in custom enclosure
• Infinity door speakers & tweeters
• KARR alarm system
• Rear view backup camera
• Integrated iPod
DRC (Detroit Race Way) horse racing track originally obtained this fine machine in December 1965. After 30 years of hard work Jeff purchased the roadster for $200.00 in the spring of 1995. Upon inspection the truck appeared to have survived many "Fall Guy" type jumps with a broken front axle, bent radius arm, missing trans, transfer case and drive shafts. In general the truck appeared to have been in a demolition derby and lost.
In the spring of 1997, resurrection began with the drive line; everything was completely rebuilt by Marty (JBG's mechanical surgeon.) During the reassembly every rusty part was sand blasted and refinished with Dupont pitch black by Master Blaster's Brian Trapp. Jeff then continued the chassis assembly using all stainless steel fasteners, hardware and brake lines.
The damaged body was then taken to Ricky Albright of AlBritght Custom were he began to work his magic. Replacing nearly every body panel with world class JBG sheet metal the truck was returned to better than new condition. The beautiful eye-catching sheen this truck is known for is due to the PPG base coat/clear coat Raven Black. The freshly painted body was then mated to the chassis and the final assembly began.
The dash was painted in the original factory gray while the seats were recovered in the original silver/gray vinyl material to keep the truck as original as possible. Providing a platform to show the bronco enthusiast the most unique year and model Bronco ever made, the 1966 Roadster. The roadster debuted in the summer of 1998 at the Buckeye Jamboree by winning Best Ford. The following summer as hoped, it won Grand Champion at the Princeton, Indiana Midwest 4x4 Jamboree.
Most recently it was a major trim supplier for Ford Motor Company. While there the President of the Ford Trucks division had the opportunity to view the truck, then requested a stay at the Ford Truck Design Center in Dearborn, MI as show below in the their courtyard. This took place during the development of the U260 Prototype Bronco Project to show the designers the simple design that began the legacy of the Bronco. The world has yet to see anything materialize from this but we are optimistic.
When Jeff was high bidder for the 1970 Bronco pickup it was like hitting the Bronco lotto. The Pick was all original except for the battery, tires and wheel covers. The truck had only 6,622 original miles on it and showed little wear. Used as a brush fire truck for the Salem Township Fire Department, it spent it's days in a heated fire hall and only came out for parades and other special events. The truck was completely disassembled and they started with the drive train. They first installed new seals and gaskets throughout the entire drive train, reassembling everything to better than factory condition. All components were cleaned and painted with the exhaust manifolds getting gray Jet Hot Coat treatment for durability and superior looks.
The body was next and Jeff called on Ricky Albright of All-Rite Custom to do the paint and body work. The main problem was dealing with the holes left by all of the radios and other equipment added to the truck. After the body was ready Ricky applied the Raggoon Red paint. The truck was reassembled with the idea to keep the truck as factory as possible. All new weatherstrip was added as well as an original red screw cap Autolite battery.
On Wednesday, June 12, 1996 our 1970 Bronco was invited by Michigan's Ford Truck Plant to lead the Drive-Off Ceremony to pay tribute to the last Ford Bronco ever built. Comments from the original ford workers invited to the ceremony "This truck is better than when we built it in 1970" concluded a job well done.
When Jeff purchased this 1971 BAJA Stroppe Bronco in the spring of 98 from a gentleman in Bennington, VT he was looking to complete his collection of vintage Bronco's with the most popular and sought after Bronco ever made. This truck, originally from Odessa, TX is one of the first 30 of 575 produced by Bill Stroppe and Associates in Long Beach, CA. It is perfectly restored to better than show room condition and is nearly flawless. Jeff unveiled this truck May 19th at the 15th Annual Spring 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Lima, OH where it took Best Sport Utility and 2nd best Ford in the street class.
Jeff first disassembled the Bronco completely like he had done to all of his previous projects. Even with 118,683 miles this truck spent most of it's time in Texas so there was little rust or corrosion to fight during this tedious process. The engine and trans had less than 6,000 miles so they were just freshened up a bit, the rest of the drive train received platinum treatment and was complete rebuilt. Everything on the chassis was sandblasted, painted, and precisely reconditioned to OEM specifications right down to the original exhaust system with grey Jet-Hot coated manifolds.
The body was in excellent condition so it took very little preparation to get it ready for paint. The colors were poppy red, and wimbledon white on the body, blue metallic on the roof, and satin black on the hood.
During the assembly of the interior Jeff took meticulous in reinstalling everything as carefully as possible. Some things were reconditioned and some were taken from the archives of JBG shelves as Jeff has carefully saved many discontinued OEM and NOS Ford parts for a project of this magnitude. The same care was care was used while assembling the exterior including re-anodizing a perfect set exterior trim, and refinishing every chrome piece.
Getting right down to the nitty-gritty Jeff ordered a set of original Stroppe 8 1/2 X 15" Chrome wheels from Stockton Wheel and mounted 31 X 10.5" BFG Mud Terrains on them as the original Gates Commando tires are no longer available. Contacting Andrew Norton of BajaBronco.com Jeff was able to obtain the original Baja sticker for under the emblem which is now be reproduced.
This truck was originaly built by ProtoFab, found it's way to Canada then into Jeff's garage last fall. Please check back often to see our progress. The ultimate goal is to spend as little as possible (without cutting corners) preparing this truck for Ultimate-Duty off road use.
The arms are angled inward to allow tire clearanced for tight turns and articulation, you can actually adjust your knuckle stops for a tighter turning radius than can be achieved with stock arms. Extensive testing revealed that heim joints did not give any additional travel or flexibility, and 12" was the optimum length. This is a safe and rugged design with no removable parts or areas for possible failure while driving or in an impact.
This kit with our new Superflex suspension components(below) makes RTI scores 1200-1500 range possible. On our project BULLETPROOF we achieved an RTI score of 1268 with full tire pressure and poly bushings.
The Blue 1976 Bronco was originally purchased in Brighton, Michigan from Wilson Ford in December 1976. The lucky owner was John Keski, a later retired 47 year Ford employee. John and his family used the Bronco as a second car, and to pull his camper trailer to native Upper Peninsula of Michigan to air shows.
In 1997 John had Leiberman Body Shop start the restoration process. Leiberman installed new front fenders, a tailgate, and then repainted it. Michigan Motor Exchange rebuilt the engine and John did not touch the interior because it was as clean as it was from the factory.
John, being a long time Bronco Graveyard Customer, enjoyed his Bronco by going to car shows and Broncorama’s. His long-term plan was to pass his Bronco down to his son Eric, but Eric became ill and tragically passed away.
In March 2006 John came to Jeff and a deal was made. He wanted someone that would cherish the Bronco like he did. The Bronco is one of the best driving trucks that Jeff has driven.
Lil Bucky (Motor Trend Magazine Originally)
The 1987 Bronco II concept truck was displayed at the 1987 Sema Show in Las Vegas and featured in the October 87’ issue of Motor Trend Magazine (See photo album). After the Sema Show the Magazine used it as a photo chase vehicle and was given the name Lil Bucky. After many years of faithful service Lil Bucky was left to sit in the basement of a LA skyscraper parking garage.
Along came Motor Trend writer Ron Sessions to the rescue. After a few years Ron left the magazine to come to Detroit to work for GM. Ron drove Lil Bucky on his trip eastward to Michigan with no problems recording 23 mpg. Ron came by the Bronco Graveyard to see if anyone would be interested in the truck. After telling us the history of Lil Bucky a deal was struck and the Bronco II had a new home at the Bronco Graveyard. Here are some specifications on Lil Bucky:
1987 Ford Bronco II
2.9L V-6, 5-Speed manual
Eddie Bduer. SVO hood. AM/FM/Cassette
Custom 16-in. radials and aluminum wheels.
No rust. Black exterior. Beige Interior.
84,000 original miles, 81,000 of them in California.
1985 Ford Bronco bought for $300.00 with a straight 6 motor. Fenders, quarters, tailgate, floor pans, rockers, striker and door posts, and a drivers door were rusted and dented. All repaired with JBG sheet metal.
Motor is a 351W bored .030 over balanced and blueprinted with an Edelbrock performance RPM carb, intake and cam package. It has Hedman full length headers and 2.5 inch true dual exhaust.
The Bronco has an New Process 435 transmission and NP 208 Transfer case both stock. Dana 44 TTB with 4.10 gear and Trac-Lok in the front and Ford 9 inch with 4.11 Trac-lok in the rear.
The suspension is the 1980-96 Ford Bronco Superflex 5.5 inch suspension kit part #33884a. It has the front and rear sway bars attached and runs Doetsch Tech shocks front and rear with Beard Limiting straps on the front.
Tires are 35x12.50x15 Mickey Thompson Baja Radial Claws (excellent tires!) on custom hammer rims. If you have any more questions about the build or parts used on this truck please email.