The Bronco is an iconic American vehicle, so it’s not surprising that it’s also ingrained in American pop culture. From celebrity owners to movie scenes to co-starring in certain infamous events, the Bronco is easy to find in the media and media history.
Since the Bronco has returned to the American car market, it’s likely to make a whole new legion of fans. In the meantime, let’s take a look at where the old Bronco has been, including famous Broncos from movies, Broncos owned by celebrities, and Broncos from famous car chases.
The 1966 Bronco introduced a new kind of vehicle to the American car buyer. It was a vehicle that blurred the lines between a utility vehicle and a fun vehicle. Farmers and border patrol officers used it to cross rough terrain, but eventually, surfers, campers, and hikers also enjoyed how the Bronco got them to more places. You could say that the Bronco was a lifestyle vehicle. It's not surprising that many celebrities are also fans of the Bronco.
Simon Cowell is the first celebrity on this list with a custom black 1977 Bronco. The custom build includes a lift kit, modified suspension, custom wheels, special exhaust, and a Ford racing V8 engine with 340 horsepower.
Lady Gaga might be the last person you’d expect to own an old Bronco, but she does own one in the form of a sky blue 1967 Bronco. It looks stock on the outside, but it includes a modern 5.0-liter V8 engine and some interior mods.
Ted Nugent is well-known as a guy who loves the country, so it’s no surprise that he has owned several different Broncos, including a mint 1966 Bronco and a custom 1990 Bronco with a camo zebra paint job.
Of course the car guy Jay Leno also has a Bronco in his garage. Leno’s is a custom 1968 Bronco with a dark blue paint job and a supercharged V8 engine that makes 720 horsepower.
Luke Bryan is a country music star who once penned a song about the Bronco. He owns a 1972 Bronco with a bright yellow paint job.
Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart opts for a 1979 Bronco as his daily driver. The V8-powered 79 Bronco is one of the optional Freewheelin’ models that were available on the late 70s Broncos.
Actor Kiefer Sutherland owns a customized 1973 Bronco with an upgraded drivetrain, custom interior, chrome wheels, and a roll cage. The eye-catching Bronco was modified by the famous Chip Foose shop.
Colin Farrell is another Bronco owner, but he stands out with an early 90s Bronco that’s all stock. The lack of any stand-out mods probably makes it easier for him to avoid the paparazzi too.
The Ford Bronco has appeared many times in American pop culture--both in movies and in certain media events. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous Bronco moments over the years.
The infamous white 1993 Bronco used by OJ Simpson after he was charged with two counts of murder in 1994 might be one of the most well-known historic Bronco events. The police chase was less a chase and more of a two-hour long pursuit at low speeds through LA freeways. The Bronco in question was driven and owned by Al Cowlings, who was a former teammate of Simpson. The scene held some predictions for the future as Ford discontinued the Bronco at the end of the next year.
In Speed, the Bronco in question was a silver 1970 model driven by Keanu Reeves’ cop character before the main events of the movie got started.
In Charlie’s Angels, a blue classic Bronco was used in one of the car chase scenes.
A unique Bronco appeared in Ocean’s Eleven with a lift, green flames on the paint job, and a cut-off cab. The giant Bronco participates in a drag race in the movie with a miniature remote-controlled version.
In Terminator 2, the later model Bronco is a beat-up truck driven by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character. Deleted scenes from the movie show the Bronco having its starter replaced.
We've talked about Broncos owned by celebrities, but what about a Bronco that IS the celebrity?
If you're a Bronco enthusiast, you might have heard about Big Oly. It’s considered the ultimate Bronco and one of the greatest off-road racing Broncos ever. The name Big Oly comes from its Olympia Brewing Company sponsorship. The Big Oly Bronco rose to celebrity status in the early 70s when it participated in some big off-road races.
Why is the Big Oly Bronco such a celebrity? First of all, it’s owned by Parnelli Jones, a professional racing driver and racing team owner. He initially participated in on-road car racing, but eventually got into off-road racing and created Big Oly. The first version of this Bronco was made with lots of factory Bronco parts, but he needed a more custom Bronco to compete in the big off-road competitions. Parnelli later built his custom Bronco rig to meet the specs desired but kept the exterior true to Bronco style.
In other words, Big Oly isn’t a factory Bronco at all, but a heavily modified off-road beast built in the spirit, the tradition, and the framework of the Bronco. Big Oly went on to win Baja 1000 back-to-back overalls as well as the Mint 400 and Baja 500 during the 70s.
Big Oly was put up for sale at the Mecum Indianapolis auction in late May 2021 where it sold for $1.87 million.
If you’re looking into Ford Bronco restoration parts for a classic Bronco, then Bronco Graveyard has you covered with upgrades like a Ford Bronco lift kit, Bronco winch bumper, and replacement Bronco body parts among others. Whether you own a 66 Bronco, a 1986 Ford Bronco, a 96 Bronco, or anything in between, we have the parts to make your restoration or repair a success.