1970 Bronco

When considering the history of sport utility vehicles, and the popularity of four-wheel drive vehicles, Ford's Bronco plays a prominent role. It was introduced in 1966, and this body style remained unchanged until it was replaced by a new full-size Bronco in 1978.

Compared to today's 4x4, the Bronco was designed to be very basic. Originally, 3 versions were introduced, a wagon, what Ford called a sports utility pickup and a roadster, that had a soft top roof and doors that fit in stylized door cut outs. On these models, the windshield folded down, and with the wagon and pickup, the roof could be removed.

To reduce costs, the Bronco used parts from the F-100 parts bin, like the instrument cluster, and rear tail lights. For the next few years, Ford upgraded their compact four-wheeler. In 1967 a Sport Bronco option was offered, which added an upgraded interior and exterior bright work. Two years later, the windshield no longer folded down and the roofs were no longer removable. Also, the cowl area was improved for reduced road noise.

Mechanically, the Bronco suspension consisted of Ford's Mono Beam design, with coil springs in front and leaf springs in the rear. Brakes measured 11 x 2 inches and were made self-adjusting in 1967. Standard tires were 7.35x15.

The first models drove off the assembly line with a 105 horsepower 170 cubic inch six from the now extinct Falcon. A 289 was optional, with a 302 offered in 1970. The Bronco was offered with plenty of options, such as a heavy-duty clutch, limited-slip differentials front and rear, a 11.5 gallon auxiliary fuel tank and a tailgate mounted spare tire.

Our retrospective 1970 Bronco was assembled at the Michigan Truck Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan in March 1970. It was and still is powered by a 302 V8 that trumps up about 205 horsepower. As a testament to reliability and simplicity, the transmission is the 3.03 Ford. This 3-speed worked well with the Ford 9-inch Trac Lok limited-slip differential with 3.55:1 gears. Up front, there's a factory Dana 30 with 3.50:1 gearing.

In total, 18,500 of these rigs were produced in 1970.

Our sincere thanks to Jeff Trapp of South Lyons, Michigan for sharing his outstanding vehicle with us.

1970 Bronco Specifications:
Price (1970): $3149
Engine: V8, optional
Displacement: 302
Horsepower @ rpm: 205 @ 4400
Torque (lb/ft) @ rpm: 220 @ 2900
Transmission: 3-speed manual; 2-speed transfer case
Brakes f/r: Drum
Wheelbase, in.: 90
Length, in.: 152.1
Width, in.: 68.8
Curb weight, lbs.: 3090

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