First-Year Rig: 1966 Ford Bronco

At first glance, this 1966 Ford Bronco appears very clean and rust-free. While it isn’t exactly rust-free, it is clean in its own right as a first-generation Bronco. Many and maybe most of these are or have been Swiss-cheese at one point. Although this particular Bronco has been repainted, it hasn’t been restored and that makes this truck something of a survivor, though it is definitely in need of restoration now. With good tires and no exterior rust, this truck could be ready to roll with some minor mechanical work (that is, if rust doesn’t bother you!). Find it here on eBay in Michigan with bidding at $3,100 and reserve not met.

So here it is, the inevitable rust that very few first generation Broncos escaped. This Bronco needs floor pans on both driver and passenger side, as well as a full interior restoration. This truck has certainly seen a lot of time with its top off! For being a Colorado vehicle, this Bronco has faired decently well. I have seen many Bronco projects started with much more rust than this. This would be a good starting point for a project! The simplicity of the interior is a reminder that although this is more of a fun vehicle than a work vehicle, it can still do hard labor and it’s still a truck.

Because this truck is a first year model, the 6-cylinder engine under the hood should be a 170 cubic inch engine. The larger Ford 200 engine didn’t become standard equipment on Broncos until 1973. Although this engine runs, it reportedly needs carburetor and clutch work in order to be properly operational. As small of a vehicle as it is, it has an even smaller engine bay! The straight six should be easy enough to work on in there, but I’m not sure I would want to mess with anything larger in that engine bay!

Included with the sale is a 1969 Bronco parts truck. This is the Swiss-cheese through-rusted condition I see most Bronco projects in, and by comparison, the 1966 is in excellent condition! Also included with the sale is a “half-cab,” which replaces the full top with a smaller one making the Bronco into a small pickup truck. This piece certainly adds some value to the sale, and is another reminder that Broncos were indeed intended both for leisure and work. If you have been looking for a Bronco project and you’re tired of finding more rust than trucks, this is the Bronco for you!

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Comments

  1. Jay M

    Rust – Free; meaning………………
    ” No extra charge” for all the rust.
    Very generous indeed.

    10+

  2. Todd Zuercher

    The Bronco engine compartments are surprisingly roomy even with the 289 or 302 in there.

    This one’s definitely going to take some work!

    0

  3. Don Tennison

    I always wanted to try a 300ci I6 in one of these with a 4 or 5 speed manual trans, the 300 has unreal torque and a lot of after market stuff

    1+

    • Jim

      300 was prob the toughest damn motor ever built

      0

  4. Howard A Member

    Oh, they’ll be hammerin’ at this for a while. It really is a super deal, so far. Half cab, very rare, AND parts truck. Lot more rust than just the floor, but totally repairable. Too bad, this too will go into the stratosphere and not sure why. Like the Landcruiser, they weren’t that much fun to drive. Much more suited for off road than on. I think people find that out the hard way.

    3+

    • Jay M

      Howard is right. Much better off road. My Dad bought a new Bronco in 74 with a snowplow. I was 8, and I was impressed. Especially because he taught me to drive it. 302 and a 3 on the tree was tough to master but what I remember is he never got angry when I put it in the ditch. He never said a word when I was 11 and rolled it either, but I spent a lot of time helping him fix it!
      We worked it pretty hard on the farm and it was so rusty by 1979 that he bought a new Bronco that never worked properly. Eventually he figured out that it had different ratio gear sets installed at the factory that made it squirrelly in 4wd. When the dealer agreed, they took it back and gave him a new style 1980.
      Back when dealer customer service meant something.

      3+

  5. Clint

    My brother in-law has a 69 Bronco with a 351W in it. Not hard to work on at all.

    0

    • Andrew Tanner Staff

      Glad to hear it! The inner fenders made it look to me like it might be a challenge, but I’ve not yet had the opportunity to work on one of these so your experience is valuable!

      0

  6. Jack Quantrill

    The one OJ was riding in, in that slow freeway chase is on the market for $500,000!

    1+

  7. Sam

    I would pull the roof and doors in the summer and do a Hank Kimbel/Green Acres tribute.

    Gas Monkey did a Twin Peaks sportsbar version.

    2+

    • Andrew Tanner Staff

      I wrote this remembering the Gas Monkey Twin Peaks build! That coupled with a friend of mine searching for one were what lead me to recognize that this one was in pretty good shape compared to most project Broncos.

      0

  8. gaspumpchas.

    These are very popular right now. Good opportunity to get in on one. All broncos had 9 inch rears.Good luck to the new owner.

    0

  9. jim munn

    I just found a 1969 u15 Ford bronco in a barn and brought it home. It only has 33500 miles with only minor rust in the bed. It also has a heavy duty PTO winch that was a dealer option when it was new. Only used for getting firewood from the back 40. All the rubber is perfect, but it needs an new exhaust manifold and a new bench seat.

    9+

    • Andrew Tanner Staff

      Great find!

      1+

  10. Kevin

    My God, they make it sound like Broncos are the only vehicle that ever rusted. They ALL rusted!!

    2+

    • Andrew Tanner Staff

      Where I come from, most cars don’t rust, and first-generation Broncos do. That says something! That coupled with most of them seeing use in severe winter areas has lead to the majority of the ones found in “project” condition to be quite rusty.

      0

  11. chad

    J. Munn-
    I buy the junk frnt bench…

    1+

    • jim munn

      Maybe Chad… It will be a winter project. Any parts to trade?

      0

  12. pete

    PTO winch? What kind of T-case did it have?

    0

    • Todd Zuercher

      Dana 20.

      0

    • jim munn

      I’ll get a picture.. it has a throttle control knob by the choke knob to control the winch RPMs. and a stock heavy duty lift

      0

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