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12k Original Miles: 1983 Ford Bronco XLT

There’s been so much fanfare surrounding the first- and second-generation Broncos that the 3rd generation was overlooked. It’s always been my favorite – likely because this is the vintage I grew up with – but seems to have been catching on as of late. This example, a 1983 In XLT trim, can be found here on eBay in Biloxi, Mississippi with an eye-popping minimum opening bid of $60,000. The ask seems steep but this one has just a bit over 12k miles since new.

More than 328,000 Broncos rolled off the assembly line during the 7-year third generation model run from 1980 to 1986. This 1983 example is from the lowest production model year when 38,963 were built. The Eddie Bauer trim wouldn’t be introduced until 1985, making this XLT the top of the trim level heap. Having evolved rapidly from the 1977 model year, the Bronco seemed to be on a quest to increase daily driving comfort and capability while not straying too far from its roots. Notably, it now featured independent front suspension (IFS) instead of a solid axle. If you’ve driven/ridden in both, you can attest to the significant ride quality improvement offered by IFS.

This Bronco is finished in Raven Black with a black top. The paint shines nice and the trim looks clean and bright. The seller notes just two blemishes – a “slight” one on the hood and an aging rear window dust seal. The bumper-mount fog lights appear to be the factory-installed option type and, despite their low ground clearance, look to be in good shape. My biggest gripe on the exterior – really only because of the $60k minimum bid – is that the wheels are incorrect. At least the Goodyear Wrangler Radials wrapping those 5th-generation Bronco wheels were a factory offering.

Perfectly matching the exterior condition, the interior looks near new. I love a bench seat and always welcome contrasting fabrics to help break-up the big slab seating. The backseat looks unused. In significant contrast to much of the rest of the Bronco, the woodgrain accents give it the slightest upscale feel. Floor-mounted shifters offer that classic 4×4 look.

Under the hood you’ll find the optional 302 cubic-inch V8 engine. All 142 horsepower is sent to the rear – or all 4 – wheels from the standard 4-speed manual transmission. It’s quite tidy under the hood which is to be expected with a vehicle that, as the seller says, was “always garage kept of which many years was climate controlled garage kept.”

While it’s great to see vehicles like this lovingly preserved and being offered to other collectors, the barrier to entry for clean, low-mileage Broncos seems to be ever-growing. I’d guess many true collectors are indifferent to that trend, but for folks like me who prefer to drive collector cars, I don’t think I’d be any less happy in a higher mileage example for a fraction of the price.


  1. Avatar photo Mike

    My GF had a brown one of these. Gas mileage was horrific. We were at McD’s years ago and I told her “here’s my impression of a Ford Bronco”. I proceeded to make the slurp sound you make when you finish your drink.

    Like 7
  2. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Jonny. A very nice Bronco. I didn’t notice the incorrect wheels until you mentioned it, though they do look good. Manual transmission. Let’s see if it pulls some bids at this high ask.

    Like 5
  3. Avatar photo Ray M

    If 60 k is a minimum opening bid, it maybe will take 65 or 70k to buy it, after spending that much money to aquire it are you really going to drive it or take it off roading, I don’t think so. I will say it does look very nice

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Rbig18

    Seller is in search of a J Leno type collector. Lots of money and a storage location for it sit in. Lovely vehicle but I would rather a higher mile one I could drive.

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Boatman Member

    Welcome, Jonny. Nicely done!

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Boatman Member

    I’m not convinced that those aren’t original wheels. They do have Ford caps, after all.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

      They are original wheels, just not original for an ’83 Bronco. Those wheels are the highly coveted and really nice forged Alcoa aluminum wheels found on ’94-’96 F150s and Broncos. They look good on nearly every vehicle they fit. Ran them for years on my early Bronco.

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo Dave D

      I would be surprised if they weren’t they were not an option available at the time.

      NICE TRUCK BUT 60k no thanks

      Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    Wow, what a beauty! 12k original miles? I would be willing to bet that the Ford motor company would be interested in buying this for their museum. This Bronco should have people “ come to see it “, not taken anywhere or driven. Unfortunately, a lot of classic cars, especially these days, just shouldn’t be used for anything but “respectful viewing”, basically in a museum setting. I totally agree with a lot of the comments, “ I to would like a classic vehicle that I can drive “. Good luck to the new owner and great article too!

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    No 3rd gen Bronco is near the 60K threshold yet, and if one DOES get there, it’ll be an ’85 or ’86 Eddie Bauer with the 5.0 EFI/AOD combo with super low mileage, in my opinion.

    The fog lights on this one are rare, and desirable – I have to think that in that location that a lot of them got knocked off early in life.

    The wheels are the desirable forged aluminum Alcoa wheels found on ’94-’96 Broncos and F150s. They look fantastic on any vehicle they’ve ever been mounted on.

    Like 6
  9. Avatar photo flynndawg

    i found those ‘coveted’ rims at my local pull-a-part in knoxville tenn for my 93 bro that i bought in 2010, i guess i didnt know how sought after they were actually till reading these comments… i think i paid around 20 or so bucks for them a piece… mine is a 93 custom… my old beater with 302 auto… still love her ‘listing has been pulled’

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

      Back in 2010, that was about the going rate for them and they were very common. They’re a lot harder to find these days and usually at least $40-50 ea. in the pull-a-parts if you can find them.

      Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Paul N

    “Honey, I cant seem to sell the Bronco. Nobody must want one that old. I guess we just have to keep her” (wink wink)

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Vin

      LOL I’m happy my wife’s not reading that. I have a nice HD along with my spare Acura, just seems no one wants to buy. Thx to the occassional friend dropping by asking ‘why so cheap’, & no inqueries, lol! I say people dont have the $ these days. Not giving it away. ;-)

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Doug

    IFS may ride great but horrible steering. Wants to go all over the road.!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      Just need someone that knows how too align them right

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo MTBorst

    I find it hard to believe this bronco has survived all the saltwater storms that come a shore. Hurricanes and all. The guy must have a fortress.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Steven Baker

    I loved my 94, and yes this Horse is a beautiful example, however, not $60k beautiful. The only one I would consider for even half that is the one that a customer of mine has hidden in his garage. Even though 88 is not my favorite year, 1000 Miles makes it worth more to me. Perfect condition but hasn’t been run since. He bought it for his daughter and she wanted a mustang instead. Still this one I would love to have it but not at these crazy prices. Considering, I put 302000, and not all on road garage queen treatment. I used that beast for it’s intended purpose. I see no reason not to with any bronco.

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Michael Berkemeier

    These are horrible, uncomfortable, have no power, drive like poop, and get about 3 miles to the gallon. I would not even consider owning one of these but, that being said, someone will pay a ridiculous amount of money for this turd from the worst era of cars and trucks in the history of American automobiles.

    Like 0

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