30,000 Original Miles: 1979 Ford Bronco XLT


This 1979 Ford Bronco XLT is described as an estate sale find with just 30,000 original miles. The truck is equipped with a four-speed manual, manual locking hubs, and a numbers-matching 351 V8. The paint scheme isn’t the sexiest combo out there, but these trucks weren’t made to win any beauty contests – despite the fact that today, they hardly see off-road environments. The Bronco is located in Tumwater, Washington, where vintage cars seem to live out their days as pristine, unrestored drivers. The Bronco is listed here on eBay with no reserve with bidding up to $26,100 with just under 24 hours left in the auction.

The Bronco’s body is in outstanding condition, with no obvious dings or dents. The chrome bumpers still present well and the two-tone paint job gleams better than you’d expect, even with the low miles – 30,000 miles doesn’t always translate to minty cosmetics. The hard top has never been removed from the body, with the seller referring to it as “factory sealed.” I’m not sure that’s an official industry term for a roof that’s never parted ways with the body, but it does speak to how the original owner used the vehicle. The wheels are a deviation from stock, as they are from a later-model Bronco. I’d like to see a more period-correct look, personally.

The interior is equipped with factory “high back” bucket seats with what looks like near-mint upholstery. The door panels and dash are in equally tidy condition, with no signs of cracking in either surface. The fake wood trim in the dash and door panels show no issues. The manual transmission may not be the first choice of a tried-and-true off-roader (solely my opinion), as automatics can sometimes offer greater stability in precarious moments, but I doubt this square-body SUV is seeing any off-road action anytime soon. The seller notes that the air conditioning will need to be updated, as it’s never been converted from R12.

Underhood is nice and stock, if not a bit messy, but that’s more a reflection on the period of time when the truck was made than any fault of the long-term owner. The seller claims the truck is daily driver dependable, and there’s nothing in its presentation here that would lead me to believe otherwise. I’m in a number of forums with off-road enthusiasts who stand amazed at the prices that these old 4x4s command, but they miss the point: these trucks are more likely to do a slow crawl alongside a beachfront boardwalk than to ever get mud on its tires, and well-heeled buyers will pay a lot for the privilege of doing so.


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I would have fixed the crooked right side headlight before posting on Ebay. It is the very first thing that I noticed.

    Like 6
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice. Period-correct fog lights, two sets!! The Marti report would provide the data, but I would think by 1979 manual transmissions were not very common, especially in nicely-trimmed models. I never would have guessed a decade ago that these would become so popular (and pricey).

    Like 2
    • Johnny

      Bob, were the extra fog lights –mounted with the bumper bolts or someone drill a hole in the bumper and mount them their.? My Custom has the EXTRA holes. On my Ranger XLT Bronco I mounted them behind the grill . To me. They look better and have less chance getting knocked off.

  3. Dave Suton

    “Wasn’t made to win any beauty contest”?

    These are great looking trucks. Not over trimmed or ugly at all. What SUV of the period would win a beauty contest to the author? Fugly Toyota FJ?

    Like 4
  4. Miguel

    Does the VIN plate on the door sill look odd to anybody else, or is it just me?

    Would the brake pedal wear that much in only 30,000 miles?

    Like 2
    • Doug

      I have a 79 F250 with the same pedal, they came new with the smooth section. This brake pedal is not worn any at all.

      • Miguel

        The edge closest to the gas pedal looks shiny to me, which makes it look more worn than the other part of the pedal.

  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    My borhter had one of these XLT Full Size Broncos. Man, did he love that thing. The New England salty winters ate it alive.

    Like 1
  6. Mike

    An automatic for 4 wheeling? NO WAY! You can’t beat a stick while out boondocking. Where I live, in the Rockies, if you aren’t going up hill, you are going down. Automatics wear brake parts out. Nice ride. Too much $$$ for me though…

    Like 3
  7. AndyinMA

    Love the color. These are good looking trucks. Tasteful wheels too. But these all get silly money nowadays.

  8. matthew B steele

    I had 2..78 auto 351 and 79 grany low 4spd 400cid..79 was the bomb..sold ir for $1800 in 96..😫

  9. McGee21

    All I’d do to this beut is add a lift kit, nicer suspension, and perhaps a headlight rack on the top!

  10. TimM

    I really don’t see why these don’t bring the money the first generation broncos do!! I’ve had both and these drive so nice with plenty of power and had a good stance!! If this was a first gen in this condition it would be in the 40’s by now!!!

    • chrlsful

      “…in the 40s…” & double as I C (follow due to ownership since ’83). BUT – these R comming up to meet them. As the demographic gets there, watch.

  11. Stevieg

    I’d put a plow on it.

    Just kidding! Far too nice for that! Also, too much money for that.

  12. chrlsful@aol.com

    “…I’m in a number of forums with off-road enthusiasts…” since so, Jeff, U might have thought as I – wouldn’t it B worthwhile to get some pic for the guys wishing more authentic builds, having Q abt certain prts, etc…

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