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56K Mile Survivor: 1986 Ford Bronco XLT

How long has it been since you’ve seen a Ford Bronco that wasn’t rusty, a project, or “cut” and/or “uncut”? Ok, it’s only been a couple of weeks but for every nice Bronco, there are several project Broncos out there. This really nice full-sized 1986 Ford Bronco XLT can be found here on eBay in Gresham, Oregon, about 15 miles east of Portland. The bids are at $11,000 and there is no reserve.

This is more of an evening-on-the-town Bronco than a down-the-muddy-trail Bronco, but I’m sure it could still hold its own off of paved roads. The red accent color on the wheels is a very nice detail. This amazing Bronco has a mere 56,320 miles on it which would be an average of 1,656 miles over the last 34 years. You can see some worn paint on the edges of the front fenders and roof.

This is the last year of the third-generation Bronco and the XLT version was the top factory trim-level. There was also an Eddie Bauer trim Bronco with a two-tone paint scheme and special interior. This beautiful blue Bronco has never been painted or touched-up and has never been in the accident. It has also never left the Northwest which could explain the incredibly solid condition. That’s my favorite part of the US to buy vehicles from.

As with the exterior, the interior looks great in this Bronco. Surprisingly, even on the top trim level models, there was no leather option. That’s unheard of today, how times have changed. This one has manually-adjustable seats but power seats would have been an option. The back seat looks even nicer than the front seat does, which is often the case. They say that the rear window doesn’t operate but they’ll fix it at the end of the sale.

The engine is Ford’s 351 Windsor V8 which would have had 210 hp and 305 ft-lb of torque. The seller says that this Bronco runs, drives, and handles excellently and it sure looks great. Are there any full-sized Bronco fans out there?


  1. Michael Leyshon Member

    A lot to like here. Last year of glass sealed beam headlamps. Throttle body injected motor. 1987 went to “flush” lights and port EFI. Maybe better and/or more reliable but I’ll take the ’86 !

    Like 5
  2. Michael Leyshon Member

    Sorry…DA here…4V Holley…Thinking of the auto trans 5.0 Mustang with TBI…duh…

    Like 5
    • Todd Zuercher

      Correct! 4 barrel Holley. Broncos never had TBI. The 302 got port EFI mid-way through the ’85 model year. And I would say the Eddie Bauer trim level was higher than XLT when it was introduced.

      Like 4
  3. AndyinMA

    Nice to see a Bronco that is not white. These things get crazy money lately.

    Like 5
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      Yea, the “OJ Slow Chase” tribute vehicles can bring the $

      Heh, just joking.

      A friend has had a life-long admiration for these, and if I was a lottery winner I’d buy this one for him, on my way to inevitable bankruptcy.

      Like 5
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I had an ’85 that was equipped very close to this one. Mine had the 351 HO which I soon determined the ‘HO’ did NOT stand for ‘High Output.’ Mine was far from a great performer, however, if you hitched up the boat or car trailer, or the 19 foot RV it still performed the same. Reasonably good fuel economy; it actually got a couple miles to the gallon better than my ’79 GMC with the 400 SBC. It was virtually indestructible. Youngest boy was driving it late one night and it pushed a block heater out. He ran it until it stopped. I got it back to the shop and got it running. Head gaskets were bad. I had just built a new house and was flat broke so I loosened the head bolts one at a time and re-torqued them. Water pump was shot so I replaced it.
    Got another year before the head gaskets went completely out. I was a bit more flush by that time so I pulled the heads and checked them. Ground the valves, de-coked it and stuck it all back together. Had a bit of piston slap until it warmed up but it went just fine after that. Oil consumption was acceptable. I put 300K miles on it before I turned it over to the oldest boy, who put a pile of miles on it after that. He sold it to pay off some traffic and liquor violations. Had a hard time forgiving him for that but then, I gave it to HIM. Good things never last…

    Like 16
    • Todd Zuercher

      210 hp sure seemed a lot when this engine came out though! About 50-60 more hp than just a year or two before.

      Like 5
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        You know, a friend of mine had an F150 4×4 with the 351 HO. It was equipped very much like my Bronco, even had the same 8 spoke wheels and the black/silver paint job. But his went like Jack, the Bear. Mine was positive but it never seemed to have the same off the line power. Interestingly enough, both had 3.50 gears but my friend’s truck was a real pig on gas. I did some tuning up with the carburetor and advance curve which got him a couple of miles to the gallon better but it was never as good as mine…

  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice Bronco. Interesting how not only the 1st Gen Broncos and the 2nd Gen Broncos are fetching high prices.

    As a point of reference, would the Bronco (plus pickups in similar condition) now be the most sought-after and therefore most valuable of the 1986 Fords? Maybe so. For illustration, not too many of the 1986 SVO’s or four-eye Mustangs get far into five figure territory.

    Like 1
    • Todd Zuercher

      Good question! For the right example, you’re probably right. The 3rd generation trucks have lagged the other 4 in terms of rising prices/collectibility – and there seem to be a lot fewer examples in nice condition left. The first few years really were poor performing, underpowered rigs. All the road tests sound the same theme. I’d love to have a nice ‘85.5-’86 with the 302 EFI and the Eddie Bauer trim package.

      Like 2
  6. petemcgee

    My cousin bought a new 1985 Bronco with the 351HO and automatic. That rig did absolutely everything well, and was bulletproof. I shot an elk one year and we wadded it up in the rear hatch area as best we could and took off for town, with most of the elk hanging off the end gate. He still says it was the best truck he’s ever owned.

    Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      When my pickup was down or otherwise occupied, I hauled a lot of lumber and even a couple of engines in the old Bronco. For lumber I just rolled the rear window down and slid the 2x6s in, right up between the seats. Never a problem…

  7. Dave

    When I worked for Westinghouse they got a Bronco of this generation for the office in Beckley,WV. It was plain-Jane, with the 300 six and granny gear 4 speed. Six months later, it came back on a flatbed. Seems that one of the techs, Rocky, met up with a triaxle coal truck on a one lane road in southwestern Virginia. The front end was crushed to the firewall. The engine was between the front seats, the transmission resting on the back seat. Rocky walked away with a broken collarbone.

    Like 1
  8. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Bronco sold for $11,400!

    Like 1

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