62,000 Mile Survivor: 1978 Ford Bronco XLT

This 1978 Ford Bronco is part of an emerging class of collector cars that aren’t cars at all: many experts agree the next wave of highly-desirable hobbyist vehicles may very likely be square-body SUVs. That’s why this Bronco may be one to buy, or at least watch, as it has to be one of the few remaining that hasn’t been hacked up or otherwise modified for off-road use. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $16,300 and the reserve unmet. 

This Bronco is quite the specimen, with both low mileage and no obvious modifications. It has reportedly driven only 62,000 miles from new and wears what I’d assume to be original paint, since the seller refers to it as a traditional Ford color combination. The hard top is removable, of course, and the Bronco surprisingly still wears what looks like either stock-sized or only mildly upgraded rubber – no obscene off-road tires here. Chrome bumpers look quite nice and there are no obvious flaws with lenses or glass.

The interior is downright incredible, almost to the point where I have to ask if the carpet is original. It just looks too clean, even for 62K. The dash is likewise near-new, and the wood inserts on the steering wheel, glove box, and window crank panels give it an upscale feel. It’s well-equipped, with power steering, power brakes, center console, locking hubs, air conditioning, and cruise control. When new, someone optioned this Bronco to the hilt – and accordingly, bidders are pushing that auction number higher.

Now, if you want a Bronco project that won’t break the bank, check out this example I’ll soon be listing as a Barn Finds Exclusive. It’s a ’78 automatic as well, with no cut fenders or other modifications. It does have some rust and the body is crying out for some time with an orbital buffer, but this is a project-grade Bronco you can get into for just $2K and likely have running and driving for not much more than that. Reach me via mail@barnfinds.com or keep your eyes peeled for the Exclusive. 

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    Beautiful Ford! I would be proud to own this but really see no need for that drive train in my current life. Still…
    My brother bought the same color combination on a short bed pickup with 4-wheel drive that he used for plowing snow. I’m sure that brothers truck has long faded away in the salty climate in the Midwest. I don’t think he kept it for more than one season

    Like 1
  2. Howard A Member

    Yeah, pretty creepy, I had a Bronco like this, only a 300/6. Wasn’t lifted, but was probably the best all around 4×4 I ever had. It was a breath of fresh air from previous 4×4’s ( Jeep Cherokee, S10 Blazer) It also has the honor of getting the worst gas mileage of any vehicle I had, besides my semi’s.( and not that far off, either) Dry roads, maybe 10, and single digits in the snow with all the hardware spinning. That was the only downside, and was spec’d all wrong, carb. 300, non O/D auto, 4:11 gears. A V8 and O/D probably would have done better, but I did like the 300, it’s why I bought it in the 1st place. It was just the price I paid to make sure my family got home in any weather, and at the time I lived in the country and gas was $1.10/gal. It was spacious, ran like a clock, comfy, dynamite heaters, and not much could stop it. These, like the pickups, were great trucks.

    Like 12
  3. KSwheatfarmer

    Told the wife we should get one of these when the first generations started to get popular. Appears as if we missed the boat,considering what good examples of this size are bringing.Friend up the road has two in rough shape,maybe I should look at them again,most likely leave them alone,don’t have the fire for major rebuilds any more.

    Like 6
  4. Matt steele

    I’ve had 3..favorite was 79 with 400 and granny low 4spd. Had a 460 in garage but the motor ran great ( no low oil pressure/ main bearing problems so no swap) wish I still had it.

    Like 4
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    These were an instant hit. The dealers couldn’t keep them on the lots before they flew away. I actually took more than a casual glance at them even though I was working for GM at the time. They just checked all the right boxes. I bought a Bronco a few years later (’85 to be exact) and I loved it. A much better ride than the GM counterpart. If this one was to head over to my place, the first thing that would be done would be to lose the lift kit and get it down to a normal height.

    Like 7
  6. Jimmy

    This Bronco could sit in my driveway any day, love it just as is.

    Like 8
  7. local_sheriff

    Great Bronco, love its colors and condition. It’s also of an era when most issues could be fixed by DIYers.

    However, it was simply a matter of time before such Broncos became sought after and priced accordingly. I hate it when vintage vehicle ‘trends’ emerges – suddenly a complete nation starts vacuum-cleaning every frickin’ corner of the continent to locate those vehicles that are HOT today; resulting in every hopeless rust-bucket being sold in a market few average enthusiasts have any chances to compete in. It happened to the wagons, then the VW Buses and 1st gen Broncos. The vehicles have always been there – they’re just suddenly TRENDY !!

    I do hope those hipsters and money people can find a different playground to mark their territory. Tip; I foresee in the nearest future 80s/90s minivans to be the hottest to put your money into !!!

    Like 5
  8. Del

    Nice

    Like 2
  9. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks for the write-up Jeff. I’d say you could firm up your verbiage: from my perspective these vehicles, along with similar trucks, are past “may” be the next stage of collectibles. I’d say they “are”. We could discuss why, but my opinion is that it is in part a side product of the trend over the past couple decades towards trucks, SUV’s, and CUV’s.

    Along these lines, here’s a prediction for a future collectible: first generation Explorers. Influential in the early SUV craze, extremely popular in their day, the Eddie Bauer versions were particularly sharp rigs.

    As for this vehicle, it’s terrific. Love the iconic red/white paint scheme. Great to see one in very clean, stock condition. The bidding shows others think highly of it too.

    Like 5
  10. Barzini

    Ford Broncos had so many great years but this is my favorite generation, especially those that have the freewheeling edition.

    Like 2
  11. James Turner

    In the 1980,s I bought a 1 owner 1979 Bronco XLT. I had a rebuilt 351 M engine installed and had it repainted the nice looking Jade Green Metallic. I had RWL tires mounted on Wagon wheel style rims. I painted the running boards and wheel rims Gold metallic paint and put grab handles aside of the doors and put Gold double line pin striping on the sides and tail gate. I also had a smoke colored bug shield on with PONY EXPRESS printed on it with an air dam mounted before the front axle. It was one of the nicest looking broncos around at the time. The problem was it had the aerodynamics of a brick and around 10 mph. II finally sold it and about broke even on the expenses at $ 5,000.00. Maybe I should of held on to it according to what this red/white Bronco is bid at. LOL

    Like 4
  12. David G

    Love these. I have a ’79 Bronco in red and white two tone. The other two tone pattern offered by Ford with the hood and roof being white like the side color, with a red band going over the roof behind the doors. Has red interior, a 351 with 4 speed, and cold factory A/C. Great vehicle for any type of driving. Very happy that I bought it.

    Like 2
  13. Lance B

    How come when I hit the eBay link, a blue and white ’78 Bronco comes up? BTW – Does anyone remember the versions of these that had the (I think) three-tone reflective striping on the side? Yowsuh!

    Like 2
    • Jimmy

      If you look to the top of the page with the blue & white Bronco it shows the red & white Bronco ad has ended, so ebay redirects you to a similar one. If you click on the picture of the red & white one it will take you to that ebay ad.

      Like 1
  14. Johnny

    I have 2-78 that I have had for quite awhile and been working on the quite awhile and have learnt alot about them. What causes the rust problems–about the same as on any vehicles and corrected and correcting them. They do go really good–even in 2 wheel drive. If you have a posi rear-end. I,ve been thinking about finding a 2 wheel drive six cylinder –standard pick-up and putting a bronco body on it–with a posi rear-end. I,m sure it would help the mileage some. They are hard on gas. Mine is like a habit–a strong habit .Like chewing or drinking and the bronco,s have their hang over too. hahaha. Funny when you have one–people don,t want to give you anything for one. Always trying to offer you a little and CAN YOU TRUST ME? They never have any money. Maybe I live in the wrong part of the country . haha

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