All Original! 1973 Ford Bronco

What is up with first-gen Ford Bronco values? I encounter many for sale all the time and the asking prices never cease to amaze me – what am I missing? Well, here’s a 1973 example so let’s look it over and see what the draw is. This Bronco is located in McKinney, Texas and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $55,000. Thanks to Boot for this tip!

Ford’s first-gen Bronco was offered between 1966 and 1977 and was intended as a competitor for Jeep’s CJ5. The Bronco was unique in that it used its own chassis, one that was not shared with any other Ford vehicle. Besides the typically found two-door utility vehicle such as our subject car, there was a pickup truck version offered as well. Even with different trim levels, the one thing that remained constant with the Bronco was its spartan simplicity. Twelve years’ worth of production yielded a total of 225K copies with 1973 accounting for about 21K.

Originality is the watchword for this Bronco, with perhaps a bit of rust thrown in for good measure. The seller states, “The paint appears to be original, I do not see any overspray, and the original owner’s son told me it had never been repainted. The bronco is VERY solid and rust-free overall“. I suppose that statement excludes surface rust which is rather prominent, and not only in the cargo bed but in the passenger footwell too where it has rotted all the way through. That problem is acknowledged by the seller and referred to as minor. The exterior body panels are straight but they display surface rust that has burned through the very weather-worn green finish. The front bumper is a bit bent but it’s not a significant matter and the rest of the exterior looks to be complete and intact.

One nice feature of this Ranger trim-level Bronco is its 137 net HP, 302 CI V8 engine. The mileage display is 75K miles, though not claimed, and the seller states, “This bronco mechanically runs great, its fires up and drives well“. He does suggest, however, that the brakes should be bled and one of the U-joints needs to be replaced. A Cruise-O-Matic, three-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the four-wheel-drive transfer case and axles.

The pictures of the interior are a bit misleading as what shows in this image looks to be complete but the seller states, “I took extensive photos with the carpet out and under the vehicle for you to view” – and that’s appreciated as nothing is being held back. So, besides the floor repairs and necessary refinishing, the carpet will need to be replaced and the seats reupholstered. The back seat, however, and the dash pad, both look fine.

This walk-around video shows the Bronco being started and will give you a chance to listen to the engine idling and nothing leaps from the 55-second clip that would be considered a red flag. So, there you have it, this first-gen Ford SUV is original, unmolested, a bit worn, and a little rusty. But $55K large? For a ’73 Ford Bronco in this condition? Someone, please explain, what in the world am I missing?


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  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    Still don’t get it

    Like 9
    • Dave

      My father considered these, like the CJ Jeeps they copied, useless. But then again, he considered everything that couldn’t carry 4×8 plywood sheets and 10′ studs useless too. They are small, they ride roughly, cramped if you’re tall, no headroom. When I was shopping for my first new car in 1977 I was considering a Bronco but he campaigned mightily for a new F150 4×4 and won. I got a lot more for my money.

      Like 3
      • chrlsful Member

        1 think one can not say truthfully abt these is “…no headroom….”. They are ridiculously hi. I’d say while sitting in driver’s seat (I’m 5ft 11inch) I feel like there’s 2 ft above my head – measured it’s 11 w/o a hat.

        Like 2
  2. chrlsful Member

    mmm – oe AC.
    The Ranger paint scheme (& the green too) have been bringing the money recently. I’d get busy and put a lill into it B 4 the sale. Seems like a flip rather than some time’n effort (that would pay off) better known in the bronk world a “respect”.
    U aint missin anything (ur seein the net and auction influence on prices). If i sold mine I couldnt afford nother.

    Like 1
  3. Rbig18

    Wasn’t this truck on here a few weeks ago? I think this is a flip.

    Like 9
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Yes it was, probably shouldn’t have run it again.


  4. Rbig18

    Confirmed listed and shown here on May 6th. Looks like top bid was 30k and reserve not met.

    Like 6
  5. Todd Zuercher

    Yeah – already shown and discussed here.

    Like 3
  6. Sam Shive

    Must be some good SMOKE going around in Colorado. $55.000 For this wreck. Hell, I can get A NEW Jeep for less.

    Like 10
  7. Sam Shive
    • Jay

      Thanks, that’s sweet !

  8. Lance

    With all due respect, can you please stop this madness with Ford Broncos and old Porsches? Please????? I am all for the diverse variety of vehicles featured here every day but it’s getting a bit much when the same cars are featured time after time after time etc. I don’t mean to be down on Broncos or Porches but it’s getting a bit much. Why are there so many ? Please guys consider getting some other vehicles . .

    Like 5
    • bone

      And Grand Nationals……

      Like 1
  9. Erik

    Every time I see a first gen Bronco list price I get “drunk” thinking of how much my restored to stock ’69 Bronco with Ranger trim must be worth but then I “sober up” and realize that such feelings are ever only temporary as the asking prices for some of these first gen Broncos are purely hopeful speculation by the sellers who hope to catch a fool who is easily parted from their money or get some deep pocketed buyer who buys a rotted out Bronco for top dollar only to hand it over to a restoration shop at which top dollar will be paid to make it into a vehicle that in the end is equal to the same amount of $$$ that would be spent on a Mercedes G-wagen. Lastly, I never understand those that justify the high price of a vintage vehicle by comparing it to a new vehicle’s MSRP as IMHO neither the classic nor the new vehicle should be priced that high but it is only the foolish or the flush with cash that pay such prices or at least pay the high monthly payment before moving on to the next vehicle they purchase or finance.

    Like 1
  10. Desert Rat

    Checked the calendar and nope it’s not April 1st, still this must be a joke. Who would pay this kind of money for a worn out, need everything old Bronco? Can you imagine telling your friends “Hey guys look at the sweet ride I picked up and I only payed 55 grand for it!” you and the horse (Bronco) need to be taken out behind the barn and shot.

    Like 4
  11. Tom Jones

    Since 1987 I’ve owned three CJ-5’s, a CJ-7, a Scout II, a Landcruiser and have loved them all. I also now watch in awe as the prices keep going up and up and up on these old rigs. This one here seems to have reached a pinnacle at $55k, and it leaves many of us wondering, why? How? How do the asking prices get this high on vehicles that mechanically, even when in good shape, are marginal at best? From the factory they weren’t that awesome off road, they didn’t handle that well around town, and they sure as hell weren’t fast. I have one answer that can explain this madness: Idealization. These rigs have become religious icons to be worshipped and venerated. We all need something to bow down to, and for some of us, it’s these old beaters that have come to exemplify the ideals of freedom, coolness, ruggedness, simplicity, and perhaps a mystical quality linked to the rare and unique. Ultimately, if a seller idealizes his rig, and finds a buyer also idealizing his rig, the sky might be the limit for the price willing to be paid.

    Like 1
  12. chrlsful Member

    my take: *the buyer does not know (or care) what they are buying. As above it’s an icon (they buy) rather than a fact (back in the day we bought as an easy ‘canvas’ on which to place upgrades to customize – that means build to meet our need). In fact, many of the sellers can not answer Qs abt the vehicles OR the model.
    * Nxt we have the rise of the net (no longer supply/demand).
    * Combine that w/the rise of the auction as ‘car sales’ means.
    These are contributing (internationalization of mrkt, availability of labor enhancing tools, Chinese imports) factor but there’s much, much more.

  13. JoeBob

    I suppose if the seller had the brakes bled and the u-joint replaced the ask would be $65k.

    Like 2
  14. Steve Clinton

    Will this Bronco insanity ever end? I would buy a comparable Jeep, Scout, or even a Toyota for a fraction of the cost.

    Like 2

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