Amazing Original! 1973 Ford Bronco Ranger

The seller refers to this 1973 Ford Bronco with Ranger trim as a “LUBR” – a lifted, uncut Bronco. This 4×4 is going crazy here on eBay with bids reaching $25,000 and the reserve isn’t met yet. And I regret not buying Amazon stock 20 years ago, I should have been buying Broncos. It’s located in Republic, Missouri.

My best friend growing up had a first-generation Bronco but it looked nothing like this one – most of them didn’t from what I remember. The doors sagged on those unusual hinges, the strap “stops” were always braking and it was rusty and the roof leaked and and and… But, man was that thing a beast offroad! I can’t imagine that a Bronco this nice has ever been off the road and I can’t imagine that the next owner will take it through mud holes and down logging trails as my friend did with his beater Bronco.

This is the original paint according to the seller. I was going to comment about what looks like bodywork on the driver’s door since it looks a little wavy but I have to be wrong if this is the original paint. This thing is gorgeous, as nobody may have ever said about a Bronco before. “Cool”, yes. “Tough”, no doubt about it. “Manly”, duh. “A brute”, for sure. But not gorgeous for cryin’ out loud. That’s how I roll. All is not showroom perfect, though. There is a bit of rust and a couple of spots look a little rugged, but thankfully they’re pretty small areas. This Bronco isn’t 100% original, though, it has a 2.5-inch lift on it.

The interior is amazing, even with the automatic transmission. Most of us wanted to see a manual transmission in this Bronco I bet. My friend’s Bronco was a 3-speed manual and it was fun to drive. This fancy Ranger trim Bronco is downright posh comparatively. The seats are in beautiful condition both front and rear and the rear cargo area floor looks as shiny as can be. Speaking of shiny, as in shiny gold bullion, Hagerty is at $35,800 for a #3 good condition Bronco and $55,700 for a #2 excellent condition Bronco! FIFTY-FIVE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AMERICAN DOLLARS! Wow.

This isn’t the 200 inline-six, it’s the engine that most of us would want: the 140-hp 302 V8. Power was down by this time but still, a V8 is a V8. It looks pretty clean in there other than a couple of areas of rust. The underside looks great and this one even has power steering, something that my friend would have laughed at 3.5 decades ago. Still, I think down deep he would much rather have had this nice Bronco, I know that I would have. Have any of you owned a first-generation Bronco as nice as this one?


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Used to see these commonly on the Rubicon Trail coming out of Georgetown. The A/T’s generally did the best for rock crawling but the were every bit as stout as the old Jeep’s, except they had a propensity as I recall to break axles when operated by a newbie.
    It’s no wonder Ford is allegedly introducing them again using this rendition as the icon (and probably hoping everyone forgets the II model). These are great machines.

    Like 2
  2. dirtyharry

    Another comment from the shop: What is the difference between a Ford and a golf ball? Answer: You can drive a golf ball 300 hundred yards. What do you call a Ford that made it to the top of the trail? Answer: A miracle.

    There are some crazy valuations lately. If you ever drove one, you would realize what a miserable vehicle it really is. Lousy everything, brakes, handling, noisy etc. I guess that is exactly what makes it interesting. We like tough and simple vehicles, until we don’t. Then we want good AC and a decent ride. Have you ever taken out your wife on a 95 degree day in a jeep? If so, post the video.

  3. KSwheatfarmer

    I’ve had my eye on one of these in town for about 15 years. Me and about twenty other guys as well.Just as nice,just as original,owned by the retired priest and his sister,always hooked up to his small fishing boat,setting out side year around. It must be divine intervention that has kept it looking so good for so long.Has to be a miracle that it doesn’t have so much as one hail dent,or worse scooped up by a tornado and wadded up like a crushed beer can.I cringe knowing it sets out constantly,especially with this crazy weather of late.Many have made offers on it but all have been refused,has to be sentimental value and we all respect that,it is always mentioned any time the old car guys around here discuss Broncos.

    Like 2
  4. TimM

    I have the same truck with an automatic!! I wish my paint looked that good though!! Still running it today but it doesn’t go in the woods to get fire wood any more!!! I’ve never been able to say enough good about the original bronco!! I still have two!! My 73 automatic with 302 and my 67 half cab with six cylinder!!! I’m my opinion one of the best built best designed vehicles ford ever made!!!

    Like 1
  5. MorganW Morgan Winter

    That driver’s door looks wavy to me…

  6. Ted genther

    I have a 73 Ford bronco sport all original as my everyday ride and I love it!

  7. Matt steele r spot on ..I have owned 3 Broncos that were pre 78.and a78 & a 79…I’m sure if I had to spend a day in one it would be the 78 or 9.the old style are cool but not comfortable or that pleasant to drive .I’d take a 70 blazer tho.

  8. Matt steele

    You know old binders were cool too.

    Like 1
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    First generation broncos were meant to compete with the likes of IH and jeep ergo not to be pretty or comfortable. Tough go anywhere vehicles for hunters and the likes. Although this one is quite attractive. Probably never use the 4 wheel drive again, just sit in someone’s garage only to be taken out on beautiful spring and fall days.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  10. Todd Zuercher

    I think this guy probably bought this one from a flipper in Tucson recently.

    Rangers had stripes on them so someone did a really great job peeling them off or this truck has been painted – I suspect the latter.

  11. Boatman Member

    I’m suspicious of this one. Look it over closely before you buy!

  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Wow! I just think of what I could buy for 30K. Ended: May 26, 2019 , 8:00PM
    Winning bid:US $28,300.00
    [ 60 bids ]

  13. Todd Johnson

    Wrong interior- the tan was only available in late 76-77. It should be Ginger or Avocado to be original.

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