Live Auctions

BF Classified: 1981 Ford Bronco Stored Over 20 Years

Sometimes you don’t have to look very hard to find a great survivor — they are right here in our own Barn Finds Classifieds! This 1981 Ford Bronco was stored at one point for over 20 years, has only 42,118 miles and is now listed for sale here in the BF Classifieds. The asking price is $29,995 and you’ll need to figure out a way to get it home from Tyler, Texas.

This Bronco would be at home at any Radwood outing and is truly a product of its times. 39,853 1981 Broncos were produced and I’m sure there are very few of them around that look as nice as this one. This is the last generation of full-size Bronco (at least until later this year) as Ford would introduce the much smaller Bronco II shortly. I really like the Tu-Tone Victoria treatment on this truck and the paint really looks outstanding. We don’t know if it’s the original paint or not but I see no signs of a repaint in the close-up pictures.

The seller says that this is the XLT version of the Bronco, which was the top of the line for 1981 and featured some luxury items such as a brushed aluminum tailgate applique — which for some reason this truck doesn’t have — and body side moldings and chrome bumpers (which it does have). Those forged aluminum wheels are factory fitment as well.

There’s not much to say about the seating area apart from that it’s about as nice as one can get.

Except for back here. What happened? I’m guessing something was placed here during the long storage period (a battery or two, perhaps?) and it damaged the carpet. What a shame!

The engine was rebuilt in 2015 after the storage period and it appears it was at least mildly modified with an aftermarket air cleaner and headers. I’m guessing those aren’t the factory valve covers either, but they look nice. Overall, this looks to be a great example of a period SUV. What do you think?


  1. Ike Onick

    Crazy Eddie Price Guide is referred to once again.

    Like 9
  2. jerry z

    I like the location, Tyler. That helps no one. I’m guessing that is a NFS price.

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      Agreed, only because there are so many on the market which might even be nicer for much less money.

      The interior has damage and the engine was rebuilt making the numbers on the dash worthless.

      This guy is dreaming.

      Like 7
  3. Troy s

    I like the hopped up motor and all and really like these full size Broncos….they made them clear into the mid nineties regardless of the bronco II…don’t know what the writer meant up there. A little hard on fuel, even the fuel injected models, but very useful. Used an ’89 off and on as a loaner.
    Couldn’t smog this one here in Cali, probably get arrested trying (ha ha ha ), and at that price I wouldn’t consider it in the first place. Still a nice real Bronco!

    Like 3
    • MARK

      No fuel injected motors in the Bronco until the 1986 model year and then only the 302 engine.

      Like 1
      • Troy s

        Right, ’86 and the 351 came with fuel injection as well, I don’t remember what year really, just like the pick ups. Broncos really make a great all around vehicle.

  4. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Nice old Bronco, but the 86 short bed Ram from last week in the same color pattern is currently on eBay with 2 hours left at half the ask of this one. Far better deal.

    Like 3
  5. MARK

    Good luck trying to get a gen 1 Bronco price on a gen 3.

    Like 4
  6. Todd Zuercher

    Looks like a nice truck, but the price is a little crazy. The valve covers are from a Mustang a few years newer than this truck – I always liked them. The wheels are the nice forged Alcoa alloys from the 94-96 trucks – some of my favorite wheels.

    Jamie – this is a 3rd generation Bronco. There were two more generations produced after this one.

    Like 3
  7. Howard A Member

    That’s what’s great about the variety of the vehicles that come through here, you’re bound to recognize one you had. I had a red and white 1980 almost exactly like this, only a 6. It took the place of the dismal, yet I liked them, S-10 Blazer I had before it. The Bronco was my favorite truck. It was dependable, comfy, had a dynamite heater, go through about anything. I lived in a rural Wisconsin setting, and it always got my family home. The major downside, was it’s gas mileage, especially with all the hardware spinning, in the 5-7 range, maybe 10 dry roads. It was spec’d all wrong. I thought the 6 would be better, but it was a carb 6, non-O/D trans, and 4:11 gears, AND, it rusted profusely, like all the others. I don’t know about price anymore, but I can say from experience, these were great trucks.

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I had an ‘85 Bronco. I loved it and wish I still had it. Mine was a 351 HO with a 4bbl carb. With 3.7 gears it was a good combination. Mine, for some silly reason, got exceptionally good mileage, in the mid teens. It got better than my GMC. It was never a great powerhouse but it went everywhere I took it. Mine rusted out above the rear wheel openings and right at the lower rear extremities. Oh yes, the tailgate. 240K miles before the youngest boy was driving it and pushed out the block heater. Didn’t destroy the engine but it developed a knock when cold. Had to replace the head gaskets and the water pump. Gave the truck to the oldest boy who ran it into the ground. He needed money to pay a large fine so he sold it. I don’t know what happened to it after that. Good things never last.

  8. Michael

    Holy crap. Someone accidentally put the comma in the wrong place. Should have been 2,995. Smh

    Like 1
  9. Bob McK Member

    But guys, this is the latest fad! You MUST have an overpriced Bronco to be kool.

    Like 5
    • Michael

      That …or high on crack…

      Like 1
  10. tim

    that’s not a victorian two tone paint, that’s the standard two tone..

    Like 1
  11. tim

    and the wheels are ‘factory’ but those wheels were only available from 1994 on. They don’t have the fake rivots.. those where available starting in 1988 or 89..
    and the rear bumper is a cheap aftermarket

    Like 1

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