Live Auctions

Cranberry Survivor: 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT

This 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT is described as a barn find that’s been sitting since 2004. The paint is a pretty and somewhat rare combo of Cranberry Red over Wimbledon White, the latter being a classic Ford color. The seller describes the truck as being well-optioned from the factory, and aside from some paint that’s been burned off by the sun, it looks like a very solid driver. Bidding is quite active, too, registering at $9,000 at the moment with a few days left. Broncos that haven’t been cut up or otherwise modified are worth a look, and you’ll find this one here on eBay and living in Mooresville, North Carolina.

I really dig the colors, and the contrasting hardtop is a sharp look. Before coming to North Carolina, the truck was ordered new in Colorado and lived in the Centennial State and Montana up until June of last year. The listing notes it was ordered with the 351 V8, C6 automatic transmission, air conditioning, limited slip differential, 4.10 gears, sliding window, and more. A Marti Report is included with the Bronco to provide documentation for the stated options. Chrome bumpers front and rear appear to be in good order. The seller notes the truck sits on a set of wagon wheels mounted on 32 inch BF Goodrich tires.

The interior is slightly tatty but nothing you can’t live with for the time being. The original low-back bucket seats remain in place, and the red carpeting is a nice look. Door panels and dash are free from modifications, but it’s difficult to tell if the dash is sporting any cracks. What looks like an original headunit remains in place, and the backseat appears to be unused. The center console is another option that the truck left the factory with, and it doesn’t show any signs of cracking on top. The seller notes all lights and gauges function as they should, and while the heater core was just replaced, the A/C still needs a new belt and a charge.

While bidding has taken off for that running and driving example, we have a Barn Finds Exclusive listing in Georgia for a 1978 “Custom” model with an automatic, 400 V8, and some rust in similar places to the one on eBay. You can check out the original listing here. Broncos are part of that class of square body SUVs that are seemingly always in demand, especially when they haven’t been modified for off-road use. The 1978 model on eBay is a nicely optioned example that has the kind of patina enthusiasts love, so I’m confident it will clear $10K without too much trouble. There’s no reserve at the moment, so it’s currently destined to sell.

 

Comments

  1. Ryan Hilkemann

    Is there really 78s that have square head lights?

    Like 2
    • Gary S.

      Some late model 78’s had square headlights. Cant remember exact trim models that did without researching to refresh my memory…. Been awhile since working on them on a weekly basis.

  2. TimM

    Your right Ryan!! It does have square headlights which I believe makes it a 79!! The black one is a 78 first year of the new body style!! With the round headlights!!

    Like 3
    • chrlsful

      also no slider window in back till the last yr this gen…
      but U can swap that as well as top (& hdlghts)

      Like 1
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    The ‘78 XLT had square headlights. Nice unit to fix completely up and have a good time with. I prefer the red and white color scheme to the vinyl decals that so that’s probably where I would go. I would try to find a set of white 8-spoke wheels. It is so refreshing to see one of these sitting at stock height instead of having a male-enhancement device.

    Like 7
    • TimM

      Geomechs what year would the black one be with the round headlights???

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It would be a ’78 for sure. It seems to me that even the base line trucks used the square headlights by ’79. I could stand corrected though. Fords of that vintage are not my field of expertise compared to GM…

        Like 3
  4. petemcgee

    Another gosh darn Easterner out here poaching our dry Western rigs!

    Like 3
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      YEAH! – Make it stop.

      Oh wait…..I’m an Easterner now.

      Like 4
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    On the pickups,square headlights were optional in’78,
    & standard in ’79..

    Why is it that some people can’t be bothered to re-register
    vehicles in their own state,when they buy them?

    Like 4
    • Johnny

      taxes, hiding something from their spouse, live part time in one state and part time in another.

      Like 1
  6. TimM

    They were nice trucks though but couldn’t go through the woods like my 73 and I like the fact the whole top came off!!

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I had a ’75 Ford that you almost couldn’t stop. My brother had a ’78 Bronco that was actually better than my truck. IMHO that straight front axle increased the stability when going through mud and snow. I had an ’85 Bronco with that hinged front axle and it left something to be desired…

      Like 3
      • Gary S.

        I agree Geomechs. I had a 79 with solid axle and it was more stable than the 85 i have now.

        Like 1
  7. Howard A Member

    Now that I’ve trashed the 1st gen Bronco , I can do a total about face with these. I had a 1980, same colors as this, only a 300/ 6 cylinder, carb model spec’d out about the same( non O/D automatic, 4:10 gears) THAT, like this, was it’s downfall. I loved the truck, but needed an O/D or different gears. That truck got the worst gas mileage of any vehicle I owned, aside from my semi trucks, maybe 10, 7-8 with all the hardware spinning. The up side, it had everything the 1st gen didn’t. Good ride, dynamite heater, cushy interior, plenty of room, perfect for my family, always got them home, not much could stop it ( except lack of fuel). The 6 was a poor choice, and a V8 gets as good a mileage, and the power of a V8 when needed. You want a nice Bronco, here you go, not that 1st gen stuff.

    Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Good morning! Looks like neither one of us can sleep. Get up for a whiz and it’s wide awake. What do we do other than check out the social circles, huh? An ‘80 model with a six? A friend of mine had an ‘83 so equipped. He really liked it. I had an ‘85 with a 351 HO. It should’ve been an LO. I have to say that mine was really good for mileage; mid teens anyway, even if it wouldn’t pull a limp ‘noodle’ out of a pail of lard. I know that my brother’s ‘78, with a 400, was harder on gas than mine. Sure wish I’d kept mine instead of turning it over to the oldest boy. I remember my dad’s generation. Very few of them talked about fuel economy. I think it was the 70s before it even became an issue. Our generation was first of the complainers. That was, unless you bought a diesel. “I bought that truck for mileage!” was as common as a Beemer jockey thinking he owned the road, or the parking lot; or both. Me for the good ‘ol days, well, without the first marriage…

      Like 3
  8. Johnny

    Well I guess I am pretty lucky. I have 2-78 bronco,s .The Ranger xlt has square headlights –400 auto and the other one had a 351,with 4 spped. I put a 390 in it and made the world of difference . At the $9,000 asking price. I guess they would. I have about $7,000 in (390 -one )and I have replaced about every worn out part on it. Then I,ll start on the interior and outside. I haven,t changed the gears yet,but planning too. I think what makes these vehicles so hard on fuel is the low gear ratio and heavy top. I,ll find out this summer. I have done alot and found out alot what causes the rust issuse,s too. The floors rotting out is caused buy the vent. Where the wipers are at.Leaves and twigs will flow down to the big bucket (behind the fender) and fill up. The drain hole at the bottow of the bucket is SMALL and when it stops up with crud. The water over fills the INSIDE VENT and cause water to get in the floor and rust it out.Also the rain drip rail.When the filler start drying up with time. The rain enters inside the cab and flows down the back side of the door frame and causes the dog legs to rot out. Plus Ford did not OVERLAP the dog leg corerectly and it causes rust out their.

    Like 3
  9. David G

    I have a ’79 Bronco that is identical in outward appearance to this one, except mine has solid side windows and factory outside spare tire carrier. Same colors and two tone style. Mine is a Custom, not XLT. Red bench seat interior, with factory A/C, 351 and 4 speed. Great truck, does everything one could ask it to do.

    Like 2
    • Johnny

      The bench seat is alot more comfortable. My Custom had bucket seat and I tossed them. My Ranger has the posi in it and you very seldom had to put in in 4 wheel. If yours has the regular hub parts and they give you any problems. Their a company in Montano called Quad trac that sales the parts. Also the Warner hub. It eliminates alot of the parts and is easy to put in.

      Like 1
  10. Johnny

    I also found out if you change the timing gear set for a straight up and down marking. It will improve mileage and power. I,ll find out on the XLT when I rebuild the motor. The one,s that come on the bronco,s have a off set of about 16 degreesI have 78,s. A Ranger XLT and a Custom,

  11. Johnny

    My 78 Ranger has square headlights .With solid side window and my other 78 Custom has round headlights and the sliding side window with vent . I was also told at the Ford garage. The Ranger XLT came with the square headlights where the Custom had the round headlights In BOTH 78 .models. This one that is saleing for $9,000 . I guess mine would be worth more. I have replaced alot of worn out parts on it.From new tire,complet brake syste,cooling system(4 row radiator)gas system,motor,parts on it,clutch,pressure parts. Sway bar. Rebuild the front axle,brake system-alot and still have to do the inside and outside. Mine looks as good as this one.

    Like 1
  12. GPAK

    Cranberry Red ????

    The Marti says ‘Candyapple Red’ over Wimbledon White !
    Even the seller can’t get it right when advertising his own car ! 🙄
    DYR

    Like 1
  13. Johnny

    Comparing price and looks. I,d rather have the black on. You can bet you,find the same things needed to be taken care of on the red and white one. The black one would look alot better if it was washed. Looks like it need both rear inner and outer fender(quaters). Can,nt wait till spping and hope my hands are healed. So I can tinker on mine.

    Like 1
  14. James Turner

    Back in the 1990,s I restored a one owner 1979 Ford Bronco XLT. I had the 351 cc engine rebuilt and repainted Jade green metallic with gold pinstriping. The interior was almost as good as new and at that time gasoline did not cost as much. My point is even back then these Broncos sucked gas so bad that you almost thought the gas tank had a hole in it. I can imagine how much gas a 400 cc engine uses. Not only that but with the height of the vehicle and square front ends and big west coast truckers mirrors they had wind resistance like a brick in the air. I realize we Bronco owners, ( former ) bought them for winter snow storms and off road use, Hunting wildlife Etc. but I guess that’s the price you pay to own one of these especially with the straight front axle.

    Like 2
    • Johnny

      Since about 90 I been working on my XLT. Been throw alot of deep snow with mine and one winter I was coming out during a snow storm. I was way back in Greenbrier Count W.Va. The next day I went to leave the house and no wonder I couldn,t hardly see that evening (night) Their was snow over my head lights. I was useing about $60 of gas a week going back and forwards going deer hunting,but I enjoyed being out in the woods and GOING., But I also remember I had a 79 Chevrolet Caprice. That had a 350 –4 door with posi. Through deep snow and slick roads I was going where 4 wheel drives was going and if I wanted to push it. I didn,t have any trouble going up Beech know. Coming down. I,d put chains on .Drop it in low and come on off. People couldn,t believe how good it went. Then the rear frame had to start rusting and I had a cousin re-do the doors on my bronco and traded him the car for the work. Now I,m rebuilding the motor in the bronco and looking for ways to make it easier on gas. Higher gears and maybe a straight axle and lower it some. The higher the body.The less weight you have on the tires and easier for them to spin. Heck before the tires was wore out and it went real good –even on hills in 2 wheel drive. Plus pushing the weight of the front axle would cause it to use more gas–and I was running a 2 barrel. Maybe if the good Lord,s willing . I can make it easier on gas and go good too. haha

      Like 2
  15. Gary S.

    I always liked these old broncos. I had a 79 custom that was dark jade and white with jade interior. Blew it up flirting with a woman in a sports car on the interstate. Ughh. Not the first or last woman to cost me money. Replaced the 351 with a built 400 but didn’t last long… my best friend bought me a cam/lifter Kit for b-day.Summit Racing brand…needless to say it was not of good quality…wiped two lobes on cam and lifters chrome was chipping off..So bye bye oil pump and bearings… So in the process of getting money to fix it i had to move and didn’t have a place to keep her,so she went to the salvage yard.Kick myself now for that but such is life.I have a dark blue and white 85 now with the 351 HO and C6 now. Not as good but i still like it.

    Like 1

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