Final Year Project: 1996 Ford Bronco XLT

First-year and final-year models of almost any collectible car or truck tend to get enthusiasts more excited than the ones that came in between. An early car might have unique features that didn’t carry over to mass production; a later car may have some engineering improvements that make it a better vehicle overall. Regardless of your preference, it’s a consideration when picking up a vehicle in project-grade condition, as you may be able to justify some flaws if the vehicle in question is more desirable due to where it falls on the production calendar. This 1996 Ford Bronco XLT is a final-year model that has some cosmetic needs and is equipped with the larger 5.8L V8 and just under 100,000 miles. Find it here on craigslist for $15,000.

$15,000 seems like a strong ask for a Bronco that has rust (more on that later) and a torn-up leather interior. The seller does seem adamant that he won’t accept a penny less, so I wouldn’t plan on making an offer unless you happen to be personal friends with him or have a barter arrangement to propose for an item that is clearly worth the asking price. Even with the low-ish miles, I’m curious how this Bronco ended so clearly abused, with the door panels peeling apart, exposed wires under the dash, the filthy surfaces, and the stained rubber floor mats. It just looks like a mess in here, albeit one that can largely be improved with a weekend of detailing.

Which brings me to my next question as to why sellers don’t at least attempt to present a potentially desirable vehicle better than they do? Right now, when I look at this Bronco, all I see are the remains of a previous owner who clearly did not treat this truck like the modern collectible it has become. It was solely a driver, and one that didn’t even command the most basic level of respect that would see it get cleaned once in a while – and what does that say about routine engine maintenance? Still, the seller claims it runs well with no smoking or overheating, and that the automatic transmission shifts smoothly through the gears. The exhaust system and headers are brand new, and the tires are claimed to be pretty fresh as well.

Both rear fenders will need work, and this seems to be a common weak point on Broncos. The seller reports that the frame and undersides are in good shape with no issues, and that’s certainly possible given how many Broncos I’ve seen over the years with rotten fenders but perfect chassis. The seller advises that fixing the bodywork and repainting the truck would yield a very nice example, and potentially one that would command far closer to the typical asking price for a final year Bronco with the larger engine and a clean title. Is there enough room on the asking price here to make the needed improvements and not exceed what a Bronco from this era is typically worth?


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  1. Stevieg Member

    I’ll be the first to say it this time…OJ.

    Like 22
    • Raymond

      Why do you guys always gotta post obvious cheeky comments thinkin it makes you cute or something?…its ignorant and not funny, so why? This is a car site, remember that…

      Like 12
      • Stevieg Member

        I’m sorry. I guess we aren’t supposed to have fun or enjoy ourselves when we are on this website.
        You don’t have to read my comments. In fact, please don’t read my comments. You seem to be such a bitter old schmuck, you wouldn’t appreciate what I have to say anyhow.

        Like 20
      • Stevieg Member

        “Hey you young punks…get off my lawn” lol.

        Like 20
      • Howard A Member

        “Simpson, eh?” Not sure where you are or where you were in 1994,( possibly England? Not many use “cheeky” here) but the OJ Simpson “slow chase” was bigger than today’s virus, and anytime a white Bronco is seen, THAT’S what most people think about. I don’t understand how you feel that’s not a “car” comment. It has more to do with the post than your entry. For your information, this site is about feelings and memories. OJ’s chase in a white Bronco, it didn’t get any bigger for us Yanks. Truth be known, it seems we can count on you for some crabby comment. I justifiably pixx and moan about high prices, but you never have anything good to say. Maybe it’s YOU that should find another site rather than pixxing on our parade. Good day.

        Like 18
      • Sam61

        The Bronco is an SUV so it’s exempt from the “car site” pithy comment restriction.

        Let’s give a shout out to Al Cowlings who performed flawlessly as OJ’s chauffeur.

        Arguably the most famous real life, non reality tv, vehicle chase.

        Let’s hear it for the superstar of rental cars!

        Like 7
      • FrankD

        because they can!

        Like 1
      • Johnnybee

        Ohhh little raymond just got his pee pee smacked. Think about your comment before you write it next time Rayray.

        Like 3
    • Mike

      When these pop up on BaT, people can’t help themselves. They truly think that they are the first to come up with the same tired old puns and play on words. Good luck new owner who will have to force a smile when they hear “hey, is OJ in there?” for the millionth time.

      Like 12
    • Jon

      I like the white bronco picture posted online with the license plate

      NOT OJ

      Like 3
    • ERIK

      El Blanco Bronco!

      Like 3
    • fran

      THANK YOU, Stevig….Why wasn’t it said in the first sentence of the story? Embarsing! What are we that stupid afraid????

      Like 2
  2. Ike Onick

    I’ll be the 2nd one to say…Unfortunate color. No thanks.

    Like 7
  3. Ralph

    I’m taking him to see his fish. He wants to see his fish…

    Like 6
  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    A few thoughts on this vehicle, the seller, and the presentation:

    We all know that Broncos, as collectibles, are hot right now. The extraordinary rise in the first gen models has lifted the price of subsequent years/models. But this seems like a case of a well-used Bronco now being promoted as having significant value, and while that is the case in general, this particular one is closer to being ‘just a used car.’

    Meanwhile, the seller has provided quite a bit of info, but is hung up on the “take it or leave it,” “don’t bother me unless you are serious,” “I know what I have” mindset. I get it, but this tone tends to turn people off.

    I don’t claim to be an expert on Broncos and don’t closely follow their prices, but it seems like there are easier, more attractive, less stressful deals to be had on Broncos of this generation which are in better condition.

    All that said, I hope someone gets it and whips it into shape. Even if it is white. Just my opinion of course.

    Like 8
  5. Paul

    Also more like 199 Thousand Miles to Boot!

    Like 1
  6. Joe

    I’ll smoke what he’s smoking.

    Like 1
  7. John

    KBB claims about $11,000 for fair condition. this is probably poor to fair, so less. Good luck at 15 grand.

    Like 5
  8. Don Page

    This Bronco has obviously been rode hard and put away wet. He should drop it off at the glue factory.

    Like 5
  9. dave


    Like 2
  10. Mark

    Everytime I see a white Bronco I think of OJ Simpson’s 1993.

    Like 1
    • Jace F.

      Wow, I bet that’s something no one has said before!

      Like 7
  11. Frank Member

    This Gen. was Dog slow! It needed horsepower. The only reason it’s a big deal today is because of the new Bronco replacing the first generation the was dog slow and another generation that was a dam rust bucket. Yes, I dislike Ford Broncos. They make great vehicles except for Mustang II and Broncos.

    Ford had to jump into the off-road market with an affordable (Raptor is not affordable) vehicle since Jeep (under powered 6 banger) was cornering the market.

  12. bobH Member

    What can I possibly add? Looks like an OJ to me, except it’s not, as it’s an XLT, and has that hideous visor. I’m also an owner of a 96, EB, in Green. So, I never get the OJ comments. I have almost 300 on mine, and I’m currently trying to decide on selling, or setting a new goal of 400. It’s been a great vehicle. And, mine still has flawless factory finish, is super-clean in and out and underneath. It’s a heck of an attention-getter. Can’t stop at gas stations or parking lots without being engaged in conversation and compliments. But, if I offer it, how to price… wouldn’t ever need to hope for 12 or 15. And if the number is less than 10, what could I do with 10 (or less). That would help me with the idea of a new goal of 400. This white one would not interest me, at any price.

  13. Troy

    His add claims there aren’t many out there with under 100k miles with the 5.8 someone needs to teach him how to use the internet and check out autotempest there are at least 4 in my city with under 60k miles and no cancer

    Like 2
  14. Johnny

    The condition what we see and what lies under neith this bronco. A wise person won,t pay it. . This bronco has been abuse and you can bet the under carriage is wore out. Some one is gonna get alot of troubles with this bronco. Their is alot better broncos and in alot better shape for alot less money. He better check the internet and do some think. I wouldn,t want it for $4,000. Replaceing the bad parts are expensive and sometimes hard to find.

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