Free Wheelin’ Package: 1979 Ford Bronco XLT

The buyer of this 1979 Ford Bronco XLT Free Wheeling will be set to join some pretty illustrious company. NASCAR legend Tony Stewart spotted an identical vehicle when he was a lad and has recently had the chance to realize a childhood dream, and to add a pristine example to his impressive collection of classic vehicles. This one isn’t pristine, but there is no reason why it couldn’t be once again. Located in Crowley, Texas, you will find the Bronco listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently stands at $8,300, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The “Free Wheeling” Package was a purely cosmetic option and didn’t bring any performance upgrades to the Bronco. As is the case with this vehicle, most of these Broncos wore Black paint, although other colors were available. Ford used a black Bronco in the majority of its advertising literature for an excellent reason. A Free Wheeling wore some distinctive exterior decals, and these were shown at their best when installed on a dark vehicle. Those decals weren’t just bright during the light of day, because they were reflective. When light hits them at the right angle at night, they light up like a Christmas tree. This Bronco has seen better days because the exterior is looking tired. The paint is faded and worn through in spots, and the decals show marked deterioration. There is rust in the vehicle, but none of this is structural. The floors and frame have a coating of surface corrosion, but nothing has penetrated the original steel. There is rust to address around the rear wheel arches and below the rear bumper. It looks like the cosmetic restoration of the Bronco could be a straightforward proposition, and even those graphics shouldn’t pose a real problem. Several companies produce high-quality reproductions, and these generally sell for around the $700 mark. And fear not, because these replacement kits are just as reflective as the originals.

If the exterior of the Bronco left little to subtlety, the interior provided more of the same. Bright colors were the general rule, although Ford did offer some slightly “softer” color combinations for the more conservative buyer. The interior of this Bronco is dominated by the color red, and it will need some work. The most obvious issue is the deterioration of the seat covers. These will need to be replaced, and I was able to find a full set in the correct materials and color for $580. The armrests on both doors are looking tired, but the rest of the interior doesn’t look too bad. The vehicle was equipped with air conditioning, but this no longer functions. The compressor and bracket have been removed, and are included in the sale. The owner has installed a few extras. These include a gauge set and a tachometer, a CD player, and a pair of subwoofers.

Buyers in 1979 had a choice of two engines in their Bronco, and this one is the 351M V8, which should produce 158hp. However, its trump card was a healthy 262 ft/lbs of torque. When this is combined with dual-range 4-wheel-drive capabilities, that made this a vehicle that could take its occupants into some pretty inaccessible locations. This Bronco also features a 4-speed manual transmission, along with power steering and power brakes. The Bronco does run and drive, although it hasn’t seen active duty for a few years. The owner suggests that a full service, a fuel system flush, and possibly some brake work will be required before the vehicle is roadworthy. The previous owner swapped the gears in the rear axle from 3.50 to 3.25. The original gear set is present, and the buyer might choose to switch this back at some point.

The 1979 Ford Bronco is a good looking vehicle, and the Free Wheeling Package added something to its overall appearance. Whether that something is a positive or a negative comes down to personal taste. However, if you are a child of the 1970s like Tony Stewart, then this is a classic that will probably appeal to you. The reasonable level of bidding to this point suggests that there are a few people who like this Bronco, and I suspect that it will be heading to a new home very soon.

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  1. Barzini

    Best looking stripe package ever.

    Like 6
  2. Todd Zuercher

    While this truck does have the Free Wheeling package on it (black bumpers and grille are the giveaway), the bright tri-color striping is not indicative itself that it’s a Free Wheeling truck. The tri-color striping is called the Chromatic Stripe and was available on both Free Wheeling and non-Free Wheeling trucks.

    Like 6
  3. Johnny

    Either the clutch is ready to go out or someone didn,t adjust it ritght. The position the clutch pedal is in. Would where a person out in no time or their left leg. A good candidate to start with and a learning experience at that . Having 2 myself. I have seen the prices go up alot since 1988. When I paid $400 for one and drove it home–barely. The brakes went out.haha I like that bronco alot.

    Like 2
  4. Bob_in_TN Member

    These Broncos look good when restored. I like this generation, and with the stripe package they really pop. This one needs work but doesn’t look like a basket case.

    I read the seller’s ebay ad all the way to the bottom. Obviously he is experiencing the fun and games of selling a vehicle online.

    Like 1
  5. Johnny

    I,d like to see more pictures. Especially around the inside body where the door goes against–all the way around. I don,t see $8,880 worth. The mufflers and lot of parts will need replaced and parts don,t come cheap for these. I,ve replace about all my mechanical parts . What,s the mileage–oil pressure hot . Theirs alot of work hear then meets the eye. If they get $8,800 for it. Then I MIGHT take mine to Texas and sale it. Looks like the brake lines have been leafing at the junction block on the rear. They might need tighten a little more. It will need some goiing over good. Before I,d trust it on a trip. Good luck who ever gets it. As you open the door–look on the inside top for rust. Check the dog legs.Most of the time.The passenger side goes first.Because the sealer in the rain gutter drys up and travels down the inside door post, The front floors–the vent on the drivers side fills up and over flows into the floor above the dimmer switch. Good luck

    Like 1
  6. flynndawg

    i have a 93 bro / 302 / auto… love mine… painted in bed liner black… :)

  7. chrlsful

    luv’em in solid color with the 400M (largest ‘square’ motor in production usa). Rear window sliders R nice too…don’t think the r. rack is oe but they were on e v e r ything back then (sedans, wagons, these – tubular ss w/alu ‘feet’. I bet one contractor made em for all the big 3).

  8. Johnny

    The FIRST thing I would do is take that UGLY grill protector off. It makes the bronco look cheap. Then I,d check and fix what would be needed and drive it.

  9. petemcgee

    Sold for $12.3k – seller cost himself a lot of money with his comments about in- person in-cash sales only. Could have gone many thousands more with the grill guard removed and the truck buffed and detailed, and without the in-cash language.

    Like 1
  10. Johnny

    I,m just waiting to see if the prices will go up a good bit. If he got that. I don,t think I,d have any trouble saleing mine for that. I have replaces about all the mechanical-motor-brake system,fuel system,clutch,pressure plate,throuw out bearing,ring gear–alot of new parts on mine .Now I have to re-do the interior and paint.Very little body work. They had a 78 up the road at a car dealer and said they sold it for $12,500,but they lied. They took it to another car lot near Beckley,W.Va and mine was in alot better shape. I also put new tires and complete brake system on it. I,m afraid the buyer will find out soon–he paid out too much.

  11. Jay

    I had a bronco identical to that one 20 years ago.
    I liked that bronco, would take the top off it and Cruze.
    Was great in deep snow.

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