Heavy Duty Project: 1975 Ford Bronco

I have referred to this 1975 Ford Bronco as a heavy-duty project, and it would seem to be in more ways than one. The original owner ordered it with some heavy-duty drivetrain options, and the buyer will need to do some heavy lifting to address its rust problems. However, the 1st Generation Bronco is continuing to grow in popularity, and with values reflecting this, it could be worth the effort. Located in Duluth, Minnesota, you will find the Bronco listed for sale here on eBay. Now that the bidding has reached $5,101, the reserve has been met.

The Bronco is finished in Wimbledon White, and there is no arguing that the whole vehicle has seen better days. The seller purchased the Ford from its original owner, and he believes that a falling tree may have inflicted the damage you see on the front fender. The tailgate is also missing, but those issues represent the tip of the iceberg in this project. There is rust to address, and it has afflicted all of the areas that we have come to expect with these classics. These include all of the lower sections of the body, the rockers, and the doors. The front inner fenders are a known trap for mud and moisture, and the dreaded tin worm has heavily eaten these. The positive to take from this is that several companies produce pretty affordable replacement parts. Those rotten inner fenders can be replaced by fresh steel, and these cost less than $130 each. Door shells and skins are also available, as are fenders. In fact, the range is so great that it is theoretically possible to build a complete bodyshell from these parts. The external trim will need restoration or replacement, while some of the glass is cracked.

With the extent of the rust that we’ve seen so far, it is no surprise that the floors are toast. Once again, replacements are easy to find and are quite cheap. A more significant concern is the rust that you can see developing in the rear frame rails. I’m not sure if this has impacted any other areas of the frame, but it will need to be addressed correctly to ensure that the Bronce remains structurally sound.

The original owner ordered the Bronco with a 302ci V8 and a 3-speed manual transmission. He also chose to equip the vehicle with the optional B9 rear axle. This is the heavy-duty 3.50 unit with Trac-Lok and was designed for some serious hard work. The 302 should be capable of producing 125hp and an impressive 220 ft/lbs of torque. Those numbers made the vehicle a surprisingly spritely performer, but the Bronco really shone when the going got rough. With all of that torque feeding to the ground via a dual-range transfer case, the Ford could get its occupants into some pretty inaccessible locations with relative ease. When the seller purchased the vehicle, it didn’t run, but he has managed to breathe new life into the V8. He replaced the carburetor, distributor, plugs, and wires. The motor has roared into life and is said to sound nice. However, it doesn’t drive, and the seller believes this is due to a faulty clutch. The information he received from the original owner is that this Bronco sat on the dealer’s lot for more than a year before he purchased it. He says that this is why the original title shows a date of January 1977. That person looks like he was pretty thorough in his record-keeping because the Bronco comes with all of its original dealer paperwork, including the metal warranty card.

If you are going to make a list of what this Bronco’s interior is going to need, it could potentially be pretty short. All you need to do is write the word “everything,” and you will have covered your bases. The buyer could prepare and paint the metal surfaces, but almost everything beyond the seat frames will require replacement. As is the case with the Bronco’s steel, the interior trim is readily available. Owners can find kits for around $1,600, and with fresh paint and the kit installed, the interior would look showroom fresh.

By 1975, the Ford Bronco’s styling was beginning to show its age, and a new and larger model was only a few years away. This model year also marked the least successful for the 1st Generation vehicles, with only 13,125 examples rolling out of Ford dealerships. However, while they didn’t set the sales charts on fire in 1975, they have developed a cult following today. Finding one for under $25,000 is almost impossible, and those that are under that figure will generally need a lot of work. If you want a pristine example with a 302 under the hood, you would need to have around $60,000 burning a hole in your wallet. This one will need a lot of work to be returned to a pristine state, but it would seem to be worth the effort and cost when you look at those figures. Would you take on this project?

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  1. Rbig

    You would have to really love these to tackle this one. The sheet metal rust is just the beginning.

    Like 6
  2. sir_mike

    All it really needs is a new body and a new frame…

    Like 10
  3. chrlsful

    some even made it to Oz I hear Adam?

    This is how I like ’em. Just take apart, inspect, start rebuilding. Y? cuz I can afford…a lill @ the time, cash flow, nota big pota $.

    This does not show but did a tree fall on the hood? May B more like a 50 # bowling ball dropped from hight, 15 feet?

    Like 3
    • Rant Winters

      Definitely, my high school gym teacher ran one.

  4. George Mattar

    More money than brains. Junk new. Junk now.

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

      No doubt this will be bought by someone hungry for an original Bronco, but can’t afford their prices.

      ‘Hey Maude, I just bought me a Bronco!’

      Like 3
  5. Guggie 13

    lots of work ahead for the person who buys this one !

  6. Jakespeed

    Just for giggles, and especially because it’s got unusual options on it, I’d like to see if a Marti Report could be run on this vehicle

  7. bone

    Why does Adam always assume every car was ” ordered” by a customer ? Nearly every vehicle purchased new is right off the dealers lot ; most dont want to wait for a car , they want it now. Sometimes dealerships will swap a cars out from another dealer , but very few cars are special ordered. This Bronco was likely sitting in a row of Broncos and the dealership and the buyer picked it for what it had and for the money he wanted to spend.

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