Mostly Original: 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT

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Ford referred to its all-new bigger Bronco as “The Total 4-Wheeler” and they may have been onto something. In the 1970s, SUVs weren’t looked at in the same way that they are today, as in being maybe the most normal vehicle that a person could own or drive. This 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT is listed here on eBay in Golden, Colorado, there is no reserve, and there is a single bid of $15,000.

I was somewhat surprised at the $15,000 bid given the amount of rust visible in the photos, but Hagerty is at $15,000 for a #4 fair-condition Bronco, and that’s for a Custom, not a Ranger XLT. This is the one you want, plus, it’s orange! Or as Ford called it, Tangerine Medium Copper. This was basically the same color as our ’69 F-250, maybe a little brighter. We’ve seen dozens of the small, first-generation Broncos here on Barn Finds over the years, and this was Ford’s next move. It was quite a change and the company’s “The Total 4-Wheeler” slogan makes sense given the incredible overall changes to the Bronco. Some purists balked, but sales took off.

The second-gen Broncos were made in late-1977 for the 1978 model year, and then by the end of ’79, the company was already giving them a thorough update for the next-generation models. I really like these older Broncos with rounded lines. You can see some of the rust that I mentioned earlier, and the seller describes it as “minimal rust” so maybe it’s just what you see. The underside does look good, from what we can see in this one photo.

The interior photos are mostly close-ups and verticals, but if you piece them together you can sort of see what it looks like inside. Ford offered the Custom, the XLT, and the Ranger XLT and this is the top model. The seats are covered but the seller says that they’re in excellent condition and the cover is only to protect them. They show a photo with part of the front seat back exposed and it looks like new. The seller also says that the rear hatch power window works from both switches.

The engine is reportedly a crate 400 V8 that was installed before the seller bought this Bronco almost a decade ago, and they say that it works great. The AC is all there but isn’t currently working and the talk about the dual tank switch being replaced and the fuel gauge is sometimes intermittent. Hagerty is at a whopping $30,200 for a #3 good-condition in Custom trim so this one would be a bit higher. How much would you pay for this ’78 Bronco?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. CCFisher

    The color should be “Tangerine.” “Medium Copper” was darker and less bright.

    Like 2
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      You are 100% right, CCF! Thanks for the correction.

      Like 2
  2. chrlsful

    like it better than my own ’70 bronk. Just wish it was the same sz (92 inch) WB, the 300/4.9 efi & 5 speed, flip dwn w.shield & 2 inch SL, 1 inch BL. These things look great in solid color or w/the side/tail gait panel (say green body/blk panel). (Y buy if U dont customize a bit?). Have the light plastic top (1 man removal) & more luxurious interior (ford brought on the luxo truck in the ’70s we still see so much).
    The 400 they came w/was (is?) the largest ‘square motor’ in production. One model (78 only) came w/’sliders’ in the back side windows (some even w/a vent window included). No matter the nomenclature, I’m pretty certain THIS color is off for correct. Hard to tell ona screen~

    Like 1

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