Never Left Home: 1976 Ford Bronco

bronco1

Finding the perfect project vehicle is never as easy as you’ll expect it to be. You think, “I’ll just fire up my local craigslist and see endless possibilities for cheap projects!” But then the sad reality sets in: if it’s not overpriced, it needs a ton of work; if it needs a ton of work, it usually has been unloved for a long time. Every so often, however, you strike middle ground with what is clearly a project yet hasn’t disintegrated into a medley of rotten metal and hacked-up engine bays. This 1976 Ford Bronco here on eBay was bought new in South Carolina and has never left, accumulating a mere 99,000 original miles in its time on the road. 

bronco3

Many times this generation Bronco is cut up for the purpose of enhancing its off-road credentials. And you can understand why: for years, they became throwaway vehicles, workhorses that were better suited to tearing up trails than anything resembling daily duties. This one has escaped that fate, with an intact body and an interior that you could start using right away without fear of your mold allergies kicking in.

bronco2

The 302 V8 hasn’t been started but still cranks by hand. I’m optimistic of its running condition simply due to appearing largely untouched and the low miles. Truth be told, this engine bay is cleaner than a car I looked at recently which was still in daily use but was just plain dirty, like the seller never bothered to hose down the engine bay or vacuum the trunk. And given the straight condition of the body, you can’t blame me for thinking it’s been stored under cover for most of its life, hopefully with protection from mice and other infestations. The engine remains original, right down to the air cleaner.

bronco4

Talk about a beauty shot! The graphic applique on the side of the body even looks restorable, and if this is single-stage paint, it should come back to life with some attention from a professional detailer. While there are some small rust perforations in the areas where driver and passenger keep their feet, this is nothing compared to some Bronco basketcases I’ve seen. We’ve seen the modern Broncos fetch good money; I wonder what this one will sell for? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jacob C. for the find!

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    This one needs the floorboards and maybe a bit more but appears to be pretty solid. Good year to have with all the goodies.

  2. Gary I

    Bids are approaching ten grand. The prices are too steep for me on these and the have climbed steadily for the last ten years so this is probably a good buy. I see them in the $25,000 to $30,000 range in good condition.

  3. JW

    Well this one has the desirable 302 V8 and the dual tank option which is a plus because the main tank is only 16 gallon while the secondary tank I think is 12 gallon. I’ve owned 2 and yes they are getting pricey which I’ll bet his reserve is in the 12 to 15 K range. I don’t know what that garbage is in the engine bay but I wouldn’t be surprised if mice had made a home somewhere in there like the broken plastic windshield washers fluid container.

  4. ydnar

    Someone has been looking for this truck for years, It’ll top 15K and may hit 20K, that is my guess. Flipper got him a good fish this time (a whopper).

    He (the flipper) is one of those “one owner” types it appears.

  5. Barzini

    I get nostalgic when I see 1970s graphics / decal packages like this one. No one did it better than Dodge who used to put various graphics on their pick-up trucks.

    • RickG

      I love the seventies Dodge graphics. I have a 73 Sno-Fiter that still has the original Sno-Fiter stripes.

      • Jim

        The truck looks great, a truck fleet I worked at had One 318, 4spd. The truck was used for everything, road calls, running parts, plowing, it seemed to never stop except for Saturday, the owner insisted on wash, vacuum, rotate tires, lube, oil change, every other month all fluids changed. It seemed like overkill at the time but it accumulated 200k in 5-6yrs, was still in good shape when he replaced it, just normal Mopar rust. Great truck. Nice job keeping it looking good, most of them got consumed by use or the elements.

      • ydnar

        Very nice, RickG

  6. Roseland Pete

    With 99k miles, I hope that’s not the original air cleaner as the text says.

    • ydnar

      Air cleaner assy, not air filter.

  7. Roger

    Looks like mice made themselves a home in the engine bay…I wonder where else?

  8. Woodie Man

    The mold on the seats is probably just the beginning. South Carolina gives humidity a bad name if thats possible.

  9. Howard A Member

    Apparently, Jeff’s idea of “low mileage” differs greatly from my idea of low miles. These, I feel, were the best Broncos made. A direct “in your face” to the Jeep and Scout. I had a friend in the ’70’s that bought a brand new Bronco like this ( only a 3 speed on the column) This was before the “off-road” craze kicked in, and I found out 1st hand why it was called a Bronco. My friend, said, “want to go 4 wheelin'”? Sure, I said. He said, “you may want to buckle your seatbelt”. Nah, I’m fine ( macho men didn’t wear seatbelts) After the 2nd time I hit my head on the roof, I buckled my seatbelt. Looking at the engine, this thing is shot and will need a total redo. These weren’t the best “daily drivers”, so 100g’s mileage would be a lot. Still, many were used for plow duty, and suffered the same fate as most plow trucks, so to see one like this, is truly rare. Great find. Ford ( and others) made such great trucks back then. How did we ever lose our way?

    • GreaserMatt

      Preach it, brother! I hear you… : )

  10. JW

    Yuppie’s took over the truck industry in the 90’s demanding all the creature comforts along with full time 4 wheel drive. Totally ruined it for guys like me who would be just as happy with crank windows lock my own door vinyl floor while moving my seat manually but a lot more horsepower & torque.

    • GreaserMatt

      Amen! LOL

    • Russ

      Vinyl flooring instead of carpet was responsible for a lot of rusted out floors. Get some cracks in the vinyl, water works its way between the vinyl and the floor, and it’s only a matter of time. I sold a Ford Ranger which was essentially rust free but I was surprised to get beneath it and see the driver’s floor rusting through badly from that lousy vinyl floor.

  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Trying to remember the last time I saw a smog pump still on something from that era. Probably worth a small fortune to someone restoring a Boss 302.

  12. jsilves1@tampabay.rr.com

    It’s at $10,200 and knowing the demand for these trucks, it will sell. There are plenty of parts out there for a restoration and the younger generation sees fun time with a Bronco..

    This body style is smaller and four-wheeling over the sand dunes is a great passtime..

  13. M gilbert

    Can’t even get a standered trans any more,even locking hubs what happened to real pick up’s, crank Windows , no power steering, what a shame.

  14. John

    I want to see the Vette parked beside it.

  15. Jim

    Considering the age, it would make a great driver with minimal work or a good candidate to restore, it’s missing nothing it seems. The body panels are available, just need time, all car guys enemy.

  16. Mike

    I like the older Bronco’s, wish I was closer to see it, I bet I could talk the wife into buying it. They are hard to find this age and still in any like of good shape.

  17. guggie

    I love these Broncos ,between my Dad and brothers we had 6 of these thru the years ,great plow vehicle . But in upstate NY salt loves these also . going to SC next month might look around for one down there !!

  18. chad

    everything is available oem OR aftr mrkt!
    prices R raising, so if ur ‘handy’ these R
    for ‘now’ rather than ‘later’.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.