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No Reserve! Immaculate 1976 Ford Bronco Explorer

The classic market has recently been quite volatile, meaning many vehicles have experienced a significant fall in value. The First Generation Ford Bronco has been a strong performer for years but hasn’t been immune to this trend. While those considered a #2 proposition have climbed marginally in the last year, the rest have taken a significant hit. However, indications are that this may be about to change, meaning now might not be a bad time to search for one to park in your garage. It is hard to go past this 1976 Bronco Explorer because it is a rust-free gem. It has recently emerged from a meticulous refurbishment, and only a few small matters require attention. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Carmen, Oklahoma. Bidding sits at $35,000 in a No Reserve auction, which may make it irresistible to some.

The seller purchased the Bronco as an unfinished project, but the previous owner had performed most of the work required to eliminate the rust that can be a significant problem with these classics. They commenced the project with a new steel reinforced tub, reusing any body components deemed fit for purpose. The result is a rust-free vehicle. The exterior shows no evidence of problems, while the floors, frame, and front inner fender wells are as clean as you could hope to find. The seller applied a thorough undercoat to keep the tin worm at bay. The laser-straight panels were cloaked in Code F Ginger Glow paint, with the top receiving the traditional White. I tend to err on the side of originality, but the plastic fender flares should protect the exterior from mud and gravel thrown up by the larger wheels and tires. Those should improve this classic’s off-road abilities, and when combined with spotless trim and glass, they add a purposeful finishing touch to the exterior.

Tightening emission laws had taken a big bite out of engine power during the 1970s, and the 302ci V8 under the hood of this Bronco was no exception. It produces 125hp and 220 ft/lbs of torque, although those figures aren’t as asthmatic as they might first appear. Both are delivered low in the engine’s rev range, meaning the three-speed automatic transmission, dual-range transfer case, and power steering should make for effortless off-road adventures. The seller indicates the rebuilt engine and transmission are numbers-matching and have only clocked around twenty miles since the work ended. They don’t believe it requires further mechanical work beyond installing a new speedometer cable. The bulletproof reputation of the drivetrain means this Bronco should offer its new owner years of reliable service.

Some aspects of this Bronco’s interior may divide opinion, but it is undeniably tidy. The seatcovers and door trims are new, as is the wood-rimmed wheel. The dash is missing its pad, but at under $200, sourcing a replacement won’t break the bank. The wheel appears to be the only aftermarket addition beyond the rubber mats protecting the painted floors. This is where the winning bidder could stamp their mark on this classic. The current floor treatment would be easy to keep clean but offers little to no noise reduction. Fitting carpet or a complete mat with sound-deadening material may prove irresistible to some and is the option I would probably choose. There is a hole in the dash where the original radio once resided, meaning the new owner can choose what they wish to slot into the empty space. Otherwise, this interior needs nothing.

The overall condition of this 1976 Ford Bronco Explorer should guarantee that bidding would typically be frantic, but that hasn’t been the case. There has only been a single bid submitted with only two days remaining on the auction. The price looks modest, and unless circumstances change, someone could score themselves what might be a bargain. This listing may be worth monitoring if a First Generation Bronco has been on your radar because today might be your lucky day.


  1. Todd Zuercher

    Nice looking rig although the folks that will pay bigger $$ for the last year of the Explorer will go elsewhere due to this one’s non-originality. It will be a good driver though.

    Like 2
    • Doone

      Me thinks there’s something fishy about 1 bid so high

      Like 6
  2. Pilot Rich

    All that work that has been done, but the seller won’t go so far as to complete the project? Note the missing “speedometer cable”. Really? Something else is fishy here. Looks like a nice vehicle, but buyer be totally aware on this one!

    At least for the pictures I would have put in some nice matching sisal floor mats instead of the dirty rubber mats. I know, easily replaced – but you only have one chance to make a first impression.

    Like 2
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Like this one. Proper modifications and a great color.

    Like 1

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