One-Owner! 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT

How many of you have owned a vehicle for 42 years? I have but it’s a Yamaha, not a car, or a truck like this 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT. This is a one-owner vehicle with just 45,000 miles on it. Oh yeah, and it has the biggest engine available. This faded survivor can be found here on eBay in Caldwell, Idaho, a half-hour west of Boise. The current bid is $18,300 and there is no reserve!

Frankly, I’m surprised at the big price on this Bronco with still three days left on the auction as I write this. It’s already halfway between Hagerty’s #3 and #4 values and there’s a long way to go. I wonder where it’ll end up, with no reserve it’s going to sell to the high bidder. This is the first year of the second-generation Broncos, the first of the full-sized Broncos coming after the current darling child and somewhat primitive and red-hot early Broncos.

The big Broncos were about 30-inches longer, 11-inches wider, 4-inches higher – not counting gigantic wheels and/or any lift kits – and a half-ton heavier. So, the upsizing trend didn’t start recently. Of course, this generation Bronco was on a totally different platform, and as you expected, they got a little bigger with each generation until they went away in 1996. The new 2020 Bronco was set to debut in March of this year but due to… we all know what, and it was postponed until this fall.

The interior looks great, what we see of it. The seller has provided a ton of photos, but a lot of them are duplicates of the exterior and there are no interior photos showing the rear seats or rear cargo area, and none of the underside. The seats appear to have been redone in a cool diamond pattern with red stitching, so they aren’t original, and I’m not sure about the wood steering wheel. but everything else looks original. Other than the balloon tires and wheels. I’d want to find some OEM seat fabric, a steering wheel, and OEM-sized wheels and tires, but I’m funny that way.

The engine looks super clean, and it’s Ford’s 400 cubic-inch V8 which by 1978 had somewhere between 150 and 160 horsepower. They don’t say much about it other than it runs strong but I guess maybe that’s all you need to know. It sure looks great. This whole Bronco looks great. Have any of you owned a second-gen Bronco?

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    A few red flags here: no undercarriage photos, black seats in an otherwise red interior, hokey custom steering wheel, lack of the factory GT bar, and no substantiation of the claimed mileage. Unless the buyer can inspect this rig in person, and the seller has some proof that the odometer reads actual mileage, the bidding for this rig is crazy.

    Like 10
  2. Dave

    I planned on keeping my 1977 F150 4×4 forever, but we needed a minivan in 1988 and the dealer, without even seeing it, offered 1/2 of what I paid for it! We drove it to the Dodge dealer, and drove home in a new 1988 Caravan.
    These Broncos sold like the pickups and rusted out faster. But they were sturdy enough to withstand PennDOT’s potholes.

    Like 3
  3. TimM

    The first year of the second generation bronco and I believe if Ford would have made the whole top come off these would be just as or more valuable then the first generation bronco!! They did ride a lot better!!!

    Like 4
  4. Johnny R

    Seems like a bargain compared to this…

    Granted this is nowhere near the shape but for less than a 1/3 the price you could dump 20K in it to make it perfect and still make profit on it. It was just a matter of time before these started exploding too. Crazy.

    Like 3
  5. JCA

    Wow, nice truck. I’d say this is one of the best looking American vehicles sold in 1978. I’m guessing because as a truck this was exempt from all the EPA standards that uglified and cheapafied all the cars

    Like 4
  6. Johnny

    I remeber when the 78 ,s first came out. I thought they were so ugly. I would never have one. Now—I have 2-78,s I have been replacing parts on for quite awhile. One,s a Ranger xlt and the other is a custom. Parts are high too. I think I have replaced all the moving parts . About all I have left to finish the Custom is the interior and exterior. For $18,000 he better take it. From what I see . I would want to check it out really good. They do ride good,go good on slick roads and like the gas. Their is some improvements a person can do to help the gas mileage.Changeing the timing gear and gear ratios. Which I planned to do soon on the 400. I put a 390 in the Custom and it seems to have quite a bit more power.

    Like 1
  7. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Bronco sold for $18,300!

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