One Owner 50K Miles: 1985 Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco has long been a darling of the 70s and 80s squarebody scene, so much to the point that you mainly see them these days as flipper fodder, hawked by dealers for prices often north of $20,000. This 1985 Bronco is refreshingly offered by the original owner, and while he certainly deserves all the money for keeping this example in fine shape, bidding is currently at $13,300 with no reserve. Mileage is very low at 50,900, and the truck presents well on some American Racing AR26 wheels, otherwise known by their street name of “sawblades.” The Bronco is listed here on eBay and located in Pompano Beach, Florida.

The Bronco checks all of the boxes as it relates to how one of these should look, especially given how many have been modified with lift kits and Pep Boys’ modifications. Aside from the wheels, which are an accepted period-correct look, the Bronco appears to remain in largely stock condition. The seller notes it has been garage kept since new, and the exterior paintwork seems to back this up. It’s powered by a 5.8L 351 V8 that exits out a Flowmaster exhaust. So, it’s not completely modification-free, but at least what’s here is reasonable and easily reversible if not desired by the next owner.

The interior is where the Bronco really shines, as the upholstery, carpeting, door panels, and dash are all in very good condition. I sold one of these Broncos out of my friend’s property in North Georgia a few months ago, and was amazed that even for all of the years it had been standing, the interior still presented quite well. The materials are likely very hard-wearing, but even so, considering how many of these trucks are ultimately used, it’s far from a sure thing that you’ll find one with pristine carpets like this. The fake wood trim is very clearly not the real deal, but it adds a touch of class to Bronco’s interior confines. The seller mentions the headliner needs attention, which he may sort out before the Bronco sells.

The engine bay is as expected, with no red flags in the listing photos. A new Edelbrock 650 carburetor has just been installed, and the seller mentions that the tires and brake system components are also recent replacements. The overall presentation of this truck is one of a gently used and looked after example, the kind that so rarely pops up any more. Throw in the long-term single ownership and it becomes even more appealing. This is the type of vehicle you can buy for a fair price now and likely never lose a dime on it. What would you be willing to pay?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    Nice looking unit!

    Like 4
    • Shadowwolf70

      That’s what she said

      Like 6
  2. Skorzeny

    Really the best era of Ford truck styling, it has always been downhill from that time, and they are downright ugly now. I like this one a lot!

    Like 2
    • ERIK

      I agree Skorzeny that these had some great styling and sadly that styling did not last long (6 years) before a major restyle occurred again in the 1980s and took away some of the “edginess” of bodies of this era of the Bronco and F150. As a result you just don’t see a lot of this era of Ford trucks out there today. Same could be said for the shorter lives of subsequent body stylings of 1990’s-2000’s F150’s where each “generation” recieved major styling changes.

      I am a Ford truck guy (currently a 1969 Bronco and 2007 F150 are in my stable of “seldom driven vehicles” and both in excellent condition and at that bone stock as “stock never goes out of style”) and maybe it is just me but does it not seem that the current F-150 has looked the same for like forever?

      I know there was a major restyle to the overall look of the F150 in 2009 and then an overhaul in 2015 (at which they went aluminum bed as well) but to me the 2015-2020’s looked still too much like the 2009-2014’s.

      And now they just “refreshed” again with the 2021s and other than some changes to looks of headlight/grilles and other body stampings/creases or adornments, to me even the latest F150 still just looks like the same F150s from 2009 and 2015 refreshes.

      Maybe Ford figures that the F150 is still their best seller and the last time they drastically changed their best selling vehicle was the abysmal failure of the major redesign and look of the 1996 Taurus that killed the popularity of that model.

      Maybe Ford is taking comfort that truck guys are loyal customers to their brand (regardless of the brand) and hopeful that completely new truck buyers see the popularity of F150 series trucks and want to be part of crowd so they buy one too.

      To me the problem with the F150 looking so similar since 2009 is coupled with being the #1 selling truck so there are a bazillion of them on the road. And so, none stand out from the others that is except for the ones that are no longer “stock” and as such are accessorized to the hilt and point of being as tacky and obnoxious as their “wannabe” owners. I will not go into here but I have a theory that all the “Fast and Furious tuner scene” guys have since all jumped ship and joined the “big truck scene”.

      Remember “It’s only stock once and stock never goes out of style” but it would be nice if the stock of the F150s would change already!

      Yes I will likely stay a Ford truck guy and yes my 2007 “stock” F150 (that sees only limited weekend use when needed) gets “rarer” or less numerous on the roads with each passing year so I stand out more and more with the passage of time.

      But I will say that every time a newer, fresher, sexier better-looking Dodge (Ram), Chevy/GMC, Toyota, or Nissan truck rolls by I gawk and then I feel like I am cheating on my beloved Blue Oval back at home in the garage.

      And then I immediately think “Wake up Ford! Time for some fresh new styling ideas for the F150!” because at some point even the most faithful among us feel the yearning to be with something newer, fresher, and sexier looking. And for some of those faithful among us a weak moment can lead to infidelity and leading to separation and ultimately divorce in order to be with something newer, fresher, and sexier looking.

      But what do I know and obviously I don’t work for the Blue Oval.

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I was more of a GM fan than a Ford one but after my brother and a couple of friends bought Broncos I decided to give them a try. I went to the Ford dealer and bought (off the lot) an ’85 XLT very similar to this one. I had some regrets as it wasn’t quite as easy to work on as my GMC but it was amazingly indestructible. That 351 H/O was a good engine. Of course I have no idea what the “H/O” stood for because it certainly wasn’t High Output. It was the exception to the rule as it got into the upper teens for fuel economy, as long as you kept it under 65. It cruised nicely at 75 but the economy dropped down to 12. My 2nd boy was driving it one night during the winter. The block heater popped out and the damned turdhead ran it until it quit. I got it back to the shop and put a new heater in. It was partially seized but after some coaxing it turned over and started but it started pressurizing the cooling system. I was quite broke at the time so I carefully re-torqued the heads by loosening the bolts off one at a time and going through the sequence. Amazingly it quit pressuring up. It still had a cold engine knock but ran fine after it warmed up. I had to replace the water pump but I drove that truck for another year before the head gaskets completely went out. It was time for a rebuild anyway. 315K miles, it didn’t owe me anything. A couple more years and I finally turned it over to my oldest boy who had a new job and needed transportation. Well, he got into trouble with the law and needed some quick cash to pay a citation so he sold the Bronco to a local enthusiast for a thousand bucks. I have no idea what happened to it but I do have to say that it was one of the best trucks I ever had. I wish I still had it…

    • Todd Zuercher

      Geomechs – great to see you commenting! Haven’t seen much in these parts lately :). Glad to hear that Bronco lived for so many miles. Ford called it the HO because it got a 4 bbl carb, some better heads, and 50 more hp than the previous year’s version. Heady stuff in the mid ’80s. I remember being very excited when it was introduced (I was about 15 at the time) – I could the malaise era was starting to wane. When EFI came to the 302 in ’85, things definitely started looking up.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Thanks, Todd. I miss being on Barn Finds everyday. It definitely is my virtual ‘Coffee Row.’ I’m supposed to be retired but now I think I’m busier than I’ve ever been before. I hunt down and sell IH antique truck restoration parts and I’m quite busy preparing some articles for a magazine that I’ve been acquainted with for a spell now. No rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need any. I’ll let you all decide on the direction that goes. But I like to drop in and have a chat when I can escape for a moment. Take care and be safe…

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