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Original Paint: 1982 Ford Bronco XLT

This 1982 Ford Bronco XLT makes a positive first impression, which is heightened when you learn it wears its original paint. The lack of visible issues suggests it has been treated respectfully, which is positive news for its potential new owner. The recent addition of a lift kit and new wheels and tires means there would be little that would stop it in its tracks. It has generated considerable interest since the seller listed the Bronco here on eBay in Chapmansboro, Tennessee. Bidding has raced to $20,100, although that figure falls short of the reserve.

Ford introduced its Third Generation Bronco in 1980 after its predecessor only enjoyed a two-year production run. Our feature vehicle rolled off the line in 1982, making a bold first impression finished in Brite Red with contrasting stripes. If the seller’s claim about the originality of the paint is accurate, its condition is particularly noteworthy. There are no significant flaws or imperfections visible, and the graphics have avoided the fading and checking issues that can plague aging vinyl. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and this classic is said to be rust-free. The exterior looks clean, but the limited selection of shots in the listing doesn’t include any of the Bronco’s underside. The trim and glass look exceptional, as does the hardtop. Recent additions include a Rough Country lift kit, a set of US Mags “Indy” wheels, and chunky tires courtesy of the good folks at BF Goodrich.

This Bronco continues to make a positive impression when our attention turns to its interior. It is trimmed in a combination of Red vinyl and cloth that is as impressive as the exterior. The seat shows no signs of issues beyond slight wear to the outer edge piping on the driver’s side. The remaining upholstered surfaces and plastic are free from problems or deterioration that often develop with age. The carpet looks too good to be original, making me believe it may have been replaced. The dash is spotless, and the faux woodgrain has survived well. It isn’t loaded with factory options, although the winning bidder will appreciate the updated radio/CD player and brake controller.

One of the most dramatic changes made with the introduction of the Third Generation Bronco was Ford’s decision to drop the 400ci V8 option. The 351ci powerplant became the range-topping motor, which is what we find under this classic’s hood. It should produce 136hp and 262 ft/lbs of torque, which feeds to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. The original owner’s decision to specify power assistance for the steering and brakes will be welcomed with open arms when this Bronco needs to maneuver in tight spaces. Combine this drivetrain’s low-end torque delivery with the lift kit and upgraded wheels and tires, and it would almost take a vertical surface to stop it in its tracks. Those attributes would also allow it to utilize its hitch receiver effectively. The limited images are not the only shortcoming in the seller’s listing because they supply no information on how this Bronco runs or drives. However, the visual indications are positive.

There is no doubt that this 1982 Ford Bronco XLT has struck a chord with potential buyers. It attracted forty-three bids from eleven people before the auction reached the halfway point, indicating people like what they see. That begs the question of where the bidding will need to head before it threatens the reserve. I would typically throw a figure in the air for our readers to consider, but I’ve decided to gauge your feedback on the subject. So, it’s over to you.


  1. Woofer Woofer Member

    Here I go again. ( I pointed out the 1984 Mustang GT350 was really a 20th Anniversary ) No one here noticed the ‘LARIAT’ emblem just in front of the side windows on the back roof? That was a fancy XLT. Those are rare and I would think would bring more dollars. 1982 only I think. But this does not have a/c so drop the price back down. Sorry.

    Like 3
  2. Howard A Member

    Nice, quite an about face from the previous vehicle, the Datsun, except for the rust issue. Having owned one very similar to this, I can say, it was the best of vehicles, and the worst of vehicles. Best, in that, it was one of the few vehicles my ex couldn’t kill. More importantly, we lived in a very rural setting, and I never worried about my family getting home, in the worst of winters. Comfy, great heater, lots of room, it was my favorite vehicle,,,in that regard. The worst,,,someone spec’d it out all wrong, a 300/6, which I wanted, but a non o/d automatic and 4:11 gears. It has the unmitigated award for the worst gas mileage of ANY vehicle I had, including my semi trucks. Gas was cheap, and the F.I. ones got better mileage, but you talk about rust,,,that truck rusted as bad, or worse than the Asian models, so no special treatment there. Just good old trucks with years of experience behind them. Yes sir( or ma’am) when a truck was just that, a truck.

    Like 3
  3. Mhuff

    No console, bucket seats ,a/c ,chrome rear steep bumper ,and a fuel line spraying fuel as you drive down the road , still a very nice ford .

    Like 1
  4. Frog Man

    So in the 80s i would buy used 60’s/70’s cars n trucks w a max spending ceiling of 1500 for vehicle and 250 for tires and 100 for mechanicals. In the 90’s/2ks i went up to $2000 . I just broke my rule this decade by purchasing a FJ62 for under 10k im glad i did my Bronco phase in the mid 80s. Always wanted one of these gens tho.

    Like 1
  5. Bob Wright

    The dealership plate on the front leads to the website info that shows it with a 302 and an asking price of 29.5k.

    Like 1

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