Rare Survivor: 1969 Ford Bronco Half-Cab Pickup

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We are no strangers to First Generation Ford Broncos at Barn Finds, which is unsurprising considering the model’s ongoing popularity. However, we see fewer of the Half-Cab Pickup variant, which is understandable due to the low initial production total. Ford produced 20,956 Broncos in 1969, but only 2,317 buyers selected the Pickup. Our feature Pickup is a gem and one of the nicest Broncos I have seen for a while from this era. We always appreciate the input of our readers, so I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this fantastic survivor.

The First Generation Bronco had a relatively long gestation period by industry standards, with the first design proposals appearing in 1960. Management was initially cautious, with many appearing “gun shy” following the failed Edsel program. However, it granted tentative approval to the concept, with Lee Iacocca rubber-stamping the new model in 1964. The company had high hopes for the Bronco, but it never met sales expectations. There were moves from some quarters to discontinue the badge after 1968. However, with the development costs recouped from initial sales, these vehicles effectively cost the company nothing to produce because it shares many parts with other models. Out feature Bronco rolled off the line in 1969, and the first owner ordered it in Lunar Green. It features a removable top and doors, offering a similar motoring experience to the Roadster variant that disappeared the previous year. The overall presentation is impressive, with the paint retaining a healthy shine and no evidence of significant rust. The front inner fender wells and lower body extremities look clean, although I am unsure whether a few pinholes might be appearing in the front floors. That requires investigation and addressing if it proves true because small areas of rust can rapidly become large with these classics. Nobody has cut the fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires, and this Bronco retains its original trim and hubcaps.

The first owner chose the entry-level path with this Bronco, passing on the optional 302ci V8 to equip this classic with the 170ci six. There was no automatic transmission option in 1969, so the engine’s 100hp and 156 ft/lbs of torque feed to the road via a three-speed manual transmission and a dual-range transfer case. The engine will run out of breath on the open road at around 78mph, but its torque delivery below 2,000rpm makes the six ideal for off-road duties. The seller wisely updated the brakes with a power front disc conversion, but this classic is otherwise unmolested. They say it runs and drives as it should, although it has a few quirks they don’t elaborate on. However, it appears potential buyers can consider the Bronco a turnkey proposition.

This Bronco’s interior looks excellent for its age, especially considering the Parchment vinyl trim. This type of upholstery is prone to marks and stains, but the new owner is not facing such issues. My only criticism is the lack of a floor mat or carpet because it gives the interior a slightly unfinished look. A rubber mat would be the most practical choice, and since they retail for under $250, it would be the cheapest way to add the ideal finishing touch. The upholstered surfaces aren’t the only impressive feature because the paint is excellent. Someone fitted a newer radio and moved the shifter to the floor, but reversing those changes would be straightforward for enthusiasts seeking authenticity.

There is a misplaced belief that relative rarity will automatically drive values up in the classic world. This is often true, but there are exceptions to every rule. The 1969 Bronco graphically demonstrates that. The Half-Cab Pickup typically commands a price around 20% lower than the more common wagon variant. The seller’s price of $41,500 looks appropriate for this classic, located in North Tonawanda, New York. Therefore, if you wish to pursue it further, you will find the Bronco listed here on Craigslist. I wish you luck if you do.

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  1. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    So many first gen Broncos on the market, I have to ask why
    Personally, I don’t like the first gen, and I’m a Ford lover.

    Like 3
  2. Todd Zuercher

    I’m not sure where you came up with the idea that the first design proposals on the Bronco came up in 1960, but that’s not correct. The first design sketches for the Bronco were done in July 1963 by McKinley Thompson.

    I’m also curious about the statement about cancelling the Bronco after 1968 – a source for that claim?

    Like 4
  3. JTHapp JTHapp

    … it’s Hank Kimbal’s Bronco from ‘Green Acres’ … He drove one of these! It was the first time I ever saw a Bronco on TV… ah, the memories!

    Like 8
    • RexFoxMember

      I loved Hank Kimble! Well, I didn’t really love him, but I did like him. Well, I didn’t actually even know him, but if I had, I probably would have liked him.

      Like 10
      • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

        I can picture the writers of the show having a blast as they came up with those unique lines for Alvy Moore, who played Hank Kimball. What a great “TV character.”

        Like 1
  4. 8banger 8bangerMember

    What’s that on top the carb? Looks like a dirty wheel of cheese…

    Like 4
  5. RexFoxMember

    Moving the shifter to the floor is a huge improvement. This would make a fun little run about, but that tiny bed means it’s not very practical. I’d love to own it anyway.

    Like 4
  6. MTBorst

    So let us know what the “little kwirks “are ? Inquiring minds want to know. Looks to me like all new floors welded in. Not the prettiest of welds but I’m sure they work..
    I’d like it but like everything else smaller engine does not = better fuel efficiency. Many things don’t do better mpg than my big diesel.

    Like 0
  7. Connecticut mark

    Too much money for a 6 cylinder with no air. I never liked these but love the 1978-1979 the most.

    Like 0

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