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Rusty Ranger: 1974 Ford Bronco

Hoping to compete with the likes of the Jeep CJ-5, Ford launched the Bronco in 1966 as an early player in what we now call the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market. The first generation would be a hugely successful vehicle and run through 1977 as a compact before any major changes were made. The 1974 model was the best seller in this era (25,000 copies), which suggests that more of them are still around today. This one comes with the upgraded Ranger trim package and rusted floorboards. It can be found in Post Falls, Idaho and available here on eBay with the bidding has reached $6,100, the reserve is unmet and a Buy It Now option is available for $25,000.

The Ford Bronco had staying power and was first built between 1966 and 1996. Demand for two-door SUVs had declined, so Ford replaced the Bronco in 1997 with the rather large Ford Expedition. After an extended hiatus, Ford announced that the Bronco would return to its ranks for 2021, this time as a midsize with two and four doors, targeted now at the Jeep Wrangler. ‘70s Bronco’s could be had with inline six and V-8 engines as well as manual and automatic transmissions. The V-8/automatic combination would become popular by 1974 and would soon outsell the other pairings. Thanks, CJ Pony Parts, for some intell here.

This 1974 Bronco Ranger has been owned by the seller for about a year. It has its original 302 V-8 in running order with automatic shifter and the seller has replaced a number of mechanical items, including the starter, alternator, master cylinder and drive belts and has given it a tune-up and oil change. So, its mechanical condition will not be the challenge. The mileage is said to be under 78,000 miles and the truck has four-wheel drive.

The problem involves rust in the floor panels, doors, and windshield frame. You can see through the floors and envision what it must be like to drive Fred Flintstone’s car. Interesting how the flloorboards have rusted so bad and yet the cargo area looks relatively good. However, the seller will help you remedy these problems by sending replacing sheet metal and panels to make these areas whole again. This Bronco came with the Ranger trim package, which upgraded the vehicle from basic transportation to something more civilized, i.e. carpets instead of floormats.

Resale value of these trucks looks to run between $30-60,000, which explains the rather stout B-I-N price for a rusty jewel such as this.  Perhaps the seller’s case would have been better made if he had the new panels he possesses welded in before putting the Bronco up for sale.


  1. Avatar photo Cadmanls Member

    Think you can buy just about anything for these as they have become so popular. Got to want a Bronco bad to start a project for 25K

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Connecticut Mark

    This was a 500 dollar truck 20 years ago, still looks the same to me.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo piston poney

      the body is solid compared to other that have been featured hear.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo skibum2

    25K for a rust bucket. Hahahahaha… good luck with that.. glad I’m old and can just laugh and walk away.

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Jimmy

    I could see the current bid and that’s being generous otherwise ROFLMAO on his buy it now price !!!

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Guggie 13

    hope it gets fixed and loved again . My Dad used to restore these about 20 years back ( upstate NY) where the tin worn was really bad to these units , I have seen him restore worse than this one ,making all the replacement panels and floors himself , between Broncos and Jeep Cjs, and throw in a Scout now and again he kept busy . Good Luck to the buyer

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo half cab

    Waiting on Todd Z.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo chrlsful

    yup, “restored worse than this” took me 3 of ’em 2 make mine back in ’83.
    This one? he’s got the right idea – dissasemble. Body off, ona a cart, start riding of rust, replacing framing & panels. Rotressiry to end.

    Mine is a 1/2 cab too ( last poster – w/rag & wagon tops, he’s ‘the history man’).

    Like 0

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