Solid Restorer: 1973 Ford Bronco

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It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is undoubtedly true of the classic scene. One person’s interpretation of vehicle condition and originality may vary from another’s. That is the case with this 1973 Ford Bronco. The seller emphasizes its solid nature and the unmolested state as strong selling points, and while it appears structurally sound, it features a few shortcomings beyond those listed. However, the ongoing popularity of the First Generation Bronco suggests they will have little trouble locating a buyer willing to splash their cash on this project. The Bronco is listed here on Craigslist in Lutz, Florida. It could be yours for $24,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting it.

The seller refers to this Bronco as unmolested, and there are no signs of any modifications to its steel. This is a relief because when owners fit larger wheels and tires, as we see in this case, they often cut the fenders and add flares to accommodate the change. That means the new owner will face one less task on this build than might otherwise have been the case if they wish to recapture the vehicle’s lost youth. The listing also refers to the limited rust problems, specifying rot in the lower doors. However, I can see some in the passenger-side lower front fender, suggesting an in-person inspection could be warranted to ensure there are no further issues. The floors feature heavy surface corrosion, but potential soft spots are not mentioned. I can’t see evidence of the usual rust in the front inner fenders, which is a bonus considering the prone state of that area. The hood is missing, which is a mystery that needs an answer. Some trim pieces are missing or damaged, but with high-quality reproductions readily available, replacements are unlikely to blow the budget on this build.

The Bronco’s interior needs love, with the seat upholstery looking battered and nothing covering the floors. The painted surfaces have defects, suggesting that stripping the interior to bare metal would be a wise strategy. Depending on the buyer’s vision for this classic, trim kits in the correct materials and colors are readily available to achieve a factory-fresh appearance. They generally retail for under $2,000, and the result should be worth the investment.

Powering the Bronco is a 302ci V8 that sends 137hp and 230 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. The combination should allow the vehicle to easily cope with highway cruising, while the power and torque delivery low in the engine’s rev range will help it to crawl over harsh terrain. The seller indicates the engine is recently rebuilt, and the transmission functions correctly. The master cylinder’s missing lid supports the claim that it requires brake work. However, if that is the only mechanical shortcoming, returning this classic to active service before summer hits could be a realistic goal for the buyer to consider.

In 1973, North American buyers handed over their hard-earned cash to drive home in 11.4 million new passenger cars. That makes the Bronco’s total of 21,894 look like a mere drop in the ocean. In fact, 1973 was one of only five occasions during the First Generation’s twelve-year production run that sales topped the magic 20,000 mark. Today, a previously ignored model has become a classic must-have, and spotless examples consistently sell for more than $50,000. A perfect ’73 Bronco will command $80,000, and considering the seller’s price on this project, it is worth a closer look.

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  1. Maggy

    Fix the brakes so someone can test drive it if they want to.Something so easy and not that expensive to repair and I see people advertising their classics with no brakes…why?.How does it run? Does the trans shift properly? Wheres the hood.Wheres the air cleaner?

    Like 8
  2. chrlsful

    I see very occasional white bronks. I bet they werent wimbolton white like the tops’n contrast colors. Hafta C more’n 5 pics to C if it’s a ’73…

    Like 0

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