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Trailer Special: 1979 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT

You could wander into your local Ford dealership today and drive away in a new Bronco that would function as an effective tow vehicle. However, be prepared to pay dearly for the privilege of owning a vehicle that will suffer significant depreciation in the coming years. Alternatively, you could splash your cash on this 1979 Ford Bronco Range XLT. It presents beautifully and is loaded with enough factory options to guarantee that every journey is comfortable. Its next trip could be to a new home, with the seller listing the Bronco here on eBay in Evansville, Indiana. Bidding has raced beyond the reserve, sitting at $20,101 at the time of writing.

It would have been easy for Ford to retire the Bronco badge in 1977 when production of the First Generation ended. The vehicle had failed to meet the company’s sales expectations, but it persisted by releasing the Second Generation in 1978. History shows it was an inspired move because the new edition was a raging success. If the numbers were good in 1978, they were spectacular in 1979. Buyers took home 104,038 Broncos, and to place that figure in perspective, it was comfortably higher than the four most successful years of First Generation sales combined! The original owner ordered this classic in Dark Jade Metallic. It features a White fiberglass top and “Free Wheeling” stripes. The presentation is impressive, and while the seller doesn’t mention restoration, the showroom-fresh state of the exterior and my research suggest it received at least a cosmetic refresh. The paint shines beautifully, the panels are laser-straight, and there is no evidence of penetrating rust in the supplied photos. The chrome and glass are spotless, with the Bronco rolling on polished 15″ alloy wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/As.

This Bronco’s interior is as impressive as its exterior, with a retro-style stereo the only visible addition. Front seat occupants sink back into Jade cloth and vinyl “Captain’s” chairs, with the rear seat trimmed in the same material. There is no visible wear or signs of distress, with the carpet equally spotless. There is slight wear on the dash near the ashtray, but the rest of the dash, pad, plastic, and faux woodgrain are excellent. Things remain cool in warm weather, courtesy of the factory air conditioning. Other options include cruise control and a tilt wheel.

Buyers could select from two engines to power their 1979 Bronco, with this vehicle rolling off the line with the entry-level 351M V8 under the hood. It sends 158hp and 262 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission, a dual-range transfer case, manual locking front hubs, and a 3.50 Traction-Lok rear end. The Bronco also features the Heavy Duty Towing Package, meaning this beauty would be as accomplished hauling heavy loads as it would be tackling harsh terrain. The 351M was not designed as a high-performance motor, hitting its torque peak below 2,000rpm. However, that made it ideal for powering any vehicle crawling into inaccessible locations. Therefore, it was the perfect choice for the Second Generation Bronco. The seller doesn’t supply information on how this Ford runs or drives, but they don’t mention any issues or shortcomings. The overall condition and presentation suggest the news should be positive. I always advise asking questions before committing the money to purchase any classic, and that would seem to be the case here.

It sometimes pays to bide your time when searching for a classic purchase, an approach graphically demonstrated by this 1979 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT. The bidding has been healthy, although far from frantic. If the action doesn’t intensify, it may struggle to top $30,000. Some may question the significance of that, but vehicles like this demonstrate why it pays to do your homework. I found a previous auction for this Bronco from 2022, and it sold then for $73,500. If the bidding doesn’t climb significantly, that is an enormous difference. If you pursued this Branco back then and were unsuccessful, maybe you can breathe a sigh of relief. Buying it now may have just saved you a significant pile of cash. That is never a bad thing!


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice Bronco. I particularly like the Dark Jade paint coupled with the body stripes and the very cool striped upholstery. These have really taken hold in the market in recent years, let’s see if this one gets close to the big dollar number Adam found when it sold two years ago.

    Like 13
    • Rw

      They never sat that high stock even with tow package, original stuff probably got tossed years ago.

      Like 4
  2. Greg B Greg B Member

    I’m a little suspicious as the Seller on eBay has not sold anything before and their eBay feedback of 10 is from purchasing items.

    Like 3
    • Frederick J Barton

      I’m with you — bogus ad.

      Like 0
  3. Mark

    I looked twice on the ebay site, it claimed that it couldn’t find the page for this truck listing. I was curious about the milage, this one sure looked like it wasn’t used much. It’s a treat to see it in the pretty green color versus something more commonplace. I really wanted to see more photos in my daydreamy window shopping way, but alas, no.

    Like 2
  4. justpaul

    As noted by Mark, the listing is gone. I suspect it sold locally.

    Like 1
    • Marcin

      It looks really nice,so it disappeared fast for sure

      Like 1
  5. Greg B Greg B Member

    Wrong. It was a scam. I am on BaT a lot and asked the last owner if he sold it and if you read the last comment from him you will know what this about.


    Like 1
  6. Greg B Greg B Member

    Unfortunately eBay does not require proof of registration and or a title in a “sellers” name to list vehicles for sale. Lots of scammers out there so be careful.

    I always ask to see the title in the sellers name along with a drivers license. If a seller does not want to provide then move on. At least Bring a Trailer requires this and it helps protect the buyers best interest.

    I think the staff here should also do the same to help protect this community. Good journalism beings with verified sources prior to publication.

    Like 11
    • Scott D Carey

      I’ve owned many of these, this is definitely not a barn find LOL my current one that I’ve owned since 1986. I had no idea what I paid $5,000 for it then it would be worth what it is now

      Like 0
  7. chrlsful

    see 1 going by ‘in the day’ we called them ‘pigs’. But I’ve mellowed w/age. Even rather see this 1 (best of 2nd gen) w/the 400M. Use it to tow my 1st gen.

    Owners in the know call ‘77+ bronks FSB & I’d like a ’96 w/4.9, 300 in my garage, “if U plez”..

    “…The 351M was not designed as a high-performance motor, hitting its torque peak below 2,000rpm….”
    swapped in the 4.1/250 to mine (from 2.8) – has it @1,500 w/new stock cam ( re machined, new prts) as these bring in the tq sooner for less off rd wheel-spin. I’d B tempted to put the 4.9 in the ’79 featured as it’s the million mi motor & superior off rd (again tq & wheel spin)…

    So the use of “hi performance” is answered in every automotive Q by “Application?” (as is any other automotive Q – Bus, rd tractor, m’cycle, etc, etc) The 351 wuz often put in the bronks (w/1 they’re called Pre-Runner)s for the Baja crews. They’d 1st run S of Ensenada to ck conditions to stow @ the gas dumps, map the swales, turns and obstacles. Then do double duty later each November by runnin mechanics/spare prts parallel to their driver/navigator in their actual race rigs connected w/cb or other radio for aid.
    Never forget the automotive industry has hundreds of Applications/thousands of answrs. Id say: “the 351 is hi performance” (wrd means MPGs and pep). Imagine Parnelli Jones (the track winner) drivin a short wheel base bronk the Baja (1000 mi of-beat-U-up) towing a trailer. Hada 351.

    Like 1
  8. Nelson C

    Anyone of a certain generation should find it hard not to like this Bronco. The color, graphics and interior fabric are just right. Tilt wheel was a relatively new feature in Ford trucks. Maybe I don’t need the lift but if it drives right could be great fun.

    Like 3
    • Greg B Greg B Member

      See my remarks above

      Like 1
  9. Dan

    This Bronco presents nicely, which makes me wonder about the low reserve, and now I see that this has apparently been sold. I know 2nd-gen Broncos don’t have the respect of earlier Broncos but they’re nudging Squarebody Blazer values. However, with that low reserve and no mention of mileage or running condition I would be suspicious.

    Like 1

      If it had been sold through ebay the listing would still show up, it would just show as SOLD. If the seller made a deal off ebay, sold it, and then ended the listing it would still show up on ebay as LISTING ENDED BY SELLER THIS ITEM IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. When the listing no longer can be viewed on ebay that means that ebay removed the listing. For ebay to remove a listing it has to violate some ebay policy like being a scam listing.

      Like 0
      • Greg B Greg B Member

        I had messaged the current owner and he confirmed that he still retains the Bronco that he bought (high bidder) on Bring a Trailer. He notified eBay and eBay removed the listing. It was a scam in which the scammer used pictures from BaT. It was not sold but to anyone reading these articles that may have strong interest please do your due diligence and don’t send money without verification.

        Like 2
  10. Frank S.

    Even has the wing vent windows & sliding side cap glass like my old ’78 had, but not the 400 CI engine.

    Like 1

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