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Two-Owner Survivor: 1979 Ford Bronco Custom

Ford is currently introducing a new Bronco for 2021 and the automotive world, particularly the 4×4 segment is buzzing. People are excited to see a new SUV hit the market that’s not just a warmed-over crossover, it’s about time Jeep had some competition. The new Bronco pays homage to the first-generation more so than the full-size second-generation we have here. Broncos have always been popular and have quite the cult following, most were used hard and rust is a big enemy of these. This truck seems to be the exception, although not perfect its hard to find a nice example with little rust that has been cared for like this one. Find it here on eBay in Bigfork, Montana with bidding up to $9,100 at the time of writing.

One benefit of buying this truck will be going to pick it up, the background scenery looks beautiful. However, if you do go get your new Bronco bringing a trailer is advisable, the seller fully discloses some issues that need to be addressed. The good thing is the truck is very original with mostly factory paint except for possibly the hood and little rust to deal with. There is some rust in the floorboards and rear tailgate area but compared to other Broncos its minor. The current owner has owned the truck since 1993 when he purchased it from the original owner’s estate. The main reason for not driving it home is the condition of the front suspension and steering, the bushings and steering components are original and worn causing the front end to shake making it scary to drive over 40MPH by the seller’s admission.

The interior looks original as well, floor coverings have been removed exposing some rust forming on the floors. The seats could use recovering but the dash looks great. The Custom was the entry trim level for 1979 so few options are present. This truck has an aftermarket radio and no A/C. The second-generation Bronco was based on the F series pickup, a view of the front passenger compartment makes it hard to tell the two apart. Behind the front seats is a different story with a rear seat and a removable hardtop. We can see shifters for the C6 Auto Transmission, and 4WD shifter for the NP205 transfer case, both are in good working order. Mileage is listed as 144K.

The original 351M was pulled at some point and replaced with a rebuilt 400M. Upgrades include a Carter AFB carb, Weiand intake manifold, and a GM style HEI distributor. A tuneup has recently been done and the 400 runs good with lots of power, in fact, the seller describes the truck as “exciting/scary to drive above 40 with new built engine and worn out front end”. Other items needing attention are a cracked windshield and rusted out exhaust system. This Bronco needs some work but not anything that cant be handled in the driveway or garage over a few weekends. I love the color combination, hopefully, this one will get sorted out mechanically by the new owner and kept original wherever possible.


  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Looks like an honest truck and honest description. Has been used but not abused. Not a rust bucket, probably due to living its life in Montana. Some things definitely need fixed, others one could wait on. Unusual color combination — back when you could get dozens and dozens of two-tone schemes. Should bring solid bucks.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Gate1967

    Definitely a nice looking honest vehicle. I like this color combo. With some hard work, someone will have a nice priceless bronco. Wonder how high it will go ?

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo GCS Member

    I am more of a Chevy guy but this is a really nice Bronco. Hopefully it goes to a good home where it can stay this nice.

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

    Love the pale yellow, unique to see one of these in a non primary color.
    Of course, as a GM guy, had to research the ‘M’ series of Ford engines…

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Dave

      I found a really good website that details the differences between the 351C, 351W, 400, and the 351M. The bellhousing bolt patterns tell the tale.

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo William Fox

    Nice. These last-gen Broncos from the 80’s are everything the new Bronco isn’t. And that’s primarily why it won’t last long.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo TimM

    I’m an owner of two of the original model Broncos and I had a 78 too, which looks the same as this model in 79!! These were much better riding and driving trucks!! I’m always surprised at the big difference in value between these and the original models!! The only conclusion I can come up with is that these don’t have that full convertible top!! I wish I still had my 78 though!!

    Like 0

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