Uncut Survivor: 1966 Ford Bronco

In recent times here at Barn Finds, we’ve seen a few classics come across our desks that have generated astonishing levels of interest when they have been listed for sale. This 1966 Ford Bronco continues that trend because while the auction opened at $1, there have already been 40 bids that have pushed the price along to $17,100. Located in Camden-Wyoming, Delaware, you will find the Bronco listed for sale here on eBay. It is worth noting that this classic is being offered with No Reserve.

The 1st Generation Bronco has become a cult classic, and this one has a lot of positive attributes that will have contributed to the strong interest. The first of these is that it is original and unmolested. Nobody has cut the wheel arches to fit bigger wheels and tires, which is one of the most common changes you will see. Another plus is the general lack of rust when you work your way through the supplied photos. It looks like the inner rockers have been repaired at some point, but the rest of the vehicle’s underside seems to be clean of anything beyond heavy surface corrosion and some small holes in the floors. Even those holes should be able to be patched without the need to replace the floors entirely. The big one is the front inner fenders. Mud and other debris have a habit of getting packed into this area, and significant rust can develop over time. That doesn’t appear to be the case here, with the corners looking refreshingly clean. There are a few minor rust spots in the panels, but none of these would require anything beyond patching. It will need a repaint because the Caribbean Turquoise is showing its age. The Bronco rolls on its original wheels, and the hubcaps look to be in excellent condition.

When the Bronco broke cover, there was a single drivetrain combination in a bid to keep things simple. What buyers got for their money was a 170ci 6-cylinder engine, a 3-speed manual transmission, and a transfer case to deploy the vehicle’s 4-wheel-drive ability. This Ford remains original, and with the owner stating that it is in sound mechanical health, the little six should be producing 105hp and 158 ft/lbs of torque. Those figures might not sound that impressive, but there is more to them than meets the eye. Maximum torque is delivered low in the engine’s rev range. Combine that with the Bronco’s 4WD capabilities, and it can climb slowly but surely over some pretty harsh terrain. The vehicle has led a relatively sheltered working life, mainly consisting of towing a fuel tank around a farm to refuel farming equipment. The current owner uses it for camping and fishing trips and says that it runs and drives perfectly.

Life in a 1966 Bronco was never designed to be a luxurious experience, but a few changes have been made to improve the situation. The original bench seat has made way for a pair of buckets, while the current owner installed a rear seat. The whole interior needs a cosmetic refresh, and there are a few items that will require attention. Chief among these, especially at this time of year, is the heater. It sounds like it has been disconnected because of a leak, which means no heat or defogging in the depths of Winter. That has to be a priority. The radio also doesn’t work, but that is nowhere near as important as the heater. Otherwise, everything is said to function as it should.

Some classics will sit in the market for years with no appreciable change in average values. The Bronco isn’t one of those. By the time the 1st Generation Bronco was replaced, it had fallen out of favor with the buying public. It was seen as outdated and didn’t possess the creature comforts that buyers had begun to expect. The tide has turned, and they have become one of the “must-have” classics of the last decade. Prices are continuing to soar, and the bidding on this one proves that fact. There is no sign that this trend is going to change soon, so if one of these is on your wish list, you may have to take the plunge now before rising values put them out of the reach of the average person.

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Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    I would guess those are the original front seats as they’re ‘66 seats. The truck looks remarkably good considering it’s location. The underside shots on the lift are a nice consideration from the seller. Find some 66 hubcaps, do a little metal repair, and drive it!

    Like 4
  2. Steve Clinton

    I never could understand the attraction to these ‘pseudo’ Jeeps. I still don’t.

    Like 5
    • Todd Zuercher

      They’re fun to drive (approaching 370k on mine), have classic looks, fairly easy to work on, and have a great support community of many wonderful people.

      Like 10
    • Howard A Member

      Splittin’ hairs, really, they all did the same thing. And with all respect to Todd ( I’m sure to get some flak on this) , while these “groups” may have nice people, I feel, they are directly responsible for pushing the prices of these rattletraps into the stratosphere. I’m very familiar with these, I had friends that had them originally, stout units, but they were far from a cushy ride. Fact is, I can’t imagine a worse vehicle to spend any length of time in, I mean, 5 figures buys a pretty nice ride these days. A ’66 Bronco, or any of these “flash in the pan vintage 4×4’s”, were made to push snow or a jump a disabled car or slog through a field. It just wasn’t made for interstate travel. They had low gearing, poor heaters, rough ride ( they called it Bucking Bronco for a reason), uncomfortable, (those are Ford van seats, and not much better than the bench), and worst of all, only ONE POWER PORT, if that. When I see these for 5 figures, I just think to myself, “you’ll see”,,

      Like 2
      • Todd Zuercher

        I know we’ll agree to disagree on these, Howard – we always do :). I should amend the “fun to drive” comment to state that mine is more fun to drive than a stocker because I’ve made a lot of tweaks and mods to it over the years. It’s still noisy, hot, and slow, but I consider that fun as long as I don’t have to drive it every day.

        Yeah, I don’t like the stratospheric prices either. I don’t count the “good people” in the community as those that relentlessly flip and speculate on these rigs.

        A few year back I bought a set of 5 wheels for mine that cost more than what my dad paid for the entire truck back in 1981.

        Like 4
      • Magerdgr

        Sorry Howard, Todd is right on the seats, those are ’66 Bronco seats, and were actually two drivers side ’66 Mustang seats (they used both driver seats so that the passenger side would angle away from the center hump) with new silver upholstery if the truth be told. I’d agree with you that prices are ridiculous though!

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, man, I hoped you’d understand. Perhaps that was a bit uncalled for, they are providing a service, just like any aftermarket supplier. Problem is, I’m looking for a vintage 4×4, like this now, and am looking to point a finger at someone for making them out of reach for us folks like me. I suppose there’s a number of factors there. Unless I gouge someone on the sale of the squarebody( can’t beat ’em, join ’em” thing), I’d go $5g’s on something like this, but knowing what I’m getting, not much more.

        Like 3
      • Joe

        Auction started at $1 with no reserve can’t see how you say anything about gouging a 67 fastback doesn’t have creature comforts either you either understand or you don’t different preferences

  3. TASKER

    Todd speaks the truth! best group of owners anywhere…bar none!

    Like 2
    • half cab

      A car moves the body but a Bronco moves the soul 🥂

      Like 3
      • Steve Clinton

        …as well as your innards.

        Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        1st ride I got in one of these, my friend said, wanna do some off roadin’? Sure, I said. He said, you may want to buckle the seat belt( at the time, most belts lie crumpled under the seat) Nah, I said, big man. After the 2nd time I hit my head on the roof, I buckled the belt. My friend was laughing, but the short wheelbase makes for a rough ride.

        Like 1
  4. Maestro1 Member

    I agree, Howard. I have been in the Hobby a long time and I don’t understand the Bronco thing at all.

    Like 2
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    If you paid stupid money for one of these,
    would you tell anyone?

  6. Steve Clinton

    $20,100.00 with 3days left.
    If I had known 10 years ago that old Broncos would garner this much money, I would have bought a dozen for $500 each and parked ’em in my back yard!

    Like 1
  7. Gate1967

    I love all this bronco talk. Very hard to imagine of what they have become. As a 67 roadster owner for 34 years, i must like them. Have had many others over the years as well. I’m still under 50 yrs old. Love Todd’s book, pick it up if you haven’t yet. You will become a fan. Great early bronco by the way.

    Like 2
  8. chrlsful

    the bronk owners didn’t do it ($ rise) Howard (& others). It’s the boomers who have $ AND nostalgia, many get exported. It’s abt image just like the rise of ALL SUVs. Ppl don’t buy vehicles w/cents (or sense) its for the ego, self, image. I bought 38 yrs ago for utility (income). Many asa rec vehicle (“wheelin”). Some drive em 80/90 mi an hr.
    All the issues above are easily worked out w/upgrades on parts BUT the short wheel base (for daily use). This is an advantage for rec as it is more maneuverable. If on city or suburban rds the pace of travel will not really B effected by a 90 inch WB. Many of the other brands of the area were more resourceful off rd (ever wrk ona Toy FJ40 or similar)? But they could not move dwn the rd as well asa bronk (45mph stretches their capacity.) I am widja on the pricing. It’s stooopid. If I sold mine I could not afford another…I think I’ll rest0mod it and give it to the 25 y/o daughter!

    When I buy nother daily I think I do so for my ego – an affordable (not many around) ’83/6 LTD/Marquis waggy. A certain ‘statement’ abt its driver~
    ;^ )

  9. Jim Darlingfarmrd

    Wheeel I just gotta say I’d no idea my little truck would create such a buzz since I listed it… If it turns out to sell without being a non paying bidder in the end!!! The article is almost correct except for a few point.. seats are original except the back was added by me (and I really hated to drill the holes but I needed it) and heater is functioning just really needs defrost tubes… anyway thanks for the article and the boost in interest..Jim

    Like 1
  10. Hairball

    I just messaged the owner a short time ago and congratulated him on a nice sale at 26,400. I live in NJ and drove down to look at his Bronco while the auction was still ongoing. At the time it was around 15k but have to say it was a delightful truck and would have loved to owner it but the final price was too much for me. Still it was the first time in my life to have driven an original Bronco so quite the experience.I own four myself but all gen 3 and newer. Maybe someday I’ll get one of these at a lesser price should the market soften but thanks again to Jim for showing me around your wonderful Bronco.

  11. Lyle Paczkowski

    Nice machine. Sold too cheap. I have a 1966 half shack. Serial #3000. I ordered it – yes I am original owner. 80k miles. Untouched and totally original except for tires and floor mats. Mine was stamped by Budd Mnfg because Ford hadn’t finished the dies yet. There is a way to know this fact by looking for a Ford logo under driver seat floor panel. Note his front bumper has squared ends. Must be low SN as the bumper design changed soon after Ford took over building the unit. Mine isn’t for sale of course. Nifty machine. Keep it safe.

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