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Upgraded V8: 1974 Ford Bronco

I view this 1974 Ford Bronco as a litmus test for modified classics. The popularity of First Generation examples is unquestioned, with prices gradually moving beyond the reach of an average enthusiast. However, this one could answer the question of whether a raft of upgrades will increase the price, decrease it, or have little effect. Its presentation is hard to fault and would suit a buyer seeking a turnkey vehicle with additional performance. The seller listed the Bronco here on eBay in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Bidding sits below the reserve at $26,100, and even if it is beyond your financial means, monitoring the auction could be fascinating.

The seller only includes a single side-on shot of this Bronco, but they supply images of the Window Sticker and Marti Report. These make interesting reading because they reveal the first of many modifications made to this classic. They confirm the vehicle rolled off the line resplendent in Code X Light Grabber Blue, but it received a color change at some point. This wasn’t a case of throwing a fresh coat over the old because the change extends to areas like the engine bay and vehicle underside. The photos suggest it was a frame-off process, and the attention to detail has left this Ford rust-free. Surface corrosion is developing in several spots under this Ford, so addressing those early would be wise. The Bronco presents well, with its dazzling Yellow paint shining impressively and the panels appearing as straight as an arrow. One tempting change not made during the build was cutting the fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires. It is a common modification that has not afflicted this classic. It was also unnecessary since the vehicle rolls on its original wheels, wearing the correct hubcaps. The trim is immaculate, and there are no glass issues.

The first thing to note about this Bronco’s mechanical package is that it isn’t numbers-matching. The included documentation confirms its original owner ordered it with a 302ci V8 and a three-speed automatic transmission, adding power steering to make life easier for the driver in tight spaces. Evolutionary changes saw the First Generation Bronco’s weight climb during the 1970s, while tighter emission regulations resulted in plummeting engine power figures. The original owner would have had 137hp and 230 ft/lbs of torque at their disposal, with both figures considerably lower than at the decade’s start. However, somebody has attempted to regain the lost performance by swapping the original motor for a 302ci Mustang GT “HO” powerplant. Its specifications are unclear, but it would be safe to assume that it churns out significantly more power and torque than the original eight. They also consigned the factory front drum brakes to the trash, fitting a disc conversion to improve safety and driver confidence. The motor has only clocked around 100 miles since it was built, leaving the winning bidder to clock some additional “break-in” miles. The seller claims the Bronco is fun to drive, and they include a collection of parts in the deal.

The Bronco’s interior is a mixed bag, combining many original features with practical upgrades. The dash pad and door trim appear as per the factory, with the painted surfaces wearing the same dazzling shade as the exterior. The builder upgraded the seats, with the fronts body-hugging buckets and the rear bench trimmed in matching material. The seller includes the factory items if the winning bidder seeks a more “stock” appearance. Other modifications include a column-mounted tach, a retro-style stereo, and the comfort of air conditioning. The overall presentation is impressive, with the interior needing nothing.

It seems a simple question, but it could be challenging to answer. A spotless and unmolested ’74 Bronco is a coveted classic, and they consistently sell for over $60,000. The condition of this one is above average, but it isn’t 100% original. The winning bidder could choose to return the vehicle to its factory form as per the Window Sticker and Marti Report, but the cost and effort involved could be prohibitive. Therefore, I believe they will probably leave the vehicle untouched. Reading your views on the changes and their impact on the Bronco’s potential value will be fascinating. Monitoring the auction might be worth the effort because you might be tempted to submit a bid if the action doesn’t intensify. Who knows, but today could be your lucky day.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice rig, crazy price. ( Heard that somewhere before, I think)

    Like 2
  2. Boatman Member

    I’m not a fan of yellow, but this grabs me.

    Like 2
  3. Frog Man

    Considering price of “new” Bronco id much rather have this one.

    Like 4
  4. chrlsful

    “…rolls on its original wheels…”
    Gates 78 fifteens? (7X15)

    I come from the ‘never paint a vehicle yellow’ school, but there’s plenty more of this yr to choose from (25K+ highest prod. yr of 11). Nice to see one w/o all the “bolt ons”. That, a higher price (w/o them), long term ownership, and a few more show the Y/M/M is in ‘classic car’ territory now. Fine for a driver, lots to go for ‘concourse’, mine moves slowly from ‘survivor’ to ‘rest0mod’ (ThriftPower 4.1 & 5 speed). I’ll debate the ‘numbers matching’ on 2 or 3 fronts, but the ford fire is 1 reason Marti evolved. For me? it’s all a moot point. What IS important is to get one (or similar, body on chassy) make it ur own (any mod needed for ur Specific Application) and style it (well, I guess thats the yellow here) as you please. I prefer ‘sleeper mods’ and as oem as possible.

    Thnx Adam. See many of these down your way (either ‘in the day’, or now)? More 2nd gen?

    Like 1
  5. Rickirick

    If legit, 26K not bad asking $$$ imo.

    Like 2
  6. Jimmy

    Very nice, over 32K now and reserve still not met.

    Like 1
  7. mainlymuscle

    $26 k isn’t a bad ask big spender ? It’s about half way there ,maybe less .I have 2 in my collection , along with 3 70-72 Blazers.It’s safe to say I am aware of the ,market .Not everyone wants a sportscar ,there is nothing more fun than a convertible SUV ! As far as the “number crap ” ,last time I checked Icon was getting $200 k for a restomod ,and have a 2 year wait list .
    There really aren’t many vehicles left, where original is more valuable than a restomod .Drive one , you will see why in a few hundred feet .

    Like 2

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