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Well Optioned: 1976 Ford Bronco 302

The original owner of this 1976 Ford Bronco decided to equip the vehicle with a tasty selection of factory and dealer options. These would have made this a comfortable vehicle when it was new, and with the values of the 1st Generation Bronco continuing to skyrocket, it makes it a desirable car today. The current owner has decided to part with the vehicle, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Rockville, Maryland, and has already managed to attract an incredible 56 bids. This has pushed the price along to $20,000, and the reserve has been met.

The Raven Black Bronco is looking a touch on the tired side today, and it will need some work if it is to shine like a new pin. Apart from the faded paint, there will be other issues for the buyer to tackle. The fenders have been cut and flares attached to accommodate the larger wheels and tires that the vehicle rolls on. This is no great surprise because this seems to be a common Bronco trait. Replacement fenders and quarter panels are easy and cheap to find, so addressing this should not pose a problem. The other issue that these Broncos can face is rust. This one is no exception, with the owner indicating that it has rust in all of the usual places. That means that we can expect it in the floors, along with the front inner fenders. Of more concern is the rust that is appearing in the cowl. Repairing this will be a fiddly process, but Bronco steel is readily available and surprisingly affordable. It is possible that a motivated person could construct a whole new body shell for a Bronco, so comprehensive is the availability of spares. The panels themselves look good, there are no problems with the glass, and the optional factory chrome roof rack is a nice touch.

The Bronco was designed as a go-anywhere vehicle, and its cause is helped when equipped as this one is. It features the 302ci V8 under the hood, which should be pumping out 125hp. This V8 is backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case for either two or four-wheel-drive. The Bronco was not built for straight-line speed, and the 19.6-second journey down the ¼ mile perfectly demonstrates this. The Bronco’s strength lay more in its engine torque than its outright power. This 302 would be producing an impressive 220 ft/lbs of torque. The driver only needs to put that transfer case into 4WD low-range, and the Bronco should be capable of crawling through the harshest terrain. The owner says that the Bronco runs and drives. I have included a video at the bottom of this article that shows the Bronco’s engine running. That small-block sounds as sweet as a nut, with no odd noises or visible smoke.

The Bronco’s interior will need a refresh, but it does appear to be complete. The front seats and rear seat are trimmed in White vinyl, and while it must have looked classy when it was new, it probably wasn’t the most appropriate choice for a vehicle that will be exposed to mud, slush, and other “icky” stuff. The buyer could choose a faithful restoration, or they might prefer a more practical color for the interior trim. Kits for Broncos are easy to find, and $1,800 will secure a high-quality one with all of the components to return the interior to a factory-fresh state. There is a radio/cassette in place of the original radio, but an excellent score for the buyer is the dealer-supplied air conditioning. I don’t think that it is functional, but it does appear to be complete.

The 1st Generation Bronco was not a vehicle that sold up a storm, particularly towards the end of its model cycle. The 1976 model year saw Ford shift 15,256 Broncos, which was a long way short of their expectations. That level of rarity means that good examples can now command some hefty price-tags. It isn’t unusual to see $50,000 for tidy examples, although real beauties can easily top $60,000. This one has a way to go before it can threaten those sorts of numbers, but it is definitely capable of doing so if a high-quality restoration is undertaken. Is that a challenge that you are up for?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Not an early Bronco fan but this has all the stuff done to it to make into a pure off road rig. Say what you want about the fender flares but they keep it from looking like an early pedal car. I’ll agree with anyone who says it should be rebuilt and put back on the road.

    Like 5
  2. Desert Rat

    This would be a great Bronco to own, it has every thing I would want in a classic off-roader. Great axles dana 44s front and 9″ in the rear should have disk brakes the first year for them, v8 and auto trans, in a small package. Just wish the prices had not gone crazy, no way would I pay what these are going for now days, just another example of how the hobby has changed and taken the fun out of buying old cars and trucks. I long for the old days where no body cared about old cars except for guys and girls who just wanted an old muscle car, that cost all most nothing, wasn’t worth much, it just gave you pleasure to own, work on and drive nothing more nothing less.

    Like 1
  3. Todd Zuercher

    Interesting to see an early steering wheel on it. Better pics of all the rust would be required to make a fair assessment of this rig. The painted flares and vintage Centerline wheels are cool though.

    Like 2
    • half cab

      Must have been a early August or September ’75 build to have that steering wheel. No ’76 I’ve ever seen has had that style.

      Like 1
      • Todd Zuercher

        That steering wheel went away after the ‘74 model year. The F-series wheel started in ‘75 so this is way out of the window for it.

        Like 0
  4. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    The A/C setup is actually the factory unit, not a dealer installed version. This car is not too far from me, and if a serious BF buyer is interested, let me know and I’ll check it out.

    Like 1
    • half cab

      Sorry to tell ya but all ac units on 66-77 broncos were dealer installed.

      Like 2
      • Todd Zuercher

        Half cab is correct. No factory a/c units on these trucks.

        Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


        Of course, you are correct, I failed to re-read what I wrote. I meant to write it was a factory FOMOCO unit, not aftermarket.

        Like 3
  5. PatrickM

    $20,000.00 seems quite high for all the work that needs to be done to this. I have a hard time believing these are that popular and are worth that kind of money. Yes, I would like to have one of these. A 3.8 liter V6 would do me quite well. I just can’t couple the price of tins one with my wallet. Plus, no underside pics. If ya wanna sell it, ya gotta show it.

    Like 0

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