5. The Original Bronco Wasn’t Built like an Appliance
Back in the day, automakers employed the use of a mysterious substance known as steel. Before superior materials like plastic and styrofoam came along, steel was used to make the cars that weren’t thrown away when they broke down.
In all seriousness, it’s hard to argue against the pure and honest ruggedness of a steel box on wheels. That’s all the original Bronco is when you get down to it. Look at those fenders! You can hammer a new one out of roofing steel.
4. Honest Aesthetics
Aesthetically, the original Bronco really wasn’t that remarkable. It was, quite literally, a steel box on wheels. And yet it still looks so, so good. No exaggerated lines, bulky A-pillars or comical fender flares. The interior is basic and practical. Note the long 4WD shifter. This Bronco was equipped with a three speed on the column.
A charming and unoffensive shape makes the old Bronco timeless, and its iconic style makes it classic. Unlike many modern offroad vehicles, the original Bronco was designed to be rugged and capable—not just to convince people that it was rugged and capable.
In general, the design of modern off-road vehicles (not just Ford) makes you wonder if all that extra stuff is just a lazy substitute for thoughtful design.
3. The Original Bronco Had a V8
The original Ford Bronco came with a V8 engine. A big, proud, gas-guzzling American V8 engine. Or, at least some of them did. Think about that. Combine that with the original design, and you can break it down into something simple and wonderful: The original Bronco was a lawn chair with an engine.
The new Ford Bronco will not come with a V8. Some guy in a garage somewhere will probably drop an LS into one (or maybe a Coyote), but most people will never see it. I’m all for efficiency, but I just can’t get behind a turbocharged V6 in an offroad vehicle. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I have a point. It doesn’t really matter if you like the car.
2. The Original Bronco was Simple
Look at that engine bay. There’s barely anything but room. In the new Bronco, you can bet that there won’t be any room. Modern vehicles are packed with sophisticated electronics, emissions control systems, and other unidentifiable nonsense.
All ranting aside, it’s pretty easy to work on a Windsor V8 in the old Bronco. The car was designed during a time when people were expected to do their own maintenance. Today, fewer people know anything about the appliance they drive back and forth to work.
Again, modern engines are objectively better than these old motors. They’re more efficient and they last way longer. Nonetheless, there’s something exciting about driving a car with a simple motor. It’s like you actually understand the machine that moves you around (even if it’s more likely to break).
1. The Sequel Ain’t The Original
The main reason why the new Ford Bronco won’t be as cool as the original is because it’s not the original. Think about the OBS Bronco of 1980-1996. It was cool in its own way, but it never had the ‘pop’ of the original. I mean, you could even get a Bronco pickup truck. That’s a whole new level of cool.
That said, I’m still looking forward to the release of the new Bronco. We already know that it has some stylistic throwbacks, which is exciting. If it comes with a manual transmission (or a diesel), it’ll be even better. Any new car that doesn’t look like an angry insect is worth a look in my book.
About THE AUTHOR
I rebuild & restore classic cars and trucks when I'm not researching and writing about all things automotive. My current project is a 1978 Ford.Read more about Joshua Weinstein