The new Ford Bronco is expected to make a comeback on American roads in 2020 as announced by Ford during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are rumors that Ford Ranger is the platform that is going to be used for the 2020 Bronco although nothing has been confirmed yet.
Until the Ford Bronco makes its comeback, we can relive its glory days with these restomod-ed models.
What do you mean by restomod?
The term restomod was coined by combining the two terms “restore” and “modify.” More than simply bringing back the car to its original condition, restomod allows the use of upgrades and modifications to improve and customize the vehicle to the owner’s preference. There are actually two schools of thought for restomod.
A period-correct restomod is when the upgrades installed are from the period when the car was still in production. An example would be putting a 4-barrel carburetor and headers on the first generation Ford Bronco’s 302 cubic inch V8 engine. These modifications can help the stock engine block churn out more horsepower and torque.
A modern restomod uses present-day performance parts. This allows the Ford Bronco owner to put a Ford Triton V8 and electronic fuel injection into the powertrain.
— Popular Mechanics (@PopMech) January 9, 2017
What’s the catch for restomodding a Ford Bronco?
There is an emerging number of first generation Ford Bronco enthusiasts. Although definitely still a niche market, their desire to give the classic Bronco a more modern twist is definitely picking up.
A stock Ford Bronco from the 1960s and 1970s will never outperform a modern SUV’s engine performance. Unmodified Ford Broncos are better suited in a classic car show where people can admire it.
Upgrading the powertrain, suspension, and other systems in the Ford Bronco can make the SUV more adapted to the demands of modern drivers and passengers. By increasing the engine’s horsepower and torque you can reach a good cruising speed much quicker. This can be achieved by installing parts like headers, electronic fuel injection, and aggressive camshafts. You can even opt to replace the stock engine with a larger crate engine. The larger displacement gives the Bronco an increase in the power and torque figures without the added stress on the engine.
Suspension upgrades make it easier for you to maneuver your classic Ford Bronco on and off-road. You can install a lift kit to increase the ground clearance, performance shock absorbers, and anti-sway bars so that your SUV feels stable even with the added height. You can install larger wheels and tires thanks to the increased ride height from modifying the Ford Bronco’s suspension.
An upgraded cooling system can keep your Bronco cool on long drives and endure hot climates. You can install an electric radiator fan that runs independently from the crankshaft. This way, the fan can cool your engine efficiently when needed. You might also want to consider aluminum radiators with extra rows. These are suited for releasing heat at a much faster rate.
These days it would be difficult to drive a vehicle without creature comforts such as power steering, air-conditioning, and comfortable seats. Without these features, drivers and passengers alike might not want to take their Ford Broncos out for a drive.
The Ford Bronco can become comfortable with softer suspension, efficient air-conditioning, and modern comfortable seats. You can also throw in a modern audio system with satellite navigation.
You can slap on flashy rims wrapped in mud tires with an aggressive tread pattern to instantly make your Ford Bronco look meaner. Other accessories like roof racks and nerf bars also add flair to your vehicle.
You can also play with different color combinations to achieve a paint job that suits your personality. At the end of the day, there are lots of possibilities that you can try. But always remember to do you research well before executing or else you risk making your Ford Bronco worse than when you started.
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Building a Restomod Ford Bronco
Building your own Ford Bronco in the garage is an intimate experience if you have the heart to finish the job. It will take a lot of time researching, sourcing parts, assembling, and tuning. No amount of money can buy the satisfaction of a properly running Ford Bronco at the end of your build. If you are not up for the task, there are shops that can do the project for you. Here are two restoration shops known for their work on the Ford Bronco.
Classic Ford Broncos
Classic Ford Broncos is a bespoke restomod shop started in 2005 by Bryan Rood at Columbus, Ohio. According to its website ClassicFordbroncos.com:
“The build starts with an original Ford Bronco produced from 1966 to 1977. Add new metal, a new engine and transmission, off-road tires, a hint of luxury, and of course, a modern brake system. It looks mean. It sounds great. It performs like a boss. It’s like getting a 60s-70s factory model with 2017 technology. Pure fun on pavement, or off.”
You can choose from Classic Ford Bronco custom presets or you can discuss your ideas with Bryan Rood himself. From there, Bryan can point you to possible directions for your project and proceed with the build.
Velocity Restorations is headed by Ford Bronco enthusiasts Stuart Wilson and Brandon Segers. Located in Pensacola, Florida, this shop takes the restomodding of Ford Broncos very seriously. Some of its finished projects have been showcased in the Souther Ford Mega Car Show, SEMA, Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, and Good Guys Car Show.
Aside from Ford Bronco projects, the shop also works on other vintage trucks and classic cars. This brings in more restomod ideas that could possibly work with your vehicle.