A Brief History of the Iconic Ford Bronco


It’s one of the most popular Ford SUV’s in American history?—and it’s coming back! That’s right. Ford has recently announced that the beloved Ford Bronco will be coming out of retirement for the 2020 model year, featuring all the latest performance, capability, durability, and safety technology available.


In preparation for the upcoming release, we’re talking a brief walk down memory lane and looking into the illustrious history of the Ford Bronco. Won’t you join us?

The First Generation Bronco is Born


The Ford Bronco was first conceptualized by two of Ford’s most significant historical figures, Donald Frey and Lee Iacocca, both of whom had a hand in the design and release of the original Ford Mustang. 


At first, the Bronco was available in three different body styles, the fun and speedy roadster, the innovative and versatile half-cab, and the rugged and durable wagon style. The roadster and half-cab models, while interesting, were soon taken off the market as a result of poor sales, but the wagon model soon entered into the upper-echelon in terms of popularity and public desire.


The first-gen Bronco came with a variety of available accessories like a snowplow, a winch, and a post-hole digger, all elements that truly spoke to the working-class style Ford was going for.

Size and Power Reign During Generations 2 and 3


When the second generation of the Bronco debuted in the late 1970s, Ford drastically increased the SUV’s size and performance, building the Bronco closer in size to the F-100 truck and adding a removable hardtop.


In 1978, Ford began releasing broncos with exclusively V-8 engines, and in 1979, the company eliminated the Bronco’s round-shaped headlights in favor of more appealing squared ones. It was also during the second gen that Ford added the Bronco’s practical rear-window design which lowered into its door, a feature which remained a favorite for several years.


At the onset of the third-gen in the early 1980s, Ford had redesigned the Bronco to be slightly smaller and more lightweight in order to capitalize on better fuel efficiency, though it remained a full-size SUV.


The third generation was modeled after the F-150 rather than the F-100, and Ford also added a six-cylinder option to its line of V-8s.

Better Aerodynamics and Safety for Generations 4 and 5


Beginning in 1987, the Bronco adopted what was arguably its most famous body style, a sleeker, more aerodynamic design. It was during this time that Ford also added electronic fuel injection.


Early safety features such as anti-lock brakes began to become standard at this time, and the 1991 Silver Anniversary model came with a V-8 engine that gave the Bronco an astounding 7,500 pound towing capacity. 


This was also the generation where Ford first offered the popular “Eddie Bauer” trim package, which came with two-tone paint, cloth bucket seats, and wood burl trim.


By 1992, the Bronco added even more safety features like front crumple zones, three-point seatbelts, and a driver’s side airbag.

The Ford Bronco Enters the New Millennium


Later this year, the Ford Bronco will be introduced to an entirely new world. While Ford’s announcement has garnered significant positive attention, very little information about the new design has been released. 


However, it has been confirmed that the all-new Bronco will be a four-door mid-size SUV that incorporates the best elements of the model’s history while also introducing ground-breaking safety, performance, capability, and technology features. 


The new Bronco isn't expected to make it to our lot until this Fall, but we’re shaking with anticipation! In the meantime, why not check out all of the other great new and used Ford SUVs that Keller Bros. Lititz has to offer?
Categories: New Inventory
; ;