1969 Ford Bronco

posted in: Ford | 0

If you like cars in which metal is much more than plastic, the first generation Bronco will definitely catch your attention. This is the first SUV from Ford, which was produced from ’66 to ’77 and was sold 225,000 cars. Even for the first year, the 66th year of sales was sold 18,200 cars. The highest sales reached in ’73, – 26,300 copies. Although Ford was inferior in sales to Jeep, which already strengthened in the market at that time, the Bronco has successfully entered the niche. By the way, – today already the 6th generation of this model is produced. After a long break, the car with the legendary name has been resurrected in the 21st. But now let’s talk about the first generation, the car with which the history of SUVs from FORD began.

I think its successful debut 1969 Ford Bronco owes its success to the people who created this car. The fact is that it was the same people who brought the legendary and super-successful 1964 Ford Mustang to market. Just imagine – that was the time when Cadillac and Chrysler produced their huge Eldorado and Imperial with air conditioning, cruise control and electric drive of absolutely everything. And here Ford produced absolutely utilitarian SUV.

Which didn’t even have power side windows, and most of the cars were made with a manual transmission! Let me tell you more! – back in the days before the fuel crisis, the base engine for the Ford was a 2.8 liter! And it wasn’t the inline four that was in demand in America before the era of the V8 engine. It was an in-line, six-cylinder engine! But by that time, even on their not expensive cars, the Americans had used V8 for a long time.

The inline engine did not prevent the Bronco from becoming a cult car. You could see it in movies like – Kingsman 2017 (in that picture was shown rare roadster), Logan 2017, Need For Speed 2014, Charlie’s Angels 2000 and in the movie Speed in 1994 at the Bronco rushed Keanu Reeves.
The first Bronco attracted by its versatility and utilitarianism. Even the next generation after it – the second generation – has become noticeably larger and more comfortable. For the Ford Bronco offered some options, among them was a power take-off shaft. This device alone allowed to equip the machine with a lawn mower and even a drill. The first Bronco was created as the best helper for its owner. And that owner had the opportunity to make friends with his Bronco.

An incredibly detailed repair manual was provided for this purpose. It is noteworthy that the drawings in this book are exactly detailed drawings, not photos. Thus, the book mentions that the Bronco comes with two wrenches, which was the norm for older cars. The square key was for the ignition, and the round one was for opening the doors. At first glance it seems trivial, but in practice some of today’s owners confused the keys and broke them because of it.

Sale and Price 1969 Ford Bronco.

A brand new Bronco could be purchased for $2,194. With inflation, that’s the equivalent of $17,507, today. I think if such a car were selling new today for $17,000, a lot of people would rush to buy it. Especially since the average cost of a restored example, today, is $50,000. The new SUV had a warranty of 2 years, or 24,000 miles.

Exterior and photos.

Bronco of the first generation was produced only in a three-door body. The car was designed as a compact SUV and five-door modification in this generation was not provided. The three-door Wagon was the most popular of the available body types. The roadster was in the least demand. There were produced about 5 thousand of these cars, and their production was discontinued in 68 (it was associated with low demand for this modification). Until ’72 a pickup truck was produced.

Examining the photo you can notice that the windshield wipers are mounted on top of the windshield. It was a common solution for such vehicles at that time, but the wiper drive has an unusual solution, because it is not electric, but vacuum! By the way, in the photo you can notice the loop on the hood. It is designed to fix the windshield, which can be lowered and simply put on the hood. On the rear, right fender there is a gas tank cap – there is no hatch, which also emphasizes the maximum utilitarianism of this car. On the right side of the trunk lid you can see the stamping with the name – Ford. On the left side is a special mechanism for fixing the license plate. This mechanism can change its position and is used to ensure the visibility of the license plate when trunk lid is lowered.

The Sport package can be easily recognized by the red Ford lettering on the radiator grille and chrome, wheel covers. The last ones are decorated with inscriptions Ford. In the 1970s, the Sport model was made as a separate model. Speaking of wheels, it is worth adding that on the front wheels can be seen mechanical locking front hubs. The door hinges are external – this solution is usually used on the real SUVs.

Of course, there is a frame body, where both elements are connected to each other through 8em rubber pads. Examining the photos, you can see the Bronco inscription on the front fenders, but the powerful modification with the top V8 is decorated with the nameplate – 302, which tells about the volume of the installed engine.
With a body length of 3863mm, the wheelbase of the Bronco is 2337mm and curb weight of the version with 302 V8 is 1560kg. Of course this car wasn’t designed for high-speed driving and its drag coefficient is 0.65. But it has a very good angle of entry – 40 degrees, and ground clearance is almost 300mm. At the same time, it is a very maneuverable car – the turning diameter is 10m.

Interior and equipment.

The front panel is made of bare metal, only in the upper part there is a soft padding. The instrumentation is minimal here – the speedometer is programmed to 100 miles, with fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge, battery charge indicator and low oil pressure around it. A tachometer was available as an option. A radio, cigarette lighter, and compass were offered as optional equipment.

The gear lever is mounted on the steering column in the American manner. The steering wheel rim itself is very thin – this seems unusual today, but was the norm at the time. The steering wheel is equipped with hydraulic power steering. A transfer case lever protrudes from the transmission tunnel.
Notably, the basic equipment included a one-piece sofa in the front for three people. But for an additional fee could be installed two separate seats. By the way, on the roadster, the rear seat was optional – it was not in the base. The belts here are of the lumbar type, which you might have seen in the passenger airplane cabin.

The location of the Vin number is very unusual. The thing is that the code is not in the engine compartment, not on the frame and not on the body, but on the cover of the cabin glove box! Yes, – the Ford Bronco’s Vin – number is riveted to the glove compartment lid, and the glove compartment lid itself is attached to the front panel with four self-tapping screws. So you can just unscrew those four self-tapping screws and bolt a new VIN number to your Bronco.

Another unusual thing is that in the open position, the doors here are held in place by straps. The parking brake on the Bronco is a foot brake, which is typical of most, American cars.
The first owner of 1969 Ford Bronco could equip his car; – a towbar, an extra gas tank, snowplow, winch, and hole digger. As you can see, – there is no luxury in this car, but it gives a lot of possibilities to a person who is used to doing the work himself. Some owners have equipped their car with an extra safety cage.
The trunk lid here is hinged down, but you first need to raise the top with the glass, which in the open position is held not on gas stops, but on special, mechanical rails. From the factory the spare tire was stored in the luggage compartment, but some owners ordered additional mounts on which the spare tire was mounted outside the trunk.

Engine and Specifications 1969 Ford Bronco.

As stated above, the base engine for the Bronco was a 170 cubic inch inline six (2.8L). This engine was borrowed from the Ford Bronco and was powered by a single, single-chamber carburetor. This power unit developed 107 horsepower.
You can see from the photo how much space there is in the engine compartment of this car. There is also a jack on the right front fender, which is its factory location.
The base engine in ’73 was an inline six with a cubic capacity of 3.3 liters and 129 horsepower.
The more powerful models had a V8 Windsor engine of 289 cubic inches and 200 horsepower. The ’69 was increased to 262 cubic inches with 205 horsepower at 4600 RPM. The torque was 407N.M at 2,600 rpm. Do not forget that the car with the 4.9 liter engine weighed only 1560 kg! With this engine, the Bronco could reach 100 km/h in 10 seconds and reach a top speed of 156 km/h.
Originally the Bronco had a fully synchronized, manual transmission. An automatic transmission with the same number of gears was available as an option in ’73.
Suspension was dependent front and rear, but spring in front and leaf spring in the rear. The front brakes were disc brakes, the rear were drum brakes.

This car became a cult object due to its practicality and versatility. Many bought it for outdoor activities, or transportation. Over time, the very shape of the body of the first Bronco became a cult. That’s why the 6th generation car stylistically resembles the very first car of the 60’s. Today, many are not just restoring these, old Ford, but also installing modern, much more powerful engines on them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *