1966. It was the year that the first U.S. spacecraft, Surveyor I, landed successfully on the moon. The Beatles played Shea Stadium. Star Trek made its debut on television. Lenny Bruce died. It was also the year Ford introduced the Bronco, which undoubtedly spawned one of the largest 4x4 co-cultures ever. And luckily enough, members of said co-culture from across the nation haven't let a day of its history go unnoticed. A fact demonstrated by the Early Bronco Registry's celebration of the Bronco's 35th anniversary.
With a total of 277 early Bronco owners registered, the 35th Anniversary made history as the largest Bronco gathering ever. Enthusiasts traveled from 15 different states as well as Canada and Mexico for a solid week of Bronco-ing around the California desert and mountains. The event was coordinated as a volunteer effort by members of the Early Bronco Registry, the oldest and largest association dedicated exclusively to the early Bronco. Founded in July, 1990, the EBR evolved from Early Broncos Limited, a nonprofit Bronco club dating back to 1981. By 1997, EBR boasted more than 1,000 members and has continued to grow and maintain its dedication to the preservation and enjoyment of the '66-'77 Ford Broncos.
For the 35th Anniversary celebration, Bronco owners turned out in droves to Lone Wolf Colony Ranch in Apple Valley, California, to tackle the surrounding trails and enjoy the camaraderie endemic to Bronco owners. Many of the Bronco specialty vendors were on hand to show off their products and shake hands with the community that supports them. On average, participants logged 400 miles of 'wheeling through the course of the week, with plenty of mild to extreme trail carnage. Everything from bone-stock rigs to tube-frame, narrowed body creations made up the Bronco contingent, proving that the early Bronco is one of the most diverse 4x4 offerings ever. If you missed this one, mark your calendar for 2006 when EBR will celebrate the big 40. For more information about the Early Bronco Registry and future events, contact them at P.O. Box 1525, Poway, CA 92074-1525, or visit the Web site at www.earlybroncos.com.