We know a large number OF four-wheel enthusiasts think early Ford Broncos are just cool, and we feel the same. They may not have the "expressive new styling" like the modern Suvs, and they may have the aerodynamics of a .45 slug-but they are classic rigs and they work very well on the trail. Recently we spent a couple of days with the early Bronco Ltd club (ebl) at its annual Bronco daze event in the anza-Borrego desert of Southern California. Founded in 1981, the club is this country's oldest and largest Bronco organization. It now has a membership base that stretches across the globe. In 1990 ebl created its sister organization-the international early Bronco association-due to the high demand for information about the vehicle. They now work together for the preservation and enjoyment of Broncos.
As the blazing desert sun burst over the rugged socal mountains, 76 Broncos from both organizations lined up in formation for two days of trail-crawling fun this past October. We don't see as many elder Broncos as we would like to on the trail, so this was a great place to get our fill of them. We think their lack of presence on the trail is because they've become an expensive collector's item. Even though we have seen our share of well-beat Broncos, we don't see too many enthusiasts taking their rigs and grinding them on the rocks as we used to. We now witness a little more finesse and skillful driving on the trail, especially since the cost of a good fender is as much as four tanks of gas (fuel: the new gold standard!). This was the second event we attended this year based out of the Palm Canyon Resort in anza-Borrego, and like any well-planned event, Bronco daze was a great time.