This month, we launch a new column celebrating Four Wheeler's legacy as the oldest continuously published four-wheel drive magazine. For our first column, we went back 35 years, to the era of streaking and Pet Rocks, to find out what we were doing in June 1974. Highlighting the issue was this street and trail test of the old-skool Ford Bronco equipped with a 302ci V-8; the 200ci Six was also available, but "not in California," we noted. (Heck, we'd take the 302 any day ourselves.)
With 3.50:1 axles and a three-speed transmission, we felt that the drivetrain made for "smooth easy running, but doesn't hack it off road," adding that 4.11:1s were an optional "step-up" ratio. "Handling and steering are great on the road," we said of the Bronco, though braking required "extra effort," and off-road performance was a mixed bag: With the tallish gears, "going down sand roads [was] a bit hairy," and "trying to get up soft sandy hills . . . was also a problem." Still, we felt the bobtail Bronc' was "one neat vehicle, and we'd hate to see anything untoward happen to it."
Click on the pages below, then click the image that appears to view and read a full size version of the original Four Wheeler Article!