With names such as Metal Masher, Wipeout, and Hell's Revenge, Moab's axle-snapping, diff-grinding, oil-spotted trails are anything but forgiving. Moab can be considered the ultimate off-road playground and vehicle adventure destination for the brave. These rockcrawling trails - if you want to call them trails - require big cajones and a bulletproof rockin' machine. Tony Brooksby, a longtime off-road enthusiast, had his mind set on one thing when he decided to build his Moab machine: driving out of the place.
Tony's passion for off-roading continually takes him to his favorite destination: Moab. A place where many prefer to just watch the action, Tony has to drive it to get him in and out of Moab. For his love of the classic vehicle, he has chosen to build up a '67 Ford Bronco. In order to survive the extreme and technical rockcrawling twists and turns, Tony's first priority was the suspension. The original front axle was torn out and a Dana 44 axle was dropped in. To take control of the extreme angles and slickrock off-roading, and to get power to all four tires, Lock-Right Lockers were added front and rear. A 3-inch Trail Master front suspension system, including coil springs, was added to the front. Three-inch National leaf springs were added to the rear. To give this off-roader its final boost, a Trail Master 2-inch body lift was added. Trail Master shocks were installed, four to the front and four to the rear, and a Trail Master steering stabilizer was added to tame the trails. Where the rubber meets the rock and with the newly found clearance, a set of 35x12.50R15 Big O tires Big Foot XT treads was mounted on Eagle Alloy 15-inch aluminum rims.
Without a good power source, Moab can make a fool of your rock toy, so the engine on this beast was swapped out to meet the standards of an efficient mountain machine. A '72 Ford 302 V-8 replaced the 289 engine and was completely reworked by Tony. The overhaul included Forged TRW pistons, a double-roller timing chain, a Crane cam, and Crane Roller rocker arms. Feeding the engine, an Edelbrock Torker II intake manifold was added along with a Holly 670-cfm fuel-injection system. The heads were replaced with 351W heads and completely gone through for high flow and torque. The fresh powerplant now unleashes 375 hp of untamed rock-splitting power. Getting the power to the wheels, a '76 Ford C4 automatic tranny was installed.
Tony has also taken care to make his 'crawler is a great looker, so he has taken the time to strip the complete vehicle to the bare metal and restore the classic-looking Bronco with a new coat of paint. For great looks as well as safety, Smittybilt bumpers were installed front and rear, and for additional safety a Smittybilt six-point rollcage was added. Looking at this tough Bronco, you can see that not only was it built to perform, it was built for looks, too.
If you've ever heard an axle snap or the sound of a grinding thud when your off-roader drops on top of a jagged rock, then you know the risks of off-roading. You may also know the heart-sinking feeling when you step out of your vehicle in the middle of nowhere only to find a puddle of transmission fluid or motor oil underneath your off-road machine. Maybe then you can appreciate and understand the urgency to build your vehicle right the first time. If you are headed to the hills, mountains, and deserts, take a hint from this Bronco and build up your vehicle before you blow it out. As an old, wise man once said, "Don't count your trails until they are driven," or was that "Don't count your chickens until they are hatched?"
SpecificationsOwner/hometown:Tony Brooksby/St. George, Utah
Make/model:'67 Ford Bronco
Engine:'72 Ford 302, forged TRW pistons, Crane cam, and roller rockers
Wheels/tires:Eagle Alloy 15x10-inch/Big O Big Foot XT 35x12.50R15
Exhaust:2-1/2-inch Black Jack headers and custom exhaust system
Suspension:Trail Master 3-inch system (front); 3-inch National leaf springs (rear); 2-inch body lift, Trail Master shocks
Additional features:3-inch Trail Master suspension system; National leaf springs (rear); Lock-Right lockers; Smittybilt bumpers and six-point rollcage; B&M Shift Improver Kit and floor shifter; Bushwacker fender flares