There's no such thing as casual early Bronco ownership. Scan the classified ads and you'll find out why. A rusty rattletrap often fetches $5,000, and pristine early Broncos quite often sell for $15,000 or more. If you chance upon one of these arare ponies in good shape for $3,000 or less, you'd better look behind you because the tooth fairy, the Abominable Snowman, and the Loch Ness monster are probably nearby: It's a rare situation, indeed.
Jason Curtis of Hurricane (pronounced "Hurri-kun"), Utah, is the proud, noncasual owner of a '70 Bronco that's dripping with old-iron appeal and bristling with 21st century drivetrain technology. Jason's buildup trod soil that many a purist won't go near. That's right: there's a Chevy motor in this ford. Cringe all you want to, but Chevy's Vortec powerplants are everything legendar engines should be: readily availible, heavily supported by yhte aftermarket, powerful, and mpg-savvy.
The early Bronco's chassis is legendary, too. The framerails are fully boxed for a strong foundations. The Dana 44 front axle (although some early Broncos used a Dana 30 up front) is stout in stock form and is easily upgraded. The Bronco's front suspension rides smoothly on coil springs. Turn to the Bronco's tail section and find a Ford 9-inch rearend: a metallic expression of the terms "light" and "strong."
While finding and purchasing an early Bronco can be a tricky task, it's a simple and straighforward trail rig to build once you've got one in hand. Jason turned to Wild Horses 4x4, ARB, Walker Evans, Interco, Advance Adapters, and Yukon Gear for trail-worthy hard parts. No true trail rig is ever "done," but after three years of building, this early Bronco laughs at most trail obstacles. The southern Utah slickrock in the photos presented no end of ledges, steep sandy hillclimbs, and off-camber turns. Neither Jason nor his Bronco batted an eye. If you want it badly enough, there's an early Bronco out there somewhere with name on it. Owning, building, and wheeling an early Bronco takes dedication. Are you in?