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1972 Ford Bronco - Horse Of A Different Color

Front Right View
Harry Wagner | Writer
Posted May 1, 2008

Neil Schuit's Unique Early Bronco

We respect people who strive to make their vehicles unique: Those who set trends and are not afraid to step out of the box. Although we have seen plenty of innovative Toyota pickups and Suzuki Samurais, not just anyone would enact the above formula to an expensive classic. The fear of depreciation did not stop Neil Schuit and his son, Nate, from applying their distinctive touch, which they call SchuitOverBuilt (SOB), to this '72 Ford Bronco. The changes did not happen overnight. This Bronco has been in the family for 13 years and was Nate's first vehicle in high school. The Bronco was even sold twice during that time, only to find its way back to the Schuits' driveway.

The engine under the hood is a rather common 5.0L V8 from an '89 F-150 fitted with Mustang shorty headers and a harness and ECU from a '91 Lincoln. The engine is fed by a stock Ford fuel pump that is plumbed to the custom SOB fuel cell that sits between the rear framerails. Although the motor is common, almost everything else in front of the firewall is a departure from the norm. The bulky factory inner fenders were rusting away, so the Schuits simply cut them out and replaced them with new 16-gauge sheetmetal.

The repositioned inner fenders allow fitment of a transmission cooler and Optima RedTop battery on the passenger side while an air manifold connected to the Sanderson belt-driven compressor resides on the opposite fender in front of the master cylinder and brake booster. The brake assembly itself is unique, sitting parallel to the framerails instead of at the 45-degree angle common to early Broncos. The Schuits repositioned the booster and master cylinder to the original clutch assembly location. The clutch pedal was then welded to the brake pedal which shares the same pivot point on the firewall.

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