An Old Bronco Breathes Again
Say one day you happen to find out about a neglected vintage vehicle sitting in a field of weeds and bathed in the decay of rust? What if that relic just happens to be a neglected, but classic Ford 4WD? If you're Matt and Tammy Finn, you wrangle a cash deal, drag the carcass onto a trailer, and haul it home for a metal revival. Once this 1967 Bronco entered their garage it would never leave quite the same.
Matt had spotted the old 4WD sitting in a field belonging to a shotcrete contractor and stopped one day to see if it might be for sale. The couple already had a very capable Ford truck at home but what's one more project and play toy? As fate would have it, the couple was soon hauling away their treasure before the former owner could change his mind.
With a substantial project ahead, the couple made the decision early on that they wanted to build a rig that was both attractive and capable of crawling some desert trails near their home in Queen Creek, Arizona. The motor had to move the rig with authority, the driveline had to be stout, and it had to plain look cool.
The driveway work began with the extraction of the old, broken engine. Since the Bronco had sat idle for over 12 years, not much mechanical was in working order or worth salvaging. The stock drivetrain was gutted and the body cleaned and blasted. The old paint had hidden many sins and the blasting revealed large expanses of body filler on the doors and some severely rusted floor pans.
A portion of the front frame had been spliced and poorly patched, so the addition was cut off and rebuilt with new steel tubing. New front fenders and a Pro Flow fiberglass hood were installed and then attention was turned to the floor. When speaking about this part of the rebuild, you quickly get a sense from the Finns that the pan replacements were surely the biggest headache they encountered during their project. Their friend Howard from Magma Engineering helped with the task and with some tricky welding. Still, it seems that drilling spot welds and air chiseling seams is a very slow and noisy process. Just ask their neighbors.
The original plan for the vehicle was to build a competent rock crawler to play on the local trails, but over time the build got a bit out of hand and more trick parts were added, and the paint and body work done to a higher degree of finish. With the major body work completed, the couple turned the Bronco over to a local painter to cover it in the two-stage bright orange hue you see here.