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1971 Ford Bronco - Bronco B.O.V.

Posted in Features on August 14, 2014 Comment (0)
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From Armageddon to World War Z, there’s a popular obsession with the end of the world. Big-screen themes have migrated to the small screen with shows such as Doomsday Preppers. All told, it’s pretty depressing stuff. You can live your life fearfully stashing away ammo and freeze-dried meals, or you can figure out a way to prepare for emergencies and have a little fun while you’re at it.

Fun and preparedness, that’s the theme behind the matte-black 1971 Ford Bronco on these pages. It’s built to be serviceable, simple, and smooth. Shaun Bryant, and the crew at Rocky Roads Custom Vintage Broncos, created this masterpiece for a well-heeled client who had a specific list of needs. The Bronco needed to be reliable, ride comfortably no matter the terrain, and have an engine that could be tuned with basic tools in primitive conditions. Rocky Roads calls it the Legend. We think this particular Legend might also be called the B.O.V. You know: Bug-Out Vehicle.

Even though most factory fuel-injection systems are very reliable these days, they can still be thrown out of commission by a failed sensor or broken wire. An Edelbrock carburetor erases all potential EFI worries, including potential Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks that preppers often discuss. This 351ci small-block Ford is fired by an MSD ignition system and exhales through ceramic-coated headers that feed into a custom mandrel-bent exhaust system. A Ron Davis radiator cools things off, and an Optima RedTop battery provides the juice that starts it all.

The Bronco comes into its own when it’s time to escape civilization. A long-travel suspension erases small stutters and flexes over the big stuff. In the engine bay, you’ll a well-built Ford 351ci Windsor V-8. The 351 could’ve been treated to today’s bolt-on fuel injection, but this Bronco was built for simplicity and reliability in primitive places. You guessed it, there’s a carburetor atop the engine.

We might not be obsessing about the end of the world, but there’s a little bit of “prepper” in every off-roader. As a group, we like to escape civilization on a regular basis. We enjoy the challenge of a remote destination or a daunting obstacle. We’re constantly evaluating our equipment and supplies, making sure we can cover trailside contingencies. Bit by bit, we’re busy building our own Bug-Out Vehicles.

The Legend B.O.V. Bronco achieves the owner’s goal and more. In case of world meltdown, or an everyday episode of wanderlust, just grab the keys and go.

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1971 Ford Bronco
Owner: Rocky Roads Custom Vintage Broncos
Engine: Ford 351ci Windsor V-8
Transmission: NV 4500
Transfer case(s)/ratio(s): Atlas II/3.8:1 low range
Front axle: Bronco high-pinion Dana 44, ARB Air Locker, 4.11 gears
Rear axle: Currie F9 fabricated housing, Currie high-pinion third member, Detroit Locker, 4.11 gears
Suspension (f/r): Custom radius arms, 12-inch-travel Fox coilovers/four-link with trailing arms, Currie Anti-Rock sway bar, Fox coilovers
Steering: Custom with Fox steering damper
Tires: 305/65R17 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ
Wheels: 17-inch Hutchinson beadlock
Armor: Proto Fab bumpers
Cool extras: Warn winch, Rocky Roads family style rollcage, Tuffy security storage locker, Lowrance GPS, Rocky Roads dashboard, Auto Meter gauges, Pro Car Elite seats

The custom-built suspension is designed to work above and beyond the off-the-shelf kits commonly sold for the ’66-77 Early Bronco. The trickery isn’t fully apparent at a casual glance. You’ve got to crawl underneath to really understand what’s going on.
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