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A Free 1966 Ford Bronco that is Worth its Weight in Gold

Posted in Features on March 22, 2016
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We’ve all had the daydream about someone just giving us a cool ride—an “If you want it, take it; I have to get this thing out of here,” kind of dream. That dream came true for Louie Morosan when an acquaintance told him of a ’66 Bronco that the owner wanted gone from his backyard.

A trailer ride later, Moronson was the recipient of a clean ’66 half-cab, six-cylinder with a three-speed, that didn’t run. It promptly ended up in his backyard for the next 10 years. It’s not like Moronson wasn’t busy building trucks though; he’s the owner of LGE/CTS in San Dimas, California, a company well known for their show-winning builds. So when a customer saw the half cab, he offered a large sum of money for it and Moronson sold it. Remembering the Bronco that got away, a few years later Moronson came across a frame and started working on the chassis. He upgraded the suspension, installed a 5.0 Mustang motor, and was on the hunt for a body. Incredibly, it was about that time that the customer came by the shop and asked if he wanted the Bronco back. When asked how much, the guy said, “No charge. I’m moving and can’t take it with me.” To recap, Moronson got it for free, sold it for a good price, and then got it (back) for free! Again! Some guys have all the luck.

So, it was back in Moronson’s hands. This time though, he wasn’t going to let it slip through this fingers. As stated, the suspension had been upgraded with new arms and custom shock hoops. These pieces were built at Custom Truck Shop (the CTS in LGE/CTS). Moronson also built some radius arms and steering components. He then added a set of ICON 2.5 coilover shocks that utilize Eibach 500-pound springs. Another set of ICON shocks, this time 2.5 bypass units, were also installed up front. All of which combine to support the Dana 44 in style. An ARB locker and 4:11 gears are inside the Dana and Currie axles connect to the wheels.

To hold the Ford 9-inch aloft, Moronson used Atlas Springs +2-inch over stock rear springs along with ICON 2.5 bypass shocks. The rearend has seen upgrades with a Detroit Locker as well as with Currie axles and 4:11 Precision Gears.

In keeping with the period look, Moronson used a set of deep-dish spoke Raceline SL Monster Beadlock wheels along with rugged Toyo R/T 35x12.50-17 tires. And those tires need to be rugged as a highly tuned Ford Mustang 5.0 now powers the rig. It features a set of Doug Thorley custom stainless steel headers that pass to a MagnaFlow two-into-one muffler through a 3-inch mandrel-bent exhaust system. A K&N air filter cleans the air for the JMS built engine while a Be Cool Radiator with dual Flex-a-lite fans keep it cool. A C4 transmission puts the power through a set of Powertrain Industries dual CV-joint driveshafts.

The interior is nearly what came from Dearborn, but even it has seen a few updates. First are the Cerullo seats and Lecarra steering wheel, but the most striking change is with the custom-made, all-aluminum dash with billet overlays. Filled with Auto Meter American Muscle instruments and an Alpine stereo system. A Painless Performance electrical system connects all of the electrical dots.

A floor shifter from a ’66 Ford Mustang shifts the C4, while a carpet kit keeps the feet happy. A lockable steel center console and stainless steel drawers beneath the seats gives ample storage while a spare tire takes up most of the rear area. Being in the body shop business, Moronson admits that he didn’t have to do much to the body, but he did modify the front and rear wheel openings to give the 35s a little more room to breathe. Wanting his Bronco to stand out, Moronson painted it with PPG Envirobase Pure Orange Toner at his San Dimas, California-based L&G Enterprises store.

In a nod to better than stock but looks stock are the Bulldog LED headlights and Bulldog LED lights that are set into the stock taillight assembly.

While it took Louie Moronson five years to build his “Dream Bronco,” the journey the Ford took to get there was a long and winding one. Moronson was able to get it for free twice, and though he says that he’ll hang onto it this time, if you ever do talk him into selling it, know that when you are done with it, he’ll likely take it back off your hands. Of course, he probably won’t expect to have to pay for it!

With its Bimini top and bright paintjob, this Bronco is as at home in the desert as it is at the beach.

With their old-school spokes and beadlock ability, the Raceline SL Monster Beadlock wheels work perfectly with the fat Toyo R/T Open Country tires.

The front bumper is a LGE/CTS unit and it houses a winch while Bulldog LED headlights replace the stockers.

An LGE/CTS rear bumper comes with an aluminum plate for a step.

The full rollcage is also an LGE/CTS-built beauty.

The only body mod was opening up the wheel openings a little and adding some flare to clear the 35s.

This billet aluminum fuel cap is the extent of the exterior bling.

As good as the 289 and 302 engines that came in the Bronco’s, a fuel injected Ford 5.0 was deemed a better idea.

Built by JMS, the 5.0 has been upgraded with a K&N air filter and Doug Thorley headers.

A set of custom radius arms, built by LGE/CTS, connects the Dana 44 to the frame. ICON shocks and Eibach springs provide the plush.

ICON shocks, one an Eibach-equipped coilover and one a bypass, are used up front.

The custom aluminum dash has billet inserts to hold the Auto Meter American Muscle instruments and an Alpine stereo system. Notice the ’66 Mustang floor shifter; it fits with the Bronco like it was made for it.

Cerullo high-back seats provide comfort and style all in one package.

Amazingly, the stock jack instruction sticker has survived all this time, but you can tell that the stock body color was blue.

With the many modifications, the Bronco easily gets Moronson up nearly any obstacle.

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