This Custom 1974 Half-cab Bronco has Some Serious KickPosted in Features on January 13, 2017 0) (
Sometimes trying to scratch the itch to have one’s dream ride get to the point where you lay all the chips on the table and dive in head first takes a little time. It took Mike Johnson nearly 20 years to finally make that move – and he has no regrets.
We wouldn’t either after seeing how the “rotisserie restoration” of his beloved ’74 half-cab Bronco, painted a brilliant Nissan Z Blue, turned out. This classic 4x4 is built for running the Oregon Dunes with a 425hp 408 Windsor stroker for power and a stretched cab for plenty of elbow room.
Running the sand also requires a lot of suspension, which Mike addressed with a Wild Horses’ Rock Crawler 5.5-inch 11-leaf rear springs and a matching BC Broncos coil suspension up front.
Restorations at this level are expensive and time-consuming undertakings. But Mike says he has no regrets: “It’s taken me a couple years to get it done and I have a much lighter wallet,” he said after we had spent the afternoon on the sand. “But I love the way it runs, drives, wheels and looks, and I’ll probably never want to change a thing. Well, maybe….” —DSOR
AT A GLANCEGENERAL
Vehicle: ’74 Ford Bronco Halfcab
Owner: Mike Johnson
Stomping Grounds: Oregon Dunes
Engine: Ford TBI 408 Windsor
Transfer case: Dana 20/203 w/ doubler kit
Front axle/differential: ¾-ton Dana 44, 4.56 gears, double-trussed, F-150 disc brakes, ARB Air Locker, 31-spline axles, Warn hubs
Rear axle/differential: Ford 9-inch, 4.56 gears, ARB Air locker, Cadillac disc brakes, 31-spline axles
Front: 5.5-inch BC Bronco coils, Rancho shocks
Rear: 5.5-inch, 11-leaf Wild Horses Rock Crawler, Rancho shocks
Steering: Tilt Ididit column, 2wd F-150 steering box inside the frame with tie-rod over
Tires: 37x14.5R15 Toyo Open Country MTs
Wheels: 15x10 American Racing
Interior: Stretched fiberglass halfcab, custom upholstered Corbeau racing seats, polished aluminum tonneau cover
Cool stuff: 20-gallon stainless steel gas tank, stainless steel rocker boxes; enlarged wheel openings, 425hp full-roller crate motor