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1971 Ford Bronco - Easy Rider

Posted in Project Vehicles on September 1, 2008
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We call it quasi-Bronco because even though it resembles a Bronco, there really isn't much original Bronco left. Some of the rig's features include a custom 2-inch body lift; a tubular "skeleton" for mounting the steel and aluminum "skins"; a lightweight carbon-fiber hood; Hanson bumpers; a Warn winch; a full rollcage; stretched wheelbase; and a narrowed body. The Bronco frame has new crossmembers added, and all of the body panels with the exception of the carbon-fiber hood have been powdercoated. Ditto for the frame and cage. The rig rolls on 42-inch Swamper TSLs that are mounted to custom dual bead-lock wheels with run-flat capability.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. Not funny ha-ha, but funny fascinating. Take, for instance, what happened to Jerry Ornellas of San Jose, California. He had no idea that the Bronco he helped his buddy Richard Ward build would eventually end up in his possession. But that's exactly what happened when Ornellas purchased it from Ward three years later.

Naturally, this was quite beneficial. After all, Ornellas was familiar with the rig's inner workings due to the hours he helped wrench on it. Once Ornellas got the rig in his possession it had to be dj vu as he went to work on it, fine-tuning various things and reworking the suspension to his liking. With the help of his friends Jack Covert, Paul Brannon, and Wayne Hanon, he personalized the rig and took it to the next level.

We had the opportunity to see the rig in action near Cupertino, California. Not only is it a very well-built capable tool, it's clear that Ornellas is very comfortable in his rig as it seems an extension of himself. The result is that he makes riding even the roughest terrain look easy.

Owner: Jerry Ornellas/San Jose, CA
Vehicle/Model: '71 Ford Bronco
Estimated Value: N/A

Type: 419ci V-8
Aspiration: Fuel injection
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 550 @ 5,000/unknown

Transmission: 700-R4 four-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Atlas 4.3:1

Front: Doetsch Tech coilovers, long-arm four-link, antisway bar
Rear: Doetsch Tech coilovers, long-arm four-link, antisway bar

Front: Dana 60, 35-spline axleshafts/ARB Air Locker
Rear: Dana 70, 35-spline axleshafts, disc brakes/ARB Air Locker
Ring and pinion: 4.56:1

Wheels: Hummer dual bead-lock
Tires: 42-inch Super Swamper TSL

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