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Tony Montalto: 1981 Ford Bronco

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2011 on November 1, 2011
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Contributors: Douglas McColloch
Photographers: Sean P. Holman

Truck class: Bronc-ohhh
A fullsize Bronco rollin’ on 54-inch-diameter Claws? How sick is that? When you voted Tony Montalto’s ’81 Bronco into Top Truck, it was sporting 49-inch tires. The rig already had a pair of stout 2½-ton Rockwell axles and plenty of height, so the upgrade to the massive 54s was almost painless.

Montalto apparently approached TTC with a “less is more” philosophy in regards to the exterior of his rig because he kicked his Bronco’s doors, top, and tailgate to the curb. The rig sports the mandatory basics, though. Up front, there’s an aftermarket bumper and it houses a Mile Marker 12,000-pound winch, a pair of driving lights, and a duo of D-rings. Out back, there’s a strong pintle hitch. The truck has a 3-inch Performance Accessories body lift, and when combined with some fender trimming and the suspension lift the big 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC tires on 20x12 Stazworks double beadlock wheels have plenty of room to travel.

The Details

  • Owner name/city: Tony Montalto/Shelton, WA
  • Occupation: Equipment Operator
  • Vehicle model: 1981 Ford Bronco
  • Estimated value: $20,000
  • Engine/aspiration: Ford 460ci V-8/Holley Truck Avenger 670 cfm carburetor, Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers
  • Transmission: C6
  • Transfer case: Borg-Warner 1345
  • Suspension (f/r): Superlift 12-in-lift leaf springs, Skyjacker shocks, traction bar/Superlift 8-in-lift leaf springs, 6-in-lift blocks, Skyjacker shocks, traction bar
  • Axles (f/r): 2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson spool, Toyota pinion brake/2½-ton Rockwell, Ouverson spool, Toyota pinion brake
  • Axle ratio: 6.72:1
  • Wheels: 20x12-in steel Stazworks double beadlock
  • Tires: 54x19.5-20 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC

Tony Montalto, Team #01

  • Most looking forward to: “Tank Trap. Little bit of everything in one shot.”
  • Not looking forward to: “Rock Crawling. Little experience. Prefer MUD!”
  • Playing in his iPod/CD player: “Tool.”

Up front, the Bronco gets its height from a pair of Superlift 12-inch-lift leaf springs. A custom traction bar helps to control axlewrap while a pair of Skyjacker shocks provide damping. The Rockwell 2½-ton axle has an Ouverson spool to improve traction and a Toyota rotor and caliper are pinion-mounted to reign in forward momentum. A PSC hydraulic steering system simplifies aiming the big 54s and a custom skidplate protects the 3x9 double-ended hydraulic ram.
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