10 Historic Ford Bronco Race Trucks: SEMA 2019

One of the highlights of the 2019 SEMA Show was the collection of classic Ford Bronco race trucks on display

"Big Oly" Bronco
Center stage in the Ford Bronco historic race truck display at SEMA 2019 was quite literally the most famous off-road racing vehicle in history. The "Big Oly" Bronco was designed and built in the emerging years of the sport and features a custom fabricated space frame made from 4130 steel tube covered by a hand laid fiberglass body. It's powered by a 390hp 5.8L Windsor V-8, rides on a Twin I-Beam front suspension with coil springs and a trailing arm rear suspension with coil springs, and the full-floating 9-inch Ford rear axle holds a spool. Built by Bill Stroppe and Dick Russell, and driven by Parnelli Jones, it was a class winner in early 70s Baja 1000 and Mint 400 races.

Hall Racing 1968 Bronco
Right next to "Big Oly" was another Stroppe-built race truck. Rod Hall and Larry Minor drove this 1968 Ford Bronco to the overall win at the 1969 Baja 1000. It was sold soon after, raced a couple more years, and then sat for decades. Found and restored by Samco Fabrication, Hall (78 years old at the time) and his granddaughter Shelby drove it in the 2016 NORRA 1000 to a second-place finish in the Vintage Pioneer 4x4 class. A Currie D44 front axle running open differentials and a Ford 9-inch rear axle with a spool get juice from a 347ci V-8 Ford Performance Parts stroker crate engine kicking out 350hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

"Marcel" The 1971 Bronco
Surrounding the two iconic early Baja-winning Broncos was a ring of even more vintage racing Ford Broncos. We'll begin the outer circle walkaround with "Marcel" the Bronco. Found clapped out and rusty in 2007, the 1971 Ford Bronco is a mud-bogging monster running in super stock, modified, and ultimate classes. It runs a 750hp 477ci Ford V-8 built by Mike Shelton, rides on a 4-inch suspension lift that swings a Dana 44 front with 4.09 gears and a Ford 9-inch with a 4.11 spool. Interco KJ Super Competition Bogger tires (42-inch front and 44-inch rear) cut through the goo.

Baja Broncos Unlimited Stroppe 1969 Ford Bronco
What started life as an original Stroppe-prepped Bronco has been resurrected by Kaysinger Racing and Baja Broncos Unlimited, becoming a regular NORRA 1000 contender in the Vintage Pioneer 4x4 class since 2012, never failing to finish a race. A 5.0L HO Ford V-8 with an Eagle 331 stroker kit, Stroppe-built Dana 44 front and 9-inch Ford rear axles, Duff front coil and Wild Horses rear leaf 2.5-inch suspension lift, Bilstein shocks, and a stock Ford frame and radius arms round out the basics of this mechanical equine beauty.

Martin Bros. Racing 1967 Ford Bronco
This clean looking 1967 Ford Bronco racer was built by owner and driver Marc Martin and his brother Bob in the home garage. It's been raced ever since they finished it in 1999. Running 34-inch Interco Super Swamper tires, riding on Ford F-150 rear leaf springs and dual Bilstein external reservoir shocks at all four corners, the Bronco gets its power from a 5.8L Windsor V-8 that feeds the Ford 9-inch rear axle with a 4.11 spool and an 4.11-geared open Dana 44 front axle. It still features the original steel body.

Moss Bros. Racing 1979 Ford Bronco
Built by and raced by Moss Bros. Racing in Sacramento, California, this 1979 Ford Bronco has been running for more than two decades, taking the SCORE Class 3 (Short Wheelbase 4x4) Championship in 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2014. The 5.8L Windsor V-8 under the hood drives the Ford 9-inch rear axle with 4.56 gears and 4.56 Dana 44 front axle. King coilover shocks, Deaver leaf springs, and West Coast Bronco radius arms make up the suspension.

Holman, Moody & Stroppe 1966 Ford Bronco "Thunder"
Originally built by Holman, Moody, and Stroppe, and dubbed the "Hearst" Bronco, this 1966 Ford Bronco was rebuilt to full-race trim in 1975 by Karco and renamed "Thunder." It was a class winner in the 1978 and 1979 Baja 1000, the 1980 Mexicali 250, and the 1981 Mint 400. The 5.8L Cleveland V-8 delivers power to a Karco-built Dana 44 front axle and Cone full-floating Ford 9-inch rear axle. The chassis was stretched 10 inches, and the suspension is made up of 3.5-inch front coils, 3.5-inch National rear leaf springs, and Karco lengthened radius arms.

1972 Ford Bronco "The Joker"
Originally built in 1985 to compete in East Coast Four Wheel Drive Association (EC4WDA) competition events, "The Joker" is owned and driven by Ray and Mary Kamp. The 1972 Ford Bronco has a combined seven-time First Place Overall Championships in the EC4WDA Men's & Open Competition Series, with top ten finishes every year from 1990 to 2000. Fired up by a CMS Racing Engines' V-8 with Ford GTP heads, the Bronco runs on a Ford 9-inch spooled rear axle and a Dana 44 posi front axle, Rancho front springs and shocks, Trailmaster rear shocks, and custom rear traction bars.

1971 Ford Bronco "Brocky"
Supported by Fun-Haver Offroad, the 1971 Ford Bronco "Brocky" is owned and driven by Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Campaigned in the Ultra 4 Racing series, and most recently taking home third place in the Ultra 4 Racing series' premier 4400 Class in the 2019 national championship, the Bronco is based on a Jimmys 4x4 IFS 4400-class chassis. It gets power from a 720hp Z427 V-8 Ford Performance Parts engine and offers a suspension with 19 inches of front travel and 25 inches of rear travel sprung with 2.5-inch King coilovers in front and 3.5-inch King five-tube bypass coilovers in the rear.

Lovell 1968 Ford Bronco
The Lovell Bros. Racing 1968 Ford Bronco sits on a 96-inch wheelbase, fully modern Bronco-skinned tube chassis and features a 427 V-8 engine from Roush, C6 transmission, and Atlas transfer case. It's a been a contender in the Mint 400 and is a three-time class winner in the NORRA Mexican 1000 Vintage Class.

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