1968 Ford Bronco Spotted at King of the Hammers 2020
Is this clean, well-built EB the perfect early Bronco?
In a world where seemingly everyone including your third grade teacher, sister, neighbor, milkman and more seem to be making payments on the latest and greatest side-by-side it sure is nice to see a vintage looking off-road rig ready to go fast in the dirt. We get it, side-by-sides are fun, easy to enjoy and easy to make payments on. But we prefer the labor of love that comes from owning something with a bit more soul. Something like this 1968 Ford Bronco, an early Bronco, owned by Wayne Todd of Mission Viejo, California. Wayne not only has two first names, but he has also assembled an early Bronco that many would love to call their own or at least go for a ride in.
What Makes the Perfect Early Ford Bronco?
From a distance, our disconcerting eye for an early Bronco was triggered by that muted Harbor Blue body color mixed with the white half-cab and white fiberglass. Add in the timeless look of the 35/12.50R15 BFGoodrich Baja TA tires wrapped in 15x8 inch beadlocked Mickey Thompson Alloys and you're beginning to hit right next to the target of our blue oval hearts. The 5 off-road lights across the roof line, subtle glimpse of a rollcage through the glass, understated, yet present aluminum wing off the back of the cab and the race inspired aim of this build can't be denied. The cherry on top of this Early Bronco flavored ice-cream Sunday is the pair of spare tires leaning out of the back of the bed cage. That understated front bumper screams "Go Fast!" and hints to the well-designed engine cage surrounding a 10.5:1 '76 Windsor Small Block. The engine displaces 310 cubic inches and spins an Isky Mega 280 Cam with matching valve train. Spent gasses leave via RPM Headers that navigate around a built C4 transmission with Trans Go internals. Behind the trans is a Ford Dana 20 which splits power to the axles with via a twin stick shifter. The front axle is pushed about one inch forward from stock and turns 4.88 gears on an Eaton TrueTrack differential via a high-pinion Dana 44 center section from a 1972 Ford truck. The rear axle, also about 1 inch rearward from stock, is a 9-inch full float unit with a fabricated housing and 3.5 inch tubes. The rear axle turns like 4.88 gears and a spool for all the traction. Woah mule comes from Wilwood 6 piston and 4 piston calipers front and rear respectively.
1968 Early Bronco Interior
The Broncos entire cage is made of 1 3/4 DOM tube bumper to bumper and was powder coated as a unit before being mated to the Ford's frame. The factory half cab is removable yet easily sealed to the Bronco's body. TKTK seats hold the occupants while Autometer Pro Comp Ultra-Lite gauges inform Wayne of the status of the engine, fuel, charging, and more. A B&M shifter controls the C-4 transmission and the center console hides the twin stick for the Ford Dana 20. Aluminum panels tie the cage together nicely and enclose the factory doors. The rear bed cage carries a period correct cooler for lunch and refreshments just behind a sand jack to help with changing spares while more aluminum panels conceal the dual 20 gallon fuel cells. The afore mentioned aluminum wing houses brake lights as well as rear warning lights for when the dust flies.
1968 Early Bronco Go-Fast Suspension
They say the devil is in the details and there sure are a ton of details to this well-built rig bot inside and out. After talking with Wayne about the suspension on the Bronco it's clear he has spent a lot of time honing it to the sharp point that does just what he wants of it. As said the front axle is pushed forward about an inch and has about 2-inches of lift over stock. Up front King 3.0 5-tube bypass shocks are matched with 14-inch 2.5 coilovers to provide lift and keep the tires in contact with the sand when possible. Out back Deaver Rear Race springs push the rear axle back an inch while 3.0 3-tube King Bypass shocks damp the rear axle. Steering comes from a power steering box with a sector shaft support and a fabricated pitman arm. From there more DOM directs rod ends and thus aim the tires. All in all there is barely anything on this Bronco to complain about. Wayne tells us that one of his friends was in the magazine industry and didn't like the white fiberglass, he wanted Wayne to paint it to match. Well other magazine guy, your loss is our gain, and we sure don't mind the white fenders on this or just about any early Bronco.