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Rare 1966 Ford Bronco U13 Roadster Adventure on Dirt Every Day

Fred Williams and Dave Chappelle kick off season 9 of Dirt Every Day with a fun adventure in a 1966 Ford Bronco U13 Roadster. As usual, the boys have to do a fair share of tinkering to get the super-straight factory roadster Bronco (which hadn't run in 18 years) into running shape—and by running, we mean smoking like crazy and sputtering its way up the hardest rocky, wet, 1-mile trail near Dave's dwelling. It ain't easy bein' a Bronco, especially an early one.

Thanks to some choice off-road mods, including a floor shifter, Dana 44 axles with 35-spline axleshafts, new driveshafts, a new Yukon third member, 4.10 gears, air lockers, new suspension bits, homemade rocksliders, and a winch, Dave and Fred bashed their way onward through off-road obstacles and had some fun doing it, as usual. Check out all the details—like which parts failed on the trail and why they had to use tie-downs to keep the bumper attached—by watching the full episode. It's rustic; it's real; it's so Dirt Every Day. We're glad to see the guys survive another backyard build and another adventure.
Related: Ford Bronco Spotter's Guide

What Is a U13 Bronco?


A U13 Ford Bronco is a Bronco with a VIN that begins with U13, which Fred and Dave claim their Dirt Every Day 1966 Ford Bronco does. Fred mentioned it was a factory Roadster Bronco, which is what the U13 part signifies, and that although it was probably rare and valuable, they planned to smash it up with some rockcrawling. (They didn't really smash it up. )
Regardless, the U13 Bronco Roaster (1966-1968) is claimed to be one of the rarest of an original three Bronco body styles offered by Ford. Those body styles were a Wagon (U15), a Roadster (U13), and a Utility Pickup (U14). Apparently, the Roadster, which had cut-down fiberglass door openings, could have been special-ordered with removable doors; this must have been the case, as Dave and Fred removed the doors on their U13. That's kind of odd and backward, since most door-less Broncos were actually U14 or U15 models with their doors taken off, masquerading as U13s. Of at least a quarter of a million 1966-1977 early Broncos, there were only about 5,000 Roadsters (4,090 of which were model year 1966) and today, apparently about 200 or less.

The good thing is that you don't have to know the history of the Bronco to simply enjoy some good ol' vintage Bronco action. And if someone's grandma has an early Bronco collecting weeds in the field, you just might want to double check the VIN.
Check out some of our stories on 1966 Ford Broncos.

1966 Ford Bronco Stories

Early Bronco History

The Ford Bronco Celebrates its 50th Anniversary 1966-2016
1966 Ford Bronco First Detroit Test!
Quote from First Detroit Test article: "The basic car is an open sports roadster. It comes without a cab, doors, or windows. Its windshield can fold flat on the hood, and a vinyl convertible top is optional. A bench seat up front is standard, with a steel bulkhead sectioning off the 55.2 x 61-inch rear cargo area. Half-doors are optional. These consist of fiberglass shells that provide some protection from driver or passenger fall-out. They're light, easily removed, and open wide for easy entry and exit.

"An optional steel cab with lockable doors and roll-up windows turns the Bronco into a useful pickup. And a similar bolt-on full enclosure makes it a station wagon with built-in side windows. The spare is normally bolted to the steel dividing bulkhead that separates the cab from the cargo area, but when you order the full shell plus the two-passenger rear-seat option, the bulkhead is left out for passenger entrance ease, and the spare mounts inside the tailgate. "