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- Paul Perry’s 1977 Bronco Was Inspired By Other Broncos-And A Lot Of Overlanding
Paul Perry’s 1977 Bronco Was Inspired By Other Broncos-And A Lot Of Overlanding
There's just something about Paul Perry's '77 Ford Bronco; it radiates a special aura. Part of that is the reflection of the traits it borrows from Paul himself. It doesn't feel like you're looking at some random late-1970s Bronco. It seems to be holding time within its sheetmetal. Rust, the passage of it. Modifications, the places visited and awareness of journeys to come. Strength, once a source of weakness.
It also wears Paul's passion—his passion for 4x4s, overlanding, travel, and mission work with his wife, Joy. And, of course, a passion for designing and engineering a Bronco customized to his lifestyle. It evolves as he does.
"I've always been involved in camping since I was a little boy," recalls Paul. "My first vehicle I owned was a 4x4 Datsun truck. I would love exploring dirt roads and finding out where they led to, or following the power lines as far as I could." Getting married and having kids didn't change a thing: "We have always been a camping family; what we call overlanding today, we called 'car camping' years ago. I always kept two stacks of camping gear—one for backpacking and the other for car camping or overlanding with the family."
What did change was the vehicle. "I had been driving an '86 Bronco since college, and the reason I fell in love with the early Broncos—the '66s-'77s—was largely due to an article in your very own Four Wheeler magazine way back in 1989. I actually built my Bronco around the one in the article." We met Paul and Joy when they brought this Bronco on our 2019 Overland Adventure. He'd purchased it in 1995, "from a local gentleman, who had owned many Broncos in his life and had been teaching me the ins and outs of what to look for when buying a Bronco. After a year of searching, Mr. Dunn, who had been helping me search, decided to sell me his personal Bronco. I bought it that day and have never regretted it." The Fleetwood camper came from Craigslist.
"The Bronco has always been my daily driver, so with few exceptions, when I do any modification it's a weekend job, one thing at a time," he says. "I believe it makes you appreciate that one modification all the more. When it's done that way, you can notice an immediate change or improvement." But he admits it's going to always be a work in progress, and does so by way of his motto: "One does not simply finish building a classic Bronco."
At a Glance
Vehicle: '77 Ford Bronco
Owner: Paul Perry
Stomping grounds: Conway, South Carolina
Build time: 24-plus years
Engine: Ford Stroker 347ci 302 V-8
Transmission: 4R70W w/Overdrive
Transfer case: Advance Adapters Atlas 4
Low range ratio: 5.44:1 (max)
Crawl ratio: 75.4:1 (max)
Front axle/differential: Dana 44, Yukon axleshafts, 4.88:1/ARB Air Locker
Rear axle/differential: Ford 9-inch, Warn full-floating axle kit 4.88:1/ARB Air Locker
Front: Coil springs, James Duff radius arms, sway bar, Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks, Rancho steering stabilizer
Rear: Leaf springs, Rancho 9500 adjustable shocks
Tires: 35x12.50R17 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain
Wheels: 17x8.5 aluminum MHT Fuel Off-Road
Lighting: Amazon-sourced LED off-road lights and lightbar
Armor: Custom six-point rollcage, double-tube front bumper w/brushguard, double-tube rear bumper with custom tire/gas can holder
Cool stuff: FiTech fuel injection, Comp Cams camshaft, drop pitman arm, Heim-jointed steering linkage, hydraulic-assist steering, air conditioning, heated seats, custom roof rack, Duracell 3000-watt converter, 2-in hitch receiver, 22-gal fuel tank, Canyon Cooler, Rugged Radios communication, 2-in body lift, Jensen head unit, Cobra CB, Garmin GPS, front bucket seats, Tuffy center console, Warn XD9000i winch, recovery bag, snatch blocks, towstraps, ARB kinetic strap, shackles, soft shackles, shovel, axe, Hi-Lift jack, Power Tank