1968 Ford Bronco Buggy - Rock Star Stallion
A Sweet Bronco Buggy With A Hard-Core Handler
A while back we ran into this Amish guy driving a sweet Ford Bronco. At least he looked Amish: long black beard and hair down over his ears, but this just made us confused since most Amish folks we know drive buggies pulled by horses, not Bronco buggies built like this one. The more we got to know this fellow we quickly learned that his appearance was the relaxed version of his onstage outfit. His name is Wayne Static, and his job involves a nearly 10-inch tall spiked hair-do and jamming on stage with his band, Static-X. If you haven't heard of Static-X then you most likely are too old (like us) or you are not into hard rock music, but we found that almost any kid in high school had heard of Wayne and his bandmates.
What many of them don't know is that Wayne spends his days off grinding over the gnarliest rock trails he can find in this trick '68 Bronco that's been built for bouldering and bombing across the outback. So as you can see, rock 'n' roll musicians can be excellent role models.
Since Wayne spends a lot of his time trapped on a tour bus far from his trail rig, he decided to send it up to Poly Performance in San Luis Obispo, California, for a complete rebuild. During that five-month hiatus from rock abuse, his blue steed was transformed into a tricked-out wicked tube machine engineered for the toughest rock gardens and desert two-tracks around. With coilover shocks, bypass shocks, and a full linked suspension over Dana 60 axles this thing can haul butt in the rough stuff and spend all weekend flexing over the twisty terrain. Suffice it to say that there may be bigger rock stars with more exotic Ferraris, Escalades, or Bentleys, but where's the fun if your ride doesn't get dirty?
Engine: 302 V-8 with Howell TBI fuel injection
Transmission: C4 automatic
Transfer Case: Atlas 4.3
Front Axle: Tera 60 CRD, 5.13 gears, T-locker
Rear Axle: Tera 60 CRD, 5.13 gears, Detroit Locker
Tires & Wheels: 39.5 Iroks on Allied bead locks
Front Suspension: Three-link with Panhard, Fox 2.5 coilovers, Eibach coils, Fox air bumps
Rear Suspension: Four-link, Fox 16-inch 2.0 coilovers, Fox 18-inch Bypass Shocks, Fox 4-inch Airshock mounted to A-arms and valved for bumpstops
Wayne Static is just a normal guy, but of course his job requires a crazy hairdo, wild outfits, and rocking out with his band in front of crowds of dedicated fans. Like the rest of us, his time off is spent heading to the trail to get away from his rock 'n' roll lifestyle and get into the rocks with his '68 Bronco. Wayne and his passengers are protected by an eight-point cage made of 1 3/4x0.120-wall DOM tube while seated in Beard seats with Crow seatbelts. The Grant steering wheel turns the front while a B&M shifter selects gears in the C4 tranny. Stuffed between all the shocks, tubes, and tires is a Jaz fuel cell full of go-juice.
Under the ghost flames and fiberglass hood lives a solid, reliable Ford 302. The engine uses a Howell TBI fuel-injection system to keep the Bronc running on steep climbs around Wayne's favorite wheeling area, Johnson Valley's Hammers trails. The engine cage is removable if need be, but offers protection for the V-8 and Ron Davis radiator should the dirty side ever point up. Notice how clean the front bumper fits around the Warn winch.
Underneath Wayne's ride is a suspension system designed and built by Poly Performance for long days of rockcrawling and high-speed trips back to camp over the roughest desert roads. The linked suspension uses 1 3/4x0.188-wall heat-treated chromoly links and 1 1/4-inch FK rod ends and Currie Johnny Joints. This suspension locates the rear end while an Atlas Transfer case with 4.3 low range sends the torque to it. Note the short links that mount laterally to the lower links. These keep them from twisting since the Fox coilover shocks are mounted to the link and not the axle.
Outback the spare 39.5 Super Swamper Irok tire squeezed into the dovetailed rear body panels which still use the original taillights. The axles are both high-pinion Tera CRD Dana 60s stuffed with 5.13 gears. We especially like the 4-inch Fox air shocks with bumpstop valving mounted to A-arms, thus allowing the bumpstop to bottom out before the coilover and Fox bypass shocks. While the rear 60 uses a Detroit for always-on traction, the front is outfitted with a T-Locker for selectability, with chromoly shafts and CTM joints. The front suspension is a three-link with a Panhard bar and 2 1/2-inch Fox coilovers and Eibach springs offering 14 inches of travel. A set of Fox air bumps help control the big 39.5 Iroks on Allied bead locks during high-speed runs. Mike Powers laid down the ghost flames before the front fenders and hood were narrowed to protect the panels from rock rash.