Our featured full-sized Bronco was restored back to its original glory with some twists, most notably the addition of a soft top, which would bring this Bronco back to its roots of being a “convertible truck” instead of an SUV. With a revised interior, refreshed body and mechanical systems, the truck is once again ready for another twenty-five years of summer cruising.

Gibson Cat Back Exhaust American Racing Wheels Toyo Open Country AT Tires
Soft Topper Top Kit Katzkin Leather Interior 4 Point Roll Cage
Summit Racing Rear Locking Diff Lund Roof Visor Clear Lens Headlights

The early and mid 1960’s were the genesis for many 4×4 vehicles that would reign through the 1970’s and 1980’s. Trucks like the International Scout, Toyota FJ Land Cruiser, Chevrolet Blazer, and Jeep Wagoneer would all come to be during the sixties. During the introduction of the Bronco in 1966, the term “Sport Utility Vehicle” or SUV would be coined by Ford and forever define the market of what were previously thought of as large 4×4 wagons. Unlike this 1996 Bronco, the early “baby Broncos” would be small and bare bones just like the Jeep CJs and International Scouts that inspired them. As time went on, the Bronco would get bigger and bigger until 1996 when production was stopped and the even larger four door Ford Expedition took over in 1997. Even with the Bronco being targeted for replacement, it still managed to sell more than thirty thousand units per year throughout the 1990’s. Since production stopped in 1996, fans have been craving a new Bronco for over twenty-five years, and finally in 2021 their prayers were answered with a new reincarnation of the classic Bronco.

The Bronco featured here is a fifth generation (1992-1996) final year truck with an automatic transmission and 5.0 liter V8 engine. With the 4.9 liter straight six no longer an option by 1996, the 5.0 and 5.8 liter engines available would both be low on power (199hp) but high on torque (270lbs) and were more than capable of hauling the truck around and pulling a trailer if needed. These final generation Broncos would be very different from its first generation predecessor and would be available with numerous luxury options to choose from, however this particular Bronco is a mid level XLT trim package and would receive the standard options for the package.

The restoration would be similar to many other Broncos in the Northeast with a focus on fixing plentiful amounts of rot and rust throughout the truck. From bumper to bumper, almost every panel would be replaced or have major work done. In the front, the fenders, hood, radiator core support, bumper, coil spring towers, and radius arms would all be replaced with reproduction parts due to rust. In the rear, the truck would need entire quarter panels as well as some of the structure beneath them and the cross member connecting both rear bed corners. This cross member is not available and is rotted out on many Broncos, so an F150 was raided for parts and grafted to fit in its place. After all the body work came the mechanical and rust, which would once again prove to be a worthy adversary. In the engine bay the spark plugs would break off in the heads and the fuel injection rail rotted to the point of leaking. The front suspension components and twin I beam axle assembly would also both suffer from heavy scaling and much of it would need replacement. Once all the rust was taken care of, it was time to move on to dressing up the truck. First on the list was repainting the truck in its factory black color and adding slightly bigger wheels and tires. Then on the inside the cloth bucket seats in Ford’s Medium Mocha would be reupholstered in black Katzkin leather, and the carpet would be replaced in black instead of the factory tan. A four point roll bar would be worked into the back of the truck since this truck would be sporting either a Softopper soft top or hardtop depending on the weather. Despite Broncos having a “removable hardtop”, Ford never intended for this to be an easy task, nor was a soft top offered from the factory, so having the option of a foldable soft top set up is very desirable for when the seasons begin to turn, or on the hottest of summer days. The original hardtop was repainted in a matching black and a new headliner upholstered for the best of both worlds. Regardless of top up or down, summer cruising isn’t the same without the wind in your hair!