• Bob P.'s 1996 Ford Bronco

An elderly electrician the next town over reluctantly sold me the truck a year ago for $1,500. It had a lot of issues. I think he took it out for a two minute ride once a week even if it didn’t need it. It had 101,000 on the odo when I bought it. It was that what Mike Brewer on Wheeler Dealers calls ‘a straight honest truck.’ He changed the oil, kept up on bare minimum of maintenance like most people, but the good news was that there was no signs of any kind of mods or lift kit or any other stuff. A straight stock truck.

The body and the interior were really good, but I knew I was in for a lot of work with the undercarriage. It went in the garage April 2016 and came out mid-August 2016 (my goal was to have it ready for Labor Day Weekend). I spent my entire summer of spare time working on this truck. Essentially the ENTIRE undercarriage came out and springs and spring shock mounts were replaced. New shocks. New gas tank and fuel pump. New brake lines and fuel lines. Everything in front of the timing chain was replaced (all the high failure potential accessories).

That’s the mechanical side. There was also a lot of sheet metal welding that went on. Behind the rear wheel trunk floor and the driver’s side wheel arch were rotted out. Also, the underside of the passenger side door had a hole. I also did some patch panels over the rear wheel arches. I can honestly say “she’s all metal!” That’s rare for one of these. I’m more worried about how long it will last.

After running it for 2 months I put a Detroit True Trac in the front AND the back! All four wheels are digging when this thing goes off road! She’s not big on clearance but makes up for it in traction. Maybe a bit of the truck version of a ‘sleeper.’ I drive this thing on the beach on Cape Cod. I came upon a park ranger who had the winch out and it looked like he has looking to show a couple of nubes but to use the winch that was on the front of his truck. He waved me over and asked me to attempt to climb this dune. I hadn’t too much time or experience with the truck, but I was surely up for the dare. That thing ripped up to the top of a 45 degree angle dune like I was driving on tar. I was so shocked at how easy it was I wanted to do a donut at the top but I figured it may make him upset. I’m 99% sure he was counting on the fact that I’d get stuck and he could show the plebes how to use a winch. When I came down he said to me: “Good God! That thing goes like a Rhino on crack!”

A week or two later I let my niece (she is 18) take it on the beach for a campfire /cookout party with her friends. She says she was absolutely swarmed by young guys who asked her where she got that thing. She came to the realization of what a nice set of wheels do to men!

This truck has made so many good times in such a short amount of time. I think these full size Broncos will become classics just like the older ones.