1977 FORD BRONCO - FIRST GENERATION SUV OFF ROAD VEHICLE
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The Ford Bronco is a model line of SUV's that were manufactured and marketed by Ford from 1965 to 1996. After the first generation of the Bronco was introduced as a competitor to compact SUV's, including the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout, the succeeding four generations of the Bronco were full-sized SUV's, competing against the Chevrolet K5 Blazer and Dodge Ramcharger. The idea behind the Bronco began with Ford product manager Donald N. Frey in the early 1960's, who also conceived the Ford Mustang, and engineered by Ford engineer Paul G. Axelrad, with Lee Iacocca approving the final model for production in February 1964, after the first clay models were built in mid-1963. Developed as an off-road vehicle, the Bronco was intended as a competitor for the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. Today a compact SUV in terms of size, Ford marketing shows a very early example of promoting a civilian off-roader as a "Sports Utility", the two-door pickup version. To simplify production, all examples were sold with four-wheel drive; a shift-on the-fly Dana 20 transfer case and locking hubs were standard. The rear axle was a Ford 9-inch axle, with Hotchkiss drive and leaf springs; the front axle was a Dana 30, replaced by a Dana 44 in 1971. In contrast to the Twin I-Beams of larger Ford trucks, the Bronco used radius arms to locate the coil-sprung front axle, along with a lateral track bar, allowing for a 34-foot turning circle, long wheel travel, and antidive geometry useful for snowplowing. A heavier-duty suspension system was an option, along with air front springs. For the 1969 model year, the 289 V8 was enlarged to 302 cubic inches, remaining through the 1977 model year. Initially selling well, following the introduction of the Chevrolet Blazer, Jeep Cherokee, and International Scout II, from 1969 to 1974, demand shifted towards SUV's with better on-road capability, leading to a decline in demand for the Bronco. 1977 saw only 14,546 Broncos manufactured. This rare example, filmed in a crowded car cruise, has been updated and restored. Thanks for viewing.