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Meet the Vintage Ford Bronco That Sold for $170,000!

Built by Matt Hunt Muscle Cars as a SEMA Battle of the Builders entry in a dizzyingly scant five weeks, this 1969 Ford Bronco has been creating a buzz ever since it was unveiled in the Truck Hero booth at the 2022 SEMA show. With a gorgeously restored body slathered in shimmering House of Kolor silver-metallic paint and an arsenal of quality parts, there’s no doubt the attention it garnered was well-earned.

However, as they say in cooking, the proof is in the eating, and perhaps the most applicable parallel in the automotive world is in the selling. To that end, this Bronco easily earned a spot in the top 50 vehicles selected for the prestigious 2023 Barrett-Jackson Cup in Scottsdale, Arizona. And when the final bid was in and this Bronco’s turn on the block was done, the selling price was a staggering $170,000. Let’s take a deeper look at the work that made this happen.

507-HP Ford 347 Small-Block

Under the hood lies a Ford small-block with a displacement of 347 cubes. Aluminum heads, a roller cam, and a Holley high-rise intake manifold juiced by a Holley Terminator X injection setup help move enough air/fuel mixture through the top-end to generate over 500 horsepower. Backing the stout small-block is a fully built C4 three-speed auto transmission.

King Shocks and Deaver 5.5-Inch-Lift Suspension

To help clear the way for 37×12.50R17 AMP Terrain Attack tires mounted on 17×10 Raceline RT951 wheels equipped with Ryno beadlocks, a set of front and rear Deaver 5.5-inch springs (coil in front, leaf in rear) were installed, along with a 2-inch body lift. The body lift helps create a bit more clearance for the tires as well as the engine. To control the whole shebang, a pair of King 2.0 remote-reservoir shocks with external compression and rebound controls were located at each corner of the vehicle. Overkill, for sure—but who doesn’t love a bit of overkill, right?

Hydro-Assist Brake System

Early Broncos feature a somewhat wonky offset power-brake bracket that angles the master cylinder away from the driver-side valve cover when a V-8 is installed. It’s a factory solution they came up with after cramming a 289 into an engine bay originally designed for Ford’s inline-six-cylinder engines of the time. Rather than rely on a big, bulky vacuum booster, this Bronco is equipped with a hydroboost system that increases braking power not with engine vacuum but with pressurized hydraulic fluid from the power steering pump. Wilwood four-piston calipers are found both front and rear, as well as a pair of tiny Wilwood E-brake calipers.

Storage and Extras

With a whole array of gear-carrying abilities, there are plenty of places to put stuff. But without a step of some sort it can be a bit challenging to access your gear. A pair of electric AMP Research steps were mounted along the rockers so that with the door closed they swing up out of sight and away from obstacles, but deploy automatically when the door opens to make ingress and egress easier as well as provide a convenient place to stand while loading or unloading roof-mounted gear. A pair of manual AMP Tailgate Steps are found behind the rear tires as well, so there’s no place on the roof that’s out of easy reach.

Rugged Ridge equipment-mounts on the custom rollcage hold all sorts of overlanding and off-roading accessories, and along the top of the wheeltub is a locking Lund Challenger equipment box to securely hold extras. The overlanding and off-road gear includes but isn’t limited to a Power Tank for airing-up and running pneumatic tools, ARE RodPod fishing rod holder, Rugged Ridge Sand Tracks, and a K-Jack. And, naturally, there’s a pair of aftermarket bumpers, a Rugged Ridge winch, and Factor 55 hooks.

Interior and Seats

With a whole lot more comfort and luxury than it left the factory with in 1969, no part of the interior was left untouched. The stereo system is from Rockford Fosgate with a PMX-5 head unit, PMX-3 controller in the Lund cargo box, and speakers and subs sprinkled throughout, all powered by a T1000 five-channel amp. A set of PRP Racing Enduro Elite seats complete with heaters give the interior occupants a pleasant and warm place to enjoy this rig as they explore and play.

Axle Upgrades

A high-pinion Dana 44 axle with a disc-brake conversion and a Dynatrac front diff cover was slung under the front of the Bronco, and the 9-inch rear was treated to 31-spline Currie shafts. We didn’t see any reference material listing the gear ratio, but if it were our Bronco we’d probably go with some 4.10 gears. With the 37-inch tires and the three-speed auto, that would still allow for some decent highway speeds without buzzing the engine too much, and with 507 hp on tap, there’d still be more than plenty of get-up-and-go between stoplights.

4×4 Garage Video Series! Updating A 1988 Ford Bronco Suspension

In episode 1 of the new video series 4×4 Garage, host Christian Hazel tears down the suspension of a 1988 Ford Bronco for a 6-inch Superlift system and dives into the axles to prep them for new 4.88 gears and Eaton TrueTrac differentials to support the 37×12.50R17 Falken A/T3W all-terrain tires for awesome performance. Want to see more? Subscribe to the MotorTrend YouTube channel today!

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