The Ford Bronco galloped into our hearts when the beloved SUV debuted with model year 1966.

Ford introduced the Bronco to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and the International Harvester Scout.

The Early Bronco (the first generation through the 1977 model) was a totally new concept for Ford, and was brought to production through the efforts of Motor City legend Lee Iacocca. The Bronco had a frame, suspension, and body design completely unique within the Ford lineup.

The storyline was simplicity and economy. A minimalist off-road, go-anywhere vehicle. Ford used brakes and axles from the F100 pickups, and the front axle was mounted using radius arms and a lateral tracking bar to center the housing under the frame. The setup allowed Ford to use coil springs and give the Bronco a 34-foot turning radius.

From 1966-1971, the Bronco sported a Dana 30 differential, before being upgraded to a Dana 44. The first Early Broncos were powered by a 170 cubic-inch six-cylinder or 289 cubic-inch V8 engine. In 1969, Ford replaced the 289 with a 302 Windsor V8, which if you haven’t heard, is pretty rad.

You may want to check out our other Ride Guides because they’re excellent, running the gamut from Fox-Body Mustangs and Pontiac GTOs to Chevelles, Chargers, Jeeps, and classic pickups.

Meanwhile, you can get to know the Ford Bronco here.

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