14 Rarest Ford Broncos Ever Made!
Although there were no new Broncos made or sold between 1996 and 2021, SUV enthusiasts never abandoned this legendary Ford. With the recent rise in the value of classic off-road models on the collector car market, it looks like everybody wants an early, rust-free Bronco.
Of course, the collector car world's high-rollers are looking for rare and unique models, so we feel that we should shed some light on such examples. In this article, we compiled a list of the top 14 rarest and most unique Broncos ever made. Some of those vehicles were made in single-digit numbers, and some were produced in the thousands, but all of them are unique and very desirable pieces of Bronco history and legend.
Ford Denver Bronco
The Denver Bronco is a dealer-made special edition model that was sold in 1974 and 1975. Visually similar to the Stroppe Bronco (as far as paint job) and produced by the same shop, it was ordered as a promotional model for Denver area dealers. It featured more options than the regular model and came with a removable top. The exact number is unknown, but experts claim that 77 cars were built, and so far, about 30 vehicles are accounted for.
Ford Bronco Boss
It's a shame that Ford made only two Bronco Boss models before abandoning the project in late 1969. A cross between the Shelby Mustang and Ford Bronco, this genius creation featured a 290 hp 302 V8 engine from the Shelby GT350 and a 4:11 differential, making it extremely fast in real-life conditions. Both prototypes survived -- one painted yellow and the other white.
Ford Bronco Baja
To commemorate several Baja 1000 wins, Ford decided to offer a particular version called the Baja Bronco but also known amongst the fans as Stroppe's Bronco. Designed and assembled by Bill Stroppe's shop, it featured a 302 V8 engine, automatic transmission, a host of unique details, upscale features, and a very recognizable patriotic paint scheme. Since this was basically a cosmetics package, it's hard to tell precisely how many were built, but experts agree that between 450 to 650 examples would be a realistic estimate. This special version was available from 1971 to 1975.
1968 Ford Bronco U13
When the original 1966 Bronco was introduced, Ford offered three body styles; Wagon, Half Cab pickup, and Roadster. The open-top Roadster (chassis code U13) was one of the coolest Broncos, since it didn't have doors. It was delivered with a soft top and came with minimal equipment and was the perfect car for driving to the beach or jumping the dunes in the desert.
However, it proved to be a slow seller, and Ford only made 4090 examples in all and only 212 in 1968, its final model year.
Ford Bronco Military
During the '60s, military Jeeps were the predominant light tactical vehicles in the US military's arsenal. However, the introduction of the 1966 Bronco inspired the military to give this Ford a chance, and the Pentagon ordered 120 military-spec Broncos, all painted in signature green color and divided amongst the Navy, Army, and Air Force.
Most of them were used for testing purposes in bases all over the country, but apparently, some were sent overseas. There are no official records showing that the Military Bronco ever saw combat, but it probably did, since some were shipped to Vietnam. Today, surviving examples are scarce.
1971 Ford Bronco U14
The Half Cab pickup version enjoyed substantial popularity during the '60s. With its small truck bed and compact dimensions, the U14 (chassis code) proved to be very helpful as a farm vehicle or light delivery truck. However, in early '70s the Half Cab fell out of favor, and Ford decided to retire this variant.
The last model year was 1971, and Ford produced only 1,503 Broncos with a truck bed behind the cabin. Today, the U14 is not as popular or considered as valuable as the Roadster, but is still a very cool and desirable early Bronco.
Ford Bronco RHD
We bet you didn't know, but from 1981 to 1987, Ford assembled and sold the Bronco in Australia with right-hand-drive. The Australian market was always important to Ford, and along with the range of locally-developed models, the Bronco was offered as the biggest and most capable off-roader.
Powered by a 4.1-liter straight-six and a 5.8-liter V8, it was very competitive and was pitted against Range Rover on the local market. During a six year production run, Ford Australia made and sold over 10,000 examples.
If you're a Bronco enthusiast, you probably know about the ICON BR. Created by Jonathan Ward, a Californian entrepreneur with a taste for bespoke machines, the ICON BR is a restomodded Bronco built to the highest standards. It may look like a classic Bronco from the outside, but its a thoroughly modern machine, with a brand new 5.0-liter V8, trick suspension, and custom interior and state-of-the-art components.
The only problem may be the price. If you want an ICON BR, it starts at $190,000, yet ICON has produced over 100 cars so far.
Ford Bronco Police
Older Bronco fans might recall that back in the day, Ford offered a police spec Bronco as part of its Special Service Program to law enforcement and government agencies all over America. The Bronco was commonly used as a patrol car during the winter in northern parts of the country, as well as a border patrol vehicle in Arizona and New Mexico.
1993 Ford Bronco
In 1993, Ford produced 32,281 Broncos, but one particular specimen had become world-famous as the "getaway" vehicle in one of defining moments caught on live TV. You probably guess what it is. That infamous 1993 Bronco was the object of a slow car chase down the Highway 405 in Los Angeles. The white Bronco carried O.J. Simpson, who at the time was a prime suspect in a murder case.
Over 95 million viewers saw the Bronco moving down the highway, and if you want to be a proud owner of this particular car, it's on sale with a $750,000 price tag.
Ford Bronco DaBryan
Located in Missouri, DaBryan Coach Builders was known for its work on limousines and specialty vehicles. However, in the late `80s and early `90s, this company offered its own unique vision of a four-door Bronco. We deliberately use the word “unique” since DeBryan Bronco was actually based on the regular production Bronco, not on the F-150 or F-350, like Metropolitan or Centurion.
The talented Missouri craftsmen took the standard Bronco and stretched its frame, then added two extra doors, floor panels, and interior. This was a more thorough job than DaBryan's competitors, and the result was a bit shorter but better handling vehicle with the driving dynamics of an SUV, not of a truck.
However, the DeBryan wasn’t so successful in selling its Broncos, and the overall production figure is quite low – only 35 vehicles.
Ford Bronco Popemobile
Even though the Pope used luxury vehicles for over a hundred years, the term “Popemobile” was coined in 1979 during a papal visit to United States. Back in those days, during such events, Pope John Paul II would use one of his fixed roof cars but for this occasion, Ford Motor Company offered to provide him with unique transport – a brand new, 1980 Ford Bronco.
This was the first time a Pope was driven in a 4x4 and there were several reasons for this. The 1980 Bronco was one of the very few vehicles with a removable rear section of the roof, which was convenient to allow the Pope to stand and greet the crowd.
Second, due to the fact that Bronco had higher ground clearance than most vehicles, the white SUV would stand above the other vehicles in the motorcade.
Of course, since the papal visit was a big deal, Ford didn’t miss the chance to promote its new model. The press liked this marketing move and started using the term “Popemobile” which stuck and still is used today.
2021 Ford Bronco First Edition
Starting at a whopping $60,800, the First Edition Bronco is designed as a collector`s item, since only 7,000 will be made. Apparently, all have been spoken for, and if you want to get one, you'll have to pay a premium.
The First Edition comes with every piece of equipment from the Badlands Bronco, plus the desirable Sasquatch package, and on top of that, the Lux package. This includes adaptive cruise control, a premium audio system, touch screen navigation, leather interior, and much more. It also comes in four unique colors and special graphics.
1978 to 1980 Freewheelin' Bronco
In the late '70s, domestic manufacturers were hit by the oil crisis and higher environmental standards, which resulted in low engine power outputs. Ford wasn't an exception, and to compensate for lack of power and underwhelming performance, it offered numerous limited-run appearance packages, graphics options, and trim levels.
One of the most popular was "Freewheelin," which was available on the F-150, Econoline vans, small Courier pick ups, and the Bronco. Customers could choose one of five primary colors and then get a rainbow stripe graphic package that was different for every model year.
Ford also offered special rims, tires, side-pipe exhaust, and a whole bunch of accessories, so you could really dress-up your Bronco in typical '70s fashion.
Although very cool, Freewheelin' Broncos were powered by standard engines with just 156 or 158 hp.