TRENDING HOT: Ford’s Rugged SUVs Gallop Into The Record Books After Skipping The Coyote Swap

Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

Written by Nicole Ellan James

 

LOT #696 – 1966 Ford Bronco Custom SUV – Selling with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction.

 

Over the last few years, one thing has become evident: Broncos are hot and only getting hotter. In the collector car market, the first-generation Bronco, which spans from 1966 through 1977, has seen its values increase with the debut of the long-anticipated 2021 Ford Bronco.

Ford’s original “all-purpose vehicle” came in three different body styles: roadster, sport utility and wagon.

When it hit the streets in August 1965, the Bronco was powered by an inline-6 derived from the Ford Falcon, rated with 105hp. By March 1966, it was offered with an optional 200hp 289ci V8. In 1969, the V8 was enlarged to 302ci, and in 1973 the inline-6 was increased to a 200ci engine, which remained standard through 1977.

To keep production costs in check, Ford equipped the Bronco with a “3-on-the-tree” manual transmission with a floor-mounted transfer case shifter. Later in 1973, a 3-speed automatic transmission was offered due to buyer demand.

Nearly 60 years later, Bronco enthusiasts want more power when the rubber hits the road — whether it be dirt or asphalt. Over the last 10 years, performing a “Coyote swap” to achieve more power has been a popular choice.

While replacing the Bronco’s engine with a newer modular 5.0-liter Coyote engine from Ford can undoubtedly increase power as the DOHC engine is factory-rated with 460hp, it also tacks on more expenses because many components need to be upgraded to support the additional power. Plus, performing the swap likely necessitates cutting into the inner fenders, which then presents an extra set of challenges.

After analyzing sales data from the Barrett-Jackson 2022 Scottsdale Auction, a new trend emerged for Resto-Modding the Bronco: Keep it clean with a modern but smaller engine that doesn’t require much fabrication work to support the power relocation of essential components. Among the most popular engine choices for a swap are the 302ci and 351ci Windsors from Ford.

Crossing the block at WestWorld, Lot #1062, a custom 1972 Bronco, powered by a freshly rebuilt 351ci Windsor 4-barrel engine factory-rated at 300hp, sold for $181,500.

The 302ci engine from Ford also is a popular choice for engine swaps. Case in point is Lot #1106.1, a custom 1976 Bronco that sold for $220,000, an auction world record. Its power comes from a new BluePrint Engines 302ci crate engine. Other examples include Lot #1133, a 1973 Bronco powered by a 302ci roller engine that sold for $176,000; and Lot #1127, a 1977 model, powered by a 302ci V8 engine, that sold for $165,000.

Also catching collectors’ attention was Lot #1331, a 1972 Bronco that sold for $335,500, another auction world record. The custom over-the-top SUV is powered by a stroked 347ci Holley Terminator X fuel-injected V8 engine. Additionally, Lot #1081, a custom 1971 Bronco, with power from a new BluePrint Ford Racing 347ci stroker crate engine, sold for $181,500.

With Barrett-Jackson’s highly anticipated return to Florida for the 2022 Palm Beach Auction, April 7-9, there’s no doubt there will be some first-rate Broncos from which to choose — with and without Coyote engines. Here are some examples that will each be crossing the block with No Reserve.

For up-to-date information on all the Broncos crossing the block in Palm Beach, click here.

 

LOT #417 – 1977 Ford Bronco – No Reserve

LOT #455 – 1972 Ford Bronco Custom SUV – No Reserve

LOT #655 – 1975 Ford Bronco Custom SUV – No Reserve

LOT #739.1 – 1969 Ford Bronco Custom 4×4 Pickup – No Reserve

LOT #695.1 – 1972 Ford Bronco Custom SUV – No Reserve