Bronco Roadster U13
Frame Off Restored Bronco U13 Roadster 170 cc Inline 6 3 Speed Manual
- Correct 170 cubic inch 6-cylinder
- Correct 3-speed manual transmission
- Correct Ford 9-inch axle / Correct Dana 30 differential / Correct Warn hubs
- Correct drum brakes
- Correct Kelsey Hayes wheels / NOS wheel covers / NOS Goodyear Suburbanite tires
- Arcadian Blue paint
- '66-exclusive Silver upholstery
- Professional restoration completed in February of 2016
- Correctly restored with many rare and NOS parts
- 1 of roughly 200 authentic U13 Bronco Roadsters known to exist
* Professional restoration completed in February of 2016
* Correctly restored with many rare and NOS parts
* Correct 170 cubic inch 6-cylinder
* Correct 3-speed manual transmission
* Correct Ford 9-inch axle / Correct Dana 30 differential / Correct Warn hubs
* Correct Kelsey Hayes wheels / NOS wheel covers / NOS Goodyear Suburbanite tires
* '66-exclusive Silver upholstery
* Arcadian Blue paint
* Correct drum brakes
* 1 of roughly 200 authentic U13 Bronco Roadsters known to exist
Sometimes an item is so good that its trademarked name becomes a generic term for an entire category of products. Many of us say Kleenex instead of tissue, Xerox instead of copy, or Band-Aid instead of bandage, despite knowing the proper term. The off-roading world finds one more example in the Ford Bronco. To many, the word Bronco defines an array of capable, feel-good fun machines that can be found in all the places we'd rather be, from the mountains and the woods to the beaches and the dunes. And classics like this killer Roadster are an excellent reminder why. As an authentic U13 Bronco, it's one of roughly 200 known to exist. The beneficiary of a body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration that was completed in February of 2016, it's a pristine collectible that makes excellent use of many NOS and hard to find parts. And, sporting a reliable 6-cylinder/3-speed drivetrain, it's a fun cruiser for folks who are ready for a bit more than just some mud-caked toy!
You might be wondering what's so special about this Bronco. Well, it pretty much boils down to production. Ford only made the U13 Bronco Roadster from 1966 to 1968. And, although 1966 was the biggest year for the model with 4,090 Roadsters sold, overall production was essentially capped at 5,000 units. Now, we all know the life of a utility. These things are driven hard, thoroughly enjoyed and often left to the elements during the off-season. Thanks to that disposable mentality, today, less than 200 U13 Broncos are known to exist; and this highly detailed U13 is truly one of the nicest in the world. You're probably thinking you can find door-less Broncos almost anywhere. But, the caveat to that observation is: most door-less Broncos are actually regular U14 and U15 models that have been shamelessly modified to emulate authentic Roadsters.
To say correctly restoring a U13 is a challenge is a bit of an understatement. First, you have to find one that's solid enough to fix. Then you have to take in to account that these were base-model Broncos which often survived tough lives as workhorse utilities. And lastly, you have to account for the individual quirks of every year. The '60s was an era when Detroit continuously updated their offerings on a yearly and sometimes semi-yearly basis. So, finding parts, sometimes produced for only months, for the 'unglamorous' model of a 50-year-old truck becomes a very tedious task.
Nearly every generation of Bronco has a following, but '60s trucks are arguably the most desired. Introduced in 1966 as direct competition to Jeep's legendary CJ, Ford's more accommodating offering was just a little bit easier to live with day to day. This Roadster is easy to admire thanks to a body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration that was conducted by Bronco guru Jeff Leslie of Cleveland, Ohio. Once that highly detailed rebuild molded the ute into a straight and solid stunner, everything was finished in fabulously retro layers of Arcadian Blue 2-stage. And in February of 2016, this Ford debuted ready to make a memorable and functional first impression!
In addition to factory-deleted stripes, this Roadster was assembled with an interesting array of specified aesthetics. At the front of the truck, a '66-exclusive 'eyebrow grille' hangs fresh parking lamps and quality Scott Drake headlights above an optional, '66-exclusive chrome bumper that features deleted guards. Behind that grille, a smooth hood, devoid of an optional windshield washer, flows to hinged glass that's complete with fresh stainless wipers. At the sides of that hood, sculpted, “Bronco” branded panels are correctly finished with one stem-mount mirror, a rare NOS Autolite fuel cap and extremely rare NOS rocker guards. And at the back of those panels, a '66-exclusive tailgate centers a chrome handle between '66-exclusive taillights that feature optional bright bezels and an optional, '66-exclusive chrome bumper that features deleted guards.
Peer in to the truck's super clean engine bay and you'll find a correct, 170 cubic inch 6-cylinder that's been completely rebuilt and carefully detailed. Designed from the ground up to be a tough-as-nails workhorse, and serving as primary Bronco power for almost a decade, this stalwart mill is a favorite among vintage truck fans because of its simple design, adequate power and excellent durability. And, in the name of authenticity, pretty much everything on the block has been returned to intentional, factory-spec simplicity. At the top of the engine, an Autolite 1100 carburetor mixes oxygen, supplied by a '66-exclusive oil-bath air cleaner, with fuel that's piped through fresh lines and an NOS pump. That carb rides on a cast, factory-spec intake, which, along with a cast, factory-spec exhaust manifold, floats next to a bright Scott Drake valve cover. Opposite those manifolds, a traditional points-style distributor, complete with an NOS Autolite cap, sequences fire between NOS Autolite Radio Resistance wires and a modern, chrome-trimmed alternator. A tough FoMoCo radiator provides cooling with the help of an NOS Autolite upper hose and correct, Houston DSO-specific 6-blade pulley fan. Items like a tagged Autolite battery, a '66-exclusive master cylinder, an NOS Autolite oil filter and a full assortment of decals ensure the Ford Blue powerplant is very impressive to look at. The correct, highly accurate restoration is rounded out by a roster of NOS components, including an Autolite PVC, an Autolite oil filler cap, an Autolite vacuum advance, Autolite points and an Autolite condenser. And the compact mill is framed in slick Arcadian Blue paint that's punctuated by a '66-exclusive hood and a super rare, '66-exclusive metal fresh air box.
Crawling under this fresh Bronco reveals an intentionally plate-less chassis that appears completely weather-free. Power meets the pavement through a correct 3-speed, which rides between a '66-exclusive Ford axle and correct Dana 30 differential that dots a chrome inspection cover with a rare, '66-exclusive brass fill plug. Jeff's Bronco Graveyard springs and NOS Motorcraft shocks complement '66-exclusive non-self-adjusting brake drums, two of which are NOS FoMoCo units. An aluminized, single-pipe exhaust system, which is wired to a large muffler, runs the entire length of the floor. And everything rolls on correct Kelsey Hayes steelies, which twist optional NOS 7.75-15 Goodyear Suburbanite 4-plys around correct Warn hubs and NOS, '66-exclusive wheel covers.
Inside this classic, you'll find a spacious and comfortable cockpit that has enough room to be your vehicle of choice for any weekend adventure. Front and center, optional, professionally restored buckets stretch fresh, '66-exclusive vinyl between correct lap belts. In front of the driver, a '66-exclusive Gray Poly dash, complete with a dash pad delete, frames an NOS, '66-exclusive speedometer, '66-exclusive knobs and a locking glovebox. Below that dash, a correct transfer shifter rides between an NOS emergency brake handle, modern foot pedals and bare floors that swap a factory floor mat delete for a pair of rare, reproduction Bronco Centennial mats. The driver stays connected to the road thanks to a correct steering wheel, which laps a rare, NOS horn button. And behind the passengers, a spotless bed frames correct tools, a correct jack, a fifth steel wheel and a fifth NOS Goodyear Suburbanite tire.
This Bronco started life as a truck that was rarer than most and ended up a show-stopping stunner that's now nicer and more exclusive than ever. In fact, of the roughly 200 Bronco Roadsters left, it might be the nicest example. And, fully functional and as hard-working as ever, it's also a fun vehicle that can easily earn its keep. If you're ready to enjoy a serious ute with serious pedigree, don't miss the chance to claim this awesome Ford!
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