The 1978-1979 Ford Bronco – A Classic Truck Built to Last

The 1978 & 1979 Ford Broncos are unique and therefore, highly sought after. The 1978 & 1979 Broncos are known as “second-generation” Broncos that were built on the tough 1973-1979 F-Series pickup chassis. These Broncos were made using 351M/400 engines and were built on with a solid front axle. The 1978- 1979 Ford Broncos were only manufactured for a couple years, but have been admired ever since.

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The 1978 Ford Bronco was originally supposed to be launched as the 1974 model, but the 1973 oil crisis put production of the Bronco on hold, as Ford began to focus more on fuel economy. The 1978 Bronco was based on the Ford F-100 pickup truck. It derives a lot of its body from the F-series line including doors, roof line and interior. The wagon body was like that of Chevrolet Blazer. It had a removable hardtop and the rear seats folded down. It had a shortened wheelbase and was outfitted with part-time four-wheel drive and a New Process 205 gear-driven transfer case. It also had two different V8 engines including a 5.8-liter 351M V8 engine and the 6.6-liter 400 V8. Ford added a catalytic converter to both engines in 1979. The Bronco also had an external spare tire option- which was a signature look for the vehicle used in the design until the 1996 model was released. Captain’s chair front seats were added as an option in 1979.

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Ford was finally able to release the full-size Bronco in 1978. Consumers couldn’t wait to get their hands on the much-anticipated full-size Bronco- with many having to wait upwards of six months to get one from their local Ford dealership. The 1978 & 1979 Ford Bronco was well-received not only by customers, but by auto magazines and auto industry awards as well.

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The full-size Bronco was well-loved because it was built tough and made to perform. The 1978- 1979 Bronco offered luxury features including delay wipers, A/C, cruise control, roll bars, tilt steering and more. This Bronco was available with two basic models including the Custom and the Ranger XLT. The Custom was geared towards those who love the wilderness and the Ranger XLT was geared towards families. A “Free-Wheelin” package was also offered on the Bronco that featured tri-color striping, large western-mirrors, sport steering wheel, custom wheels and more.

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The 1978 and 1979 Broncos broke sales records, and Ford was determined to continue to improve on their success. They created the third-generation Bronco that was released for the 1980 year. The third-generation Bronco was lighter, cheaper to produce and much more fuel efficient. Unfortunately, that was the end of the rugged and tough 1978 & 1979 Bronco model that so many drivers loved. The Ford Bronco stopped being produced altogether in 1996, but excitement is in the air because Ford announced that they would be reviving the Bronco for 2020. We can’t wait to see what Ford unveils- and hope it will be a throwback to the beloved 1978- 1979 Bronco models!

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