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Old 01/22/17, 08:21 AM   #1
toddz69
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Disecting the first Production/Prototype/Shelby Bronco

Andrew Norton (bajabronco) and I had the pleasure of spending some time on Friday at Barrett-Jackson going over the first production/prototype/Shelby Bronco in the Gateway Broncos booth. We met the current owner, Seth Burgett, and were also thrilled to meet Vinny Yakubanski, the second owner. Andrew and I had corrresponded with Vinny about the Bronco back around the turn of the century and it was great to finally meet him and see the truck for the first time.

Here are the four of us:



Andrew is a real detective on this historical stuff and he quickly found some of the oddities on this special truck. Look closely at this Sport emblem: it's actually two pieces - the Sport emblem is carefully fit around the Bronco script. And look at the top of the Sport emblem - the 'turrets' are carved out and separate. On the production piece, there are just cuts in a solid piece to give the illusion of the turrets.



As an early truck, you would expect this truck to have an eyebrow grille, but this one doesn't. In my article many years ago, I surmised that perhaps this truck was used as the development truck for the Sport trim package and it appears this was probably the case. Andrew noted that the grille trim for the Sport package wouldn't fit well on an eyebrow grille so the grille was probably changed for this effort at some point.



Another interesting item is the two piece hood latch. The bottom has a small bend in it for your fingers to catch but it's pretty obvious that was sufficient and the pull we're all familiar with was instituted in production.





Notice also in these pictures that the letters on the grille aren't production Bronco Sport letters. I found some similar, but not identical ones on other Ford cars of the era at the auction. Perhaps another enthusiast more familiar with that detail could tell us what vehicle they're from.

Andrew hard at work:



Here's another little detail - the two connector plugs in the harness coming out of the angled portion of the firewall instead of on the front near the throttle linkage.



Remember those little pieces on the cowl support that folks were wondering about a few months ago? Mystery solved - it was as some surmised - used to hold the bottom of the hood prop rod.



Around back on the tailgate, we found a very different license plate holder without the usual shape and form of the production unit:



The top of the cowl on the driver's side underneath the airbox has an additional rib that we think wasn't there on the production units?



The passenger's side cowl box is a prototype fiberglass unit that is noticeably different from the production plastic piece and the wire mesh in it is a key piece in a hunch that I have regarding the engine in the truck.



I'll continue more in Part 2 as I have time.

Todd Z.

Last edited by toddz69; 01/22/17 at 09:02 AM..

Todd Zuercher
69 Bronco and half of a Stroppe Baja racing Bronco
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Old 01/22/17, 08:29 AM   #2
West Tn Dawg
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Thanks, for the post. This will be very interesting to follow. I sure hope they bring it to SC, so I can say I touched the first Bronco!
Can't wait for the rest of the your dissection.

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Old 01/22/17, 09:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West Tn Dawg View Post
Thanks, for the post. This will be very interesting to follow. I sure hope they bring it to SC, so I can say I touched the first Bronco!
Can't wait for the rest of the your dissection.
Seth stated during his press conference several times that he plans to take it to as many events as possible to share it with as many people as possible so I'm certain a lot more fingerprints will be on it in the next year!

Todd Z.

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Old 01/22/17, 09:38 AM   #4
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Very interesting.

Barn Find 73 going through a nut and bolt Restoration/Upgrade. Follow along at:
http://classicbroncos.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=217635

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything"
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Old 01/22/17, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ73 View Post
Very interesting.
Yes indeed!

EFI, OBDII, 5.0, C4, AtlasII 3.8. 4.56's, Detroit's, 35's, Duff arms w/some other suspension stuff
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Old 01/22/17, 11:40 AM   #6
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Stopped by and looked it over briefly on Wednesday. Didn't dissect it that well. I just noticed a few things like the drive flanges on the front, no lockouts. Hood was closed and no one around to talk to. Only did 5 miles of walking at the auction. General Bronco build quality is much better this year. It would have been nice to have crawled all over that one.

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
“How hard can it be?”-Clarksonius 4th century BC.
Full throttle, it either solves the problem or ends the suspense.
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Old 01/22/17, 12:59 PM   #7
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Nice job guys, ready to see more...!
Maybe Seth will take one of the letters off to see if there is a part number cast into the back of it or if it is a prototype letter too...?
Hmmm... Screen and engine linked together??

______
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Old 01/22/17, 02:48 PM   #8
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So cool...

'When my Bronco is finished' is only a hypothetical statement.
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Old 01/22/17, 04:23 PM   #9
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Thanks Todd and Andrew!! I have been hoping that this would happen and get documented! I'm all eyes and ears!...keep posting!

The grill letters look like letters from a '65 Ford Fairlane, but can't verify it without PN..
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Old 01/22/17, 04:31 PM   #10
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Cool historical items for sure, thanks for looking and sharing! So was this a Budd body or a whole different animal?

1971 U15 302/np435/twin sticks
1966 U14 Born 9/65'
1966 U14 also Born 9/65'
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Old 01/22/17, 05:22 PM   #11
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BTW - I don't see any Turquoise paint under the hood. All I see is Ragoon Red.

My Bank Acct Sux, But You Should See My Bronco's!
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Old 01/22/17, 05:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West Tn Dawg View Post
BTW - I don't see any Turquoise paint under the hood. All I see is Ragoon Red.
Good eye! The underside of the hood is teal/turquoise and there are a few other spots that I can't recall right now but we believe the truck was originally Rangoon red as the data plate indicates. I *think* that various pieces may have been replaced along the way that were a different color.

Todd Z.

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Old 01/22/17, 07:36 PM   #13
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The 289 was of course swapped into this truck and done in the style as was often done in the early years where the 6 cylinder tail housing was used which necessitated some firewall mods. The firewall is modified on this truck and appears to be done fairly cleanly with some custom formed metalwork welded into place.



The motor mounts are custom-fabricated and done well. Andrew did some inspection on the engine and determined it to be from a '63 car. The passenger's side exhaust manifold is a Hi-Po piece and the driver's side is from a '63 Falcon (I think that's what Andrew noted).

I have a photo showing Don Frey leaning into the engine compartment of a Bronco with the 289 engine in it - obviously a pre-production unit. The Bronco in the photo has a 6 cylinder radiator, universal flex upper hose, a car air cleaner that matches what Seth says he has, and most interestingly, a passenger's side air intake unit with the same metal mesh in it. The photo is black and white but the inner fenders and engine compartment appear to be black. All these things add up to me thinking this truck was the prototype for the 289 installation at Ford along with the development unit for the Sport trim package.

The oil pan is a custom fabbed unit:



Here is evidence of the rangoon red under the black in the engine compartment:





Any idea what those circular plates on the firewall might be for?

Todd Z.

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Old 01/22/17, 08:00 PM   #14
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Awesome inspection and posting!!! Thanks Todd & Andrew!!! Great to see the prototype, sure hope it makes it to SC in April!!!

It's only money, I hope the government sends me more tomorrow!!!
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Old 01/22/17, 09:01 PM   #15
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That's a horrible idea. What time?

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This is cool. Thanks for sharing
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