After months of hard work restoring The AdFor.US Bronco — Replacing metal panels and lining inside and out, rewiring everything and finally installing parts that I have carried with me for years- I started to wonder how much value was added to Ol’ Blue after nearly 1500 hours of grueling labor. This turned out to be another grueling task to figure out and decided to write about how to buy or sell an Early Bronco – Which you can read about price and valuation of a 1966-1977 Classic Bronco by clicking here.
While I had repaired or replaced nearly everything inside the tub and everything underneath the tub, it then became quite evident that the exterior paint and body work needed to be done – again. (I paid a shop $2000 in 2004) The exterior is where everybody looks and though many people have exclaimed many positive comments about Blue at every gas station that we wind up at, all I ever see is the scratched paint or the couple of dings that happened over the years and typically respond to these Bronco Buffs something to the effect of embarrassingly mentioning those issues along with the overwhelming cost to repair.
Now that I have an inkling of how to do these repairs myself, I kinda look at these ‘faults’ as badges of pride and I am no longer embarrassed by them. They represent 10 years worth of real use that we (Ol’ Blue and I together) have somehow managed. Who else drives a 40+ year old antique 5,000+ miles? Over the last 5 years, I’ve loaded Ol’ Blue up- HEAVY, and began a road trip in may of 2011 from Omaha, Nebraska to Northern Idaho, onto Seattle, WA and then returned to Omaha for a family reunion just before winters end. (and then onto Florida 2 months later)
We’v been criss-crossing and zig-zagging the Country since 1998 starting in Georgia– I pulled my front driveshaft out for ‘less friction’ during our road trips. So I had never -EVER- had Ol’ Blue in true 4 wheel drive. I had put him in 2 wheel low range a couple of times in the Glacier mountains of Northern, Idaho and Canadian Border watering holes, but never 4 wheel drive. This occurred to me as I was installing the driveshaft and got an itch so bad, that I just couldn’t wait (for my friends) to get out and play.
After 3 weeks of trying to schedule some #mudding, I just decided to get out and be real gentle climbing some mounds and posing for some pics. I stayed away from the mud holes– Far away from the big ones, because I knew it would be costly to get some help out to tug on me if’n I lost control or found a 4 foot deep hole on the rear passenger side hidden by 3 feet of water…
So- as I was ready to leave the playground, I decided to dump the clutch and shoot a rooster tail right semi wet, mostly hard packed edge of a big mud hole. — Now, You have to understand that I brag about Ol’ Blues’ extremely narrow turning radius all the time. I can perform a u-turn directly into an inside lane without ever getting near the outside lane. Not many Trucks can do that.
Anyway… NOT IN 4 WHEEL DRIVE! Instead of whipping my back-end around and spitting mud clumps 30-60 feet, I went forward for an additional 20 feet and—- SURE ENOUGH- found that 1 deep hole that likely caught someone else before me.
Checkout / View the days activities in the photo gallery below.
This is why I am not in a hurry to ‘fix’ the exterior of The AdFor.US Classic Bronco. I am looking forward to scratching him up some more. Playing, rather than working to get somewheres. And while this might exclude a lot of high paying would-be Vintage Bronco Buyers- worthwhile 1st Gen Bronco Suitors know the real value of ‘Nothing left to do except the paint and body work!”
I hope to see you all at some nearby event or off road trail activity soon! And until I can afford a decent winch, YOU may get #snatched into some terrifically fun occasions whenever I pull out my #tow rope or shovel!