Bring a Trailer Bargain of the Week: 5.0 V8 1974 Ford Bronco

Demand for the new Bronco might be reaching a fever pitch, but so is the market for the classic one. While many vintage SUVs have appreciated recently, the Ford Bronco has gotten particularly pricey. And the sheer number of restomod builds available hasn’t really helped. But occasionally, some reasonably priced examples do sneak through. And the V8-swapped 1974 Ford Bronco currently listed on Bring a Trailer is one of them.

The first-gen Ford Bronco is a classic off-road SUV icon for a reason

A brown-and-white 1974 Ford Bronco
1974 Ford Bronco | Ford
Spec1966-1977 Ford Bronco
Engine2.8-liter inline-six (1966-1971)
3.3-liter inline-six (1972-1974)
4.7-liter V8 (1966-1968)
4.9-liter V8 (1969-1977)
Power2.8-liter: 105/82 hp (SAE gross/net)
3.3-liter: 84 hp (SAE net)
4.7-liter: 200/150 hp (SAE gross/net)
4.9-liter: 205 hp (SAE gross)
Torque2.8-liter: 158/146 lb-ft (SAE gross/net)
3.3-liter:151 lb-ft (SAE net)
4.7-liter: 282/242 lb-ft (SAE gross/net)
4.9-liter: 300 lb-ft (SAE gross)
TransmissionThree-speed manual
Three-speed automatic
Curb weight3750 lbs (1973 4.9-liter V8 model, MotorTrend)

Compared to the upcoming Bronco Raptor, the first-gen classic Ford Bronco might seem rather underpowered. However, compared to the contemporary CJ Jeep, the Ford SUV was something of a hot rod. And more to the point, it was easier to live with than the CJ, if not exactly refined, Hagerty notes. But while a first-gen classic Bronco has more creature comforts than a CJ, it’s just as capable and rugged when the pavement ends.

Like the CJ and International Scout, the first-gen Ford Bronco has rock-crawling-friendly solid axles. But rather than leaf springs, the Bronco has comfier coil springs. Plus, in 1966, it was the first 4WD vehicle of any kind available in the US with a fully-synchronized transmission. The first-gen Bronco also has a wider track than the CJ, making it more stable at highway speeds. And yet, it has a smaller turning radius. But even at the end of its run, a first-gen Ford Bronco with optional tires had 13.2” of ground clearance as well as 43.1° approach, 26.8° departure, and 30.1° breakover angles.

The white-and-black front interior of a 1967 Ford Bronco Sport
1967 Ford Bronco Sport front interior | Ford

Unlike the first CJs, the classic Ford Bronco has such luxuries as standard doors and a factory hardtop (a soft-top was available, too). The SUV’s options list eventually included things like power steering, power-assisted brakes, power-operated driver’s side mirror, and a cigarette lighter, MT notes. And that’s on top of options like sway bars, engine block heaters, a limited-slip differential, heavy-duty springs, and auxiliary fuel tanks. Plus, Ford tweaked the SUV throughout its run, upgrading the body, chassis, suspension, and steering box, as well as swapping the front drums for discs.

There’s a 1974 Bronco with a modern Mustang V8 on Bring a Trailer

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Like all classic first-gen Broncos, the 1974 Ford Bronco currently listed on Bring a Trailer has 4WD with a transfer case. But while it has a three-speed automatic and a V8, this SUV has neither the 4.7-liter nor the 4.9-liter V8. Instead, a previous owner swapped its original engine out for a modern “police-specification” Mustang 5.0-liter V8.

The new V8 isn’t the only upgrade this classic Bronco has. It was disassembled, sandblasted, re-painted, and re-assembled by a previous owner, while the seller performed rust repair and additional paint correction. This 1974 Ford Bronco also has front and rear bumper-mounted winches, fender extensions, LED auxiliary lights, Hella H4 headlights, steel rock sliders with tubular side steps, dual fuel tanks, and a roof rack. It also rides on 15” Eagle alloy wheels with 32” Cooper Discoverer STT tires. And it has a 4” lift kit with aftermarket shock absorbers, as well as upgraded sway and tracker bars and an onboard air compressor. Finally, it has a Dana 44 front and Detroit Locker rear axle.

The seller also refurbished this Bronco’s interior. It has new front seats with camouflage covers, LED lighting, diamond-plate door panels, a black bed liner floor covering, and a digital gauge cluster. Also, it has a Pioneer stereo, upholstered roll bar, trailer brake module, and locking center console with cupholders.

Besides the rust repair and paint correction, this 1974 Ford Bronco also recently received a suspension alignment. And it has new shock absorbers and a new differential pinion seal.

Classic Ford Broncos have gone way up in value, but this modified one is a (relative) bargain

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As of this writing, this engine-swapped classic Bronco is listed at $35,250 with three days left in the auction. That’s significantly below the average market value; a good-to-excellent first-gen Bronco usually goes for $58K-$93K, Hagerty says.

The modern engine swap may be one reason why this 1974 Ford Bronco is below the market average. However, it does make this classic SUV easier to live with. And otherwise, it’s in great shape. So, if you wanted a vintage Bronco without the massive price tag, this one might be worth watching.

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