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Ford Changed the Bronco Debut Date: Punchline of the O.J. Simpson Birthday Drama?

Millions remember the slow roll police chase in a Ford Bronco on June 17, 1994. Though Ford officials claim that the new SUV’s release date is pure coincidence, that is hard to believe. Ford has the funds to employ some pretty savvy marketing minds. And this seems like exactly that––marketing. Although no one can really say for sure.

“The date is purely coincidental.”

Ford spokesperson

Ford representatives, according to Detroit Free Press, deny the claims that the date holds any significance in relation to O.J. Simpson and his infamous white Bronco. But the date isn’t settling well with those affected by the tragic events of 1994. Especially Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister Tanya Brown.

The 2021 Ford Bronco: when is O.J. Simpson’s birthday?

Discontinued since 1996, the Ford Bronco is set to debut this summer. After some suspense, Ford finally announced an official debut date. But that’s what is causing the controversy. While we don’t necessarily think that Ford meant to align these dates so (im)perfectly, it definitely comes off a little tacky.

The white Ford Bronco in the OJ Simpson police chase driving down an LA highway in traffic.
A white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying O.J. Simpson, is trailed by police on June 17, 1994, in Los Angeles. | AP Photo/Joseph Villarin

According to CNBC, the all-new rerelease of the Ford Bronco is set to debut globally on July 9, 2020. O.J. Simpson was born on July 9, 1947––according to Brittanica.com. The Henry Ford museum is also set to reopen after quarantine closure on July 9th. We’ll admit, this does cover up some tracks, but something still smells fishy.

Where is O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco now?

O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco has been destroyed, according to Biography. But what happened to the white Ford Bronco from the 1994 police chase? The white Bronco is now on display in a crime exhibit in Knoxville, Tennessee.

2021 Ford Bronco four-door model on display
2021 Ford Bronco four-door model | Spy photo

The date didn’t please Rachael Penman, the director of artifacts and exhibits at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennesse. The true-crime exhibit in the museum located in the Great Smoky Mountains gets a lot of public reaction. Detroit Free Press reports that Penman calls seeing the Bronco a “where-were-you-when moment” for visitors.

It’s hard to believe that Ford’s marketing specialists didn’t foresee the opportunity to capitalize on this Bronco hype, but we have no choice but to take Ford at its word. One thing is certain, however. The Bronco debut has been talked about. A lot. And this scandalous date debacle has definitely come into play.

2021 Ford Bronco concept on display
Ford Bronco Concept | Ford

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Ford changed the debut date of the 2021 Bronco

The 2021 Ford Bronco date has now been moved, Detroit Free Press reports. First set for July, 9––O.J. Simpson’s Birthday––the Bronco will now debut on July 13, 2020. So, while the date mix up was surely a coincidence, it was still an awkward enough situation that Ford chose to move the date of the 2021 Ford Bronco’s debut.

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So, clearly Ford was oblivious to the overlap of the date it chose for the new Ford SUV’s debut and former NFL running back O.J. Simpson’s birthday. After being tried and found responsible in civil court for murder, he isn’t what we’d call a popular American favorite. The Ford corporation must feel terrible after such an embarrassing oversight. The delayed debut of the new Bronco will get plenty of attention on July 13th, no doubt. But it would have regardless of the O.J. Simpson birthday drama, right?