Remember the Bronco R? It was the public’s first look at what the new Bronco might look like. Ford backed the racing effort in a bid to win the Baja 1000 last year. That would have highlighted the original Bronco’s Baja 1000 win 50 years ago in 1969. Originally driven by Rod Hall and Larry Minor, the “2020 Bronco R” trophy truck was driven by “Desert Assassin” Cameron Steele and Rod Hall’s granddaughter Shelby Hall. Unfortunately, they didn’t finish the Baja 1000. But the final result couldn’t take away from how impressive the truck was. Now, you might have a chance at buying a turn-key Bronco R directly from Ford.
“If there’s interest we’ll look into it”
In an interview, Ford’s Chief Product Development & Purchasing Officer Hau Thai-Tang told Muscle Cars & Trucks, “If there’s interest we’ll look into it. We’ve done that with our Mustang and even our GTs.” Of course, he’s referring to both the Mustang GT4 and GT GTLM race cars.
Both of these have been available to select customers for the past few seasons. Canada’s Multimatic builds these for Ford as it did with the Lemans-winning Ford GT Mk II. But Multi is not involved with Baja racing.
Looking back, the Bronco R really was a glimpse of what the new Bronco would look like
Revealed at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Bronco R was another well-kept Ford secret. Ford pulled off the GT’s debut in a similar fashion with no one knowing what Ford was up to. Looking back, the Bronco R really was a glimpse of what the new Bronco would look like when it was finally revealed in June.
Last year the Bronco R ran in the Class 2 Division of the SCORE Off-Road Racing series. It is an unlimited class but is limited to six-cylinder engines with a minimum weight of 2,000 pounds. Ford chose this class because it wanted to highlight its EcoBoost V6 engines and other Ford components. A stock-block twin-turbocharged V6 powered the Bronco R, but beyond that, the engine was modified extensively.
Though unable to finish the race the Bronco R will be back this year
The truck featured composite body panels, a full roll cage, and front suspension travel of 14-inches and 18-inches in the rear. Though unable to finish the race Ford will be back this year to take another shot. And with the introduction of the production Bronco being set back due to the pandemic the timing might be a lot better. At least from a PR perspective.
At this stage, there is no way of knowing how much one of these handmade race trucks might be. To give you a comparison the Mustang GT4 runs around $225,000. But here’s the thing: if you’re thinking about entering the Baja 1000 you’ve probably got the cha-cha to pay that amount for an instant contender.
This year the Baja 1000 starts the week before Thanksgiving on November 16 and ends November 21. You know Ford wants this win badly. The teams are in the final rush with only three months to go.