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Wednesday, 21 October 2020 18:49

Vintage Ford Broncos Being Rebuilt, Transformed---Into Something Like You’ve Never Seen

Written by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
The 1966 Ford Bronco with a VIN of 000, left, and Gateway Bronco’s reimagined edition, that costs about $320,000. This original 1966 Bronco is the first to ever roll off the Ford production line. It was given to race car driver Carroll Shelby by Ford Motor Co. These images were taken Oct. 14 in Detroit. The 1966 Ford Bronco with a VIN of 000, left, and Gateway Bronco’s reimagined edition, that costs about $320,000. This original 1966 Bronco is the first to ever roll off the Ford production line. It was given to race car driver Carroll Shelby by Ford Motor Co. These images were taken Oct. 14 in Detroit. Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

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Mackenzie Burgett saw a rickety old Ford Bronco sitting in a driveway outside St. Louis and asked her dad if they could take a cross-country summer trip in one just like it.

He immediately agreed to the idea, realizing time with a teenager is rare. Seth Burgett found an orange 1973 Bronco and hit the road for five weeks---driving from Walden Pond to Niagara Falls to Glacier National Park to the Pacific Coast Highway. And they loved that vintage Bronco. But it didn't love them back.

 

Just one headache after another.

 

They wondered, what if you could take the original Ford Bronco and keep its classic look while changing up all the guts so that the SUV drove safely and dependably? What if the old car kept its classic look but had all the amenities of today?

 

And that's how a little family started a boutique company that creates reimagined versions of the iconic early Broncos.

 

"We've kept the essence of the vintage Bronco and gotten rid of the bad behavior," said Burgett, 50, a husband and father of three from Glen Carbon, IL.

 

It is an idea he called “audacious.”

 

Now Ford Bronco fans who have everything, including exceptional taste and a few extra dollars, are placing orders for model year SUVs 1966 to 1977---and transforming the old original vehicles into newer, better versions of themselves for an average of $200,000 each. And there's a waiting list.

 

Burgett is CEO of Gateway Bronco in Hamel, IL, the world's first approved manufacturer of the early Ford Bronco. He is licensed through Ford yet independent. His team builds handcrafted SUVs in a small Illinois town on Route 66.


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