Is This Low-Mileage 1981 Ford Bronco a Gem or an Ugly Duckling?

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First, second, fourth, and even fifth-generation Ford Broncos get all the love. People have gone into a veritable frenzy over Ford’s beloved SUV as it nears a return to the current SUV lineup, driving prices up into the stratosphere. Conspicuously absent from that frenzy is the third-generation (1980-1986) Bronco, which is considered by many to be the “ugly duckling” of the group.


Taste in trucks, like everything else in life, is subjective. But third-generation Broncos and F-150’s have long been unloved by many. In an attempt to change your mind on this underappreciated generation, I present what is perhaps the nicest one you’ll ever see – a 1981 Bronco with 51,000 original miles.

This is a one owner ugly duckling that has never seen a dirt or winter road. Inside and out, it presents itself like a brand new Bronco. The paint looks factory fresh, the (extremely) red interior looks like it’s never been sat in, and the engine bay is clean enough to eat off of.


The options list is pretty nice too – 302 motor, air conditioning, power steering and brakes, tilt, cruise, bucket seats, deluxe interior, tach, tinted windows, and a rear power window. In 1981, that’s about as loaded as you could get!


So whether you’re in the group that considers 1980-1986 to be forgettable years for the Bronco, or you think that they deserve more attention, it’s hard to argue that this is one nice and clean example of the breed.  If you fall in the latter group, you can pick one like this up for a big discount over the other generations!

Join the Ford fans in the forum.>>


Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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