Barn Find Hunter Finds Cool Collection of Old Broncos in Alaska
There’s more in Alaska than just moose and bears. There are a lot of old Broncos, particularly in the city of Delta Junction.
According to the state of Alaska’s official website, “The Last Frontier” contains 586,000 square miles of land. That means Alaska is one-fifth the size of all of the lower 48 states. That also means there’s plenty of room for people who love to collect vehicles. Tom Cotter of The Barn Find Hunter recently met up with a fellow in the city of Delta Junction who has a thing for old Ford Broncos.
Adam McNabb is a mechanic with a big soft spot for first-generation Broncos and enough land to indulge his hobby of collecting them. His assortment of them is spread out over two different properties. Many of them are in various states of patina or disrepair, waiting to be either parted out or restored one day.
There are at least two drivers among them, though. McNabb gets around in a blue 1972 model that’s withstood the test of time. It was once used by a school district to transport students across a creek when the water was high. He tells Cotter, “It’s been a great little rig. … It sat for I think about 15 years. I threw a battery in it and filled up the float bowl with gas and it started just like that. I’ve been driving it ever since.”
McNabb left the paint as it was: original. As far as he knows, with the exception of a Holley carburetor, the 302 under the hood is original, too.
Another one of McNabb’s runners, a ’66 with a 289-CID V8 and three-speed transmission, needed work up front, but it was worth the investment. He says, “I found this one in the woods, behind a guy’s place. He said he had some old two-door, four-wheel-drive rig. Told me he just wanted somebody to haul it away so that’s what I did. And it didn’t have any axles under it.”
‘It’s been a great little rig. … It sat for about 15 years. I threw a battery in it and filled up the float bowl with gas and it started just like that. I’ve been driving it ever since.’
The good news is the engine and gearbox were still in it. McNabb had no problem installing new hardware. Since then, McNabb and his family have used his some-assembly-required Bronco to take a road trip through parts of California, Moab, Colorado, and Wyoming.
One particular banged-up 1972 Bronco with a 302 V8 and three-speed gearbox has a special destiny. Eventually, McNabb and his son Nathaniel will get it up and running so it can be Nathaniel’s first vehicle. It’s going to be difficult at times for the younger man, but it will be worth the frustration and struggle because he’ll end up with a drivable classic Bronco, an increasingly rare species. As Nathaniel’s father puts it, “They’re becoming more and more difficult to find. And they’re becoming more and more popular.”
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