Two Incredible Bronco Prototypes Surface
Boss Bronco Concept Joins Very First Bronco Prototypes on Display at Barrett-Jackson in Arizona
Just when Bronco fans think they’ve seen it all, Gateway Bronco dropped a bombshell by bringing two early prototype Broncos to Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona. Gateway recently purchased the historically significant rides and displayed them in their booth at the auction, which took place from January 14 to 22.
Gateway specializes in early Broncos, scooping them up and preserving their original glory. So it seems fitting that they would acquire these two special Bronco prototypes. Amidst little fan fare, Road & Track spotted the historic but unassuming rides tucked away in a corner booth.
The first is a yellow 1969 Bronco that looks like any other flared fender and big-tire off-roader. But the “Boss Bronco” decals should tell you differently. That subtle detail signifies Ford’s prototype for a high-performance version of the Bronco, built by Kar-Kraft for the Blue Oval.
The “Boss” part of Boss Bronco comes from the drivetrain. Both the 351 and 4.11:1 rear end came from a 1969 GT350 Mustang. After Ford boss Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen was fired, the project died and the prototype ordered destroyed. Somehow it escaped, and did so in very nice condition.
The second of the pair of rare Bronco prototypes is the very first Bronco prototype ever produced. The 1966 was built at Ford’s pre-production plant in Michigan and delivered to Carol Shelby in 1967. Shelby yanked the V6 in favor of a V8, painted the truck, and used it on his ranch for many years. Furthermore, Gateway plans to restore the truck to its original Shelby configuration.
The fact that both of these incredible Bronco prototypes survived all these years is significant in itself. In addition, kudos to Gateway Bronco for saving them and giving the public a glimpse into what was and what could have been.