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Here's What The 1966 Ford Bronco Costs Today

HotCars logo HotCars 8/5/2022 OLUWAFEMI JOSHUA AYOMIKUN
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The Ford Bronco has been Ford’s frontline SUV for over 50 years, earning the place among the fastest-selling cars in the world and perhaps one of the longest-standing car brands, but the Bronco had an unusual start. The 1966 Ford Bronco was in production for about 12 years, and it was the start of practical and stylish SUVs.

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Like most cars of the '60s, Ford designed the Bronco for more function than style, and that same culture has spanned the past few decades of Bronco production. But how did the 1966 Ford Bronco fair after it began the legacy? Was it just another progenitor that fizzled out when the next generation emerged? We have explored everything you need to know about the OG Ford Bronco and what it costs today.

Updated August 2022: The first-gen Ford Bronco was an iconic off-roader with a comfortable appeal, and it has quite a reputation in the used car space. We have updated this article with more information on this wonder Ford and also on the prices of the 1966 Broncos today.

Related: Here's What The 1986 Ford Bronco Costs Today

Start Of The Bronco Legacy

Ford’s lead engineer Paul G. Axelrad and Executive Manager Donald Frey are popular for their roles in creating the Mustang, but we will always recall that they were also responsible for bringing the Ford Bronco to life. Frey wanted the Bronco to be a replacement to the Jeep Cj and every other truck that made waves between 1950 and 1970.

Achieving Donald N. Frey’s plan meant that Paul Axelrad would design the Bronco to do everything its competitors were doing, and perhaps offer some other benefits. Ford’s designers and engineers were up to the task, they had created some monumental military trucks in the past and would go on to produce some of the best civilian vehicles in automobile history.

But at that time, all Ford had was the draft of a plan and a goal that would later become the “Sport Utility Vehicle” we all know and celebrate today. When the 1966 Ford Bronco debuted in 1965 it was everything Ford had promised us, it was “neither a conventional car nor a truck but a vehicle which combines the best of both worlds”

The compact two-door SUV was perfect for off-road and on-road driving, it had some style, but it was most practical. This was the vehicle Americans and everyone else had been expecting. The same one would evolve into six generations across fifty years.

The 1966 Bronco Won Hearts

The first generation Ford Bronco only had a 12-year run, but that was enough time for it to become one of the most desirable cars of the sixties. One of the most impressive moments in the Bronco’s resume was when Parnell Jones drove the Big Oly to win the 1971 and 1972 running of the Baja 1000. It was the beginning of the Ford Bronco's wins at Baja 1000, and perhaps one of the most iconic wins in SUV racing.

Asides from its racing prowess, the Bronco’s off-road capacity was its most endearing feature. Donald Frey’s idea of a Goes Over Any type of Terrain (G.O.A.T) vehicle meant you could drive the 1966 Bronco into the most uneven areas and still emerge steadily. Having an agile, sporty, off-road rugged-on-body design made the Bronco a perfect description of what everyone expected from an SUV.

It was also helpful that the Bronco had a 105-horsepower engine that ran on a 2.8-liter inline-six engine, coupled to a three-speed manual transmission. We loved the Bronco but by the end of its 12 years, it was no longer the SUV we wanted, the majority of American commuters wanted something the Bronco did not have. Style.

Related: This Is The Best Feature Of The 1966 Ford Bronco

The 1965 Bronco Was Not Enough

While Ford offered us this first-generation Bronco in three different forms: Wagon, convertible “roadster,” and a pickup truck, it was still not enough for the 1977 market. One of its most obvious deficiencies was the absence of an infotainment center, or at least what counted as infotainment in the last 1970s.

Of course, the Bronco sold large numbers in its 12-year run, but it needed to evolve and even the second generation Bronco did not give us the wonder we wanted from the Bronco. It was until the third generation 1980 to 1986 Bronco that we got the kind of evolution we needed.

Ford first withdrew the convertible “roadster” half-cab because it had the lowest sales between 1969 and 1972, but the Wagon and pickup truck soon followed when Ford realized that the American drivers wanted more than the 1965 Bronco was providing.

Cost Of A 1966 Bronco Today

Despite having a poor run at the end of its days, the 1966 Bronco was iconic because it was one of Ford’s first attempts at civilian trucks. The fact that they succeeded at creating a perfect SUV on their first attempt meant that Ford had more to offer than we were ready to receive.

The best proof of Ford’s efficiency is the success of their Bronco brand and the 1966 Bronco’s ability to sustain its value over 50 years after it first graced our roads. Classic.com estimates the average going rate for the 1966 Ford Bronco around $69,212 (up by over $6,000 in less than a year) while the top price was at $275,000.

Well-kept six-figure 1966 Broncos with around 50,000 miles on the odometer are quite common in the used car space, and we even came across a 175-miles 1966 Ford Bronco for sale on Classicars.com for a whopping $295,000.

There are more modern models of the Ford Bronco with better powertrains and more endearing features than the 1966 Bronco, but history will always remember this Bronco for its role in perfecting our ideas of SUVs. And that will fuel its value further up as time passes by!

Sources: Ford, Classiccars, Classic

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