#141, 2021 Ford Bronco debuts; Hagerty expert praises icon

James Raia

Nearly a quarter-century after it was last made, the new Ford Bronco makes its debut today (July 13) with as much anticipation as any new vehicle in recent memory.

Often cited as the first Sport Utility Vehicle, the Bronco has a loyal following and its new edition is likely to continue the iconic vehicle’s increasing legacy.

The Ford Bronco debuted in 1966 and the 2021 was unveild July 13, 2021.
The Ford Bronco debuted in 1966 and the 2021 edition was unveiled July 13, 2021.

Brian Rabold, vice president of valuation services for Hagerty, is our guest on this episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast to discuss all things Ford Bronco.

Ford Bronco: Its legacy contines

Hagerty, the Michigan-based automotive lifestyle company, provides specialty insurance for collectible vehicles. The Bronco, in its various model years, generations and trims, has increased in value rapidly in recent years.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia talk with Rabold about the history of the Bronco and Hagerty’s insights into the vehicle’s chronology and its re-emergence.

According to Hagerty, consider some facts and figures:

* the age of the average owner of Bronco owner is 54, seven years younger than the average collector car owner;

* The first generation (’66-‘77 Broncos) are the most valuable at a median value at $50,600. The ’73-’77 Wagon 4×4 with the 302cid engine is the most valuable model with a median value of $60,200;

* The highest sale for an unmodified Bronco at auction is $143,000 for a 1971 Bronco Stroppe Baja Edition.

Rabold discusses all of the Bronco’s attributes and he has an impressive knowledge of the vehicle’s place in American automotive culture. He also gives us an opinion about one oddity of the debut of the new Bronco.

Originally scheduled for July 9, the planned debut of the 2021 Ford Bronco coincided with the birthday of O.J. Simpson.

Simpson, the former Heisman Trophy winner and National Football League star, was wanted in the slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

After Simpson failed to turn himself in, a national television audience of 95 million watched for hours as the drama unfolded of Simpson slowly being pursued on Los Angeles Freeways as the passenger in a 1993 white Bronco driven by his friend.

Simpson was acquitted a year later in one of the most closely watched murder trials in American history. But the Bronco has since been associated with the bizarre day.

Ford officials said it was “pure coincidence” when they announced the debut’s original date. But Ford dropped the Bronco in 1996.

Rabold said he “gives Ford the benefit of the doubt.”

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Article Last Updated: July 12, 2020.

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