Would You Daily A Classic Ford Bronco?
Driving a classic vehicle down the road is a surreal experience that blends the energy of the past with a true sense of adventure and wonder.
Perhaps it’s the feeling of overwhelming nostalgia that washes over those who once sat in the same type of classic vehicle as a kid while sitting next to their parents, or perhaps even their grandparents as they drove down the road. Maybe it’s the promise of a guttural, analog experience in an increasingly digital world. Heck, maybe you just like the style of a classic car, after all, there are very few truly original designs these days. Whatever “it” is, there is no doubt that driving a classic vehicle, especially a classic SUV like the Ford Bronco, is just right in so many ways.
Yet, on the other side of this wave of passion and nostalgia lies the harsh reality of driving a classic vehicle down the road. Road noise, a lack of proper safety equipment, old technology, and poor driving dynamics are just some of the issues that a classic vehicle may bestow upon its unwitting owners.
What if there was a way to get all the nostalgia and energy of a proper classic, with surprisingly few compromises?
Myth: Classic Broncos Don’t Drive Well
On the surface, this characterization of classic Broncos is pretty much spot on, and that’s no surprise.
Take a look at the original specs of the Ford Bronco and you’ll see some basic, albeit tough, engineering. Every Bronco Chassis was a strong (for the time) “ladder” frame design but the quality of steel used on these old Broncos, and the stress of time eventually wear them out. Once a frame is worn out, it can cause an old Bronco to drive poorly and feel like they’re wandering all over the road. This effect is compounded by the fact that many old Broncos are soft tops with no roof to reinforce the structure. The stiffer the structure, the better handling will be.
This same principle applies to the old-school suspension design of the classic Bronco. Ford called their design a “Mono-Beam”, which is really just coded language to indicate that these old rigs were running a twin solid-axle suspension that was suspended with durable leaf springs and rudimentary shock absorbers. Each axle was heavy-duty for off-road usage and Ford engineered the Bronco with fantastic approach and departure angles.
Under the hood, Ford offered a choice of a straight six or the infamous 289 V8. At a heady 200 horsepower, even the 289 V8 was down on power, especially when combined with the 3-speed manual or (later on) 3-speed automatic transmission. To be frank, it was quite slow, even for the era. Brakes? Ancient drum brakes at all corners needed to be hammered on to work well in panic situations.
Could this rig get you into the backcountry? Yes. Would it be comfortable and drive well on the road while doing it? Not really.
Fact: A Velocity Modern Classic Bronco Drives Like A Modern SUV
Velocity has broken the mold by designing a chassis and powertrain that is meticulously engineered to provide a solid driving experience with nimble handling, and thundering acceleration. Even more impressive, is that they’ve managed to accomplish the modernization of the classic Ford Bronco, while never forgetting the off-road-focused roots of the classic Bronco. How did they do it? Well, it all starts with the foundation of any good build: the chassis.
Classic SUVs, vintage passenger cars, and modern pickup trucks are built on an engineering premise known as body on frame. Essentially, the chassis (which includes the frame, axles, suspension, brakes, and wheels) is one piece, and the body is another piece entirely. During assembly, the chassis and the body are joined together, usually with a system of rubber bushings to help dampen vibrations. This proven design helps keep production costs low and provides a platform that is eminently capable and tough.
To help modernize the vintage Bronco’s body on frame design, Velocity set about strengthening the chassis to meet modern standards. Every VB3 chassis utilizes ultra-premium, 2”x 4” boxed carbon steel tubing in .120” thickness (way thicker than anything from the factory in the 60s and 70s) along with contoured main rails that are laser cut and engineered to provide strength at flex points. This high-strength frame helps reduce flex and provides a solid driving experience that is more like a modern vehicle. Once we weld in the standard four-point roll bar, the chassis is tied together in a way that no vintage Bronco could ever hope for.
In addition to the high-strength frame, every Velocity Bronco comes with a complete chassis setup with components that are among the best in the industry. Dana supplies their iconic Dana 44 axle with Warn premium locking hubs up front, while a Ford Performance 9-inch axle with Trac-Loc gets it done out back. Gone are the vintage drum brakes, in their place, are massive, 4 piston, Wilwood disc brakes, and Wilwood brake lines. Bilstein, another iconic manufacturer, provides a set of shocks that help smooth out the bumps, while a custom steering box helps set up the driver with tight, high-performance steering feel.
Sway bars, which help reduce body roll, are also standard on Velocity Broncos starting in May of 2023.
Howling Coyote + 10-Speed Automatic = Modern Performance
Under the hood, things really heat up.
Every Velocity Bronco now comes with Gen III Coyote V8 from Ford Performance that brings some serious performance to the table. Plucked straight from the modern Ford Mustang and F-Series trucks, the 5.0-liter Coyote cranks out 460 horsepower that’s delivered in a refined, yet forceful manner. Unlike the classic 289, the modern Coyote V8 provides punch throughout the powerband, including thrilling high-rpm performance. They could only dream of motors like this in the 60s and 70s and when you hear it breathe through our Velocity Signature exhaust, you won’t miss those old gas guzzlers.
To help make the most of the power, all Velocity builds will also have Ford’s incredible 10-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. A far cry from the old-school 3-speed automatics of yore, the 10R80 works with the Gen III Coyote to fire off rapid shifts and deliver excellent refinement and efficiency across the board. For reference, this is the same powertrain combo that’s found in every modern Mustang, so you can bet that this will give every Velocity Signature Bronco some serious performance.
How serious? How about 0-60 in a staggering 4.5 seconds? Yes, that’s right, YouTube star MilesPerHr hammered a Velocity Bronco from a dead stop and hit 60 in 4.5 seconds.
Thanks to its history as one of the most capable SUVs on the trail, every Velocity Signature Series Bronco also comes with an industry-standard, Atlas 2 Transfer Case with cable shift twin sticks, Tom Woods 2-inch driveshafts, and Double Cardan CV joints with XB splines to improve strength and wear resistance. If you want to take a Velocity Bronco off-road, it can handle the job with ease.
Overall, these components add up to a thoroughly modern driving experience that never forgets its roots. It’s truly one of a kind in the industry and it must be driven to be believed.
Myth: All Vintage Ford Broncos Have Utilitarian Interiors
Modern vehicles have expectations of comfort, luxury, and convenience that vintage Broncos could never live up to.
To be fair, Ford never marketed the Bronco as anything but a do-it-all, go-anywhere type of machine. It was also marketed as an affordable vehicle that was not supposed to be the primary vehicle in the household, but a secondary vehicle that was used for hobbies like camping, hunting, or as a utility vehicle on a farm. So, the utilitarian nature of the interior made perfect sense for the time.
Some vintage Broncos didn’t have rear seats, or carpeting, while others had the ability to carry five people and were trimmed out with rudimentary carpet and basic vinyl appliques throughout the interior. There was no standard radio, no air-conditioning (at least at first) nor armrests as standard equipment. They met their low-cost mission with enthusiasm, and that’s all they needed to be because they were low-cost utility vehicles.
What’s not up for debate is the classic style of the vintage Ford Bronco interior. No matter how you look at it, the interior of these vintage machines, complete with matching metal dashboards and color-keyed accents, is a perfect example of mid-century automotive design.
Fact: Velocity Signature Broncos Offer Hand-built Comfort
When designing a Modern Classic, it’s important to pay homage to the classic design while integrating the finest craftsmanship and technology.
To help keep that vintage appeal of the interior, our designers have enhanced the mid-century design of the interior. Just like the original, the interior of every Velocity Signature Series offers a color-matched, metal dashboard, era-specific steering wheel, and classic Ford gauges. The differences come down to the details, and there are dozens and dozens of things that make every Velocity Modern Classic interior stand out from anything else on the road.
Every Bronco that rolls out of the facility comes with seating options that are hand-built in a staggering variety of patterns and colors that pay homage to the classic look but bring a modern flair. High-back front seats are upholstered in premium material like hand-finished leather or yacht-grade vinyl with intricately sewn French seams and a custom inset design. Every seat offers the classic Ford Bronco look along with the safety of adjustable headrests, a three-point seatbelt, and a full range of adjustability.
Technology also plays a role in the modern driving experience, but integrating it without ruining the vintage appeal is a tough task. Vintage Air provides their air conditioning system for Velocity Broncos that blends right into the dashboard and looks like they were meant to be that way right from the factory. Go with our insulated hardtop and you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet, climate-controlled interior, no matter how hot or cold it is outside.
Every Velocity Signature Series Bronco also comes with Focal Audio speakers, which are among the absolute best in the world and work with modern Bluetooth stereo systems from brands like Alpine and Pioneer to bring you an incredible audio experience. Power windows, and power retracting steps round out the list of features.
High-end Bluetooth audio and power equipment in a vintage Bronco? You bet.
So, Can You Daily Drive A Vintage Ford Bronco?
Driving a bone-stock, vintage Bronco on the daily could prove to be a huge challenge, but thanks to Velocity, you can get all the vintage flair of a classic, with none of the compromises.
In a remarkable 14 weeks, which is unheard of in the restoration industry, Velocity can build you the Bronco of your dreams. You choose everything from the era-specific Glasurit paint to the design and color of the interior and much more. Options like a manual transmission, larger off-road tires, a Ranger package, and Midnight Edition are just a few of the options available for purchase. Every Bronco that rolls out of our facility is as unique as the people who choose to put one in their driveway.
Yes, you can absolutely drive a vintage Ford Bronco on a daily basis when it’s a beautifully restored, Modern Classic from Velocity.
To learn more about our Signature Series Vehicles or to reserve one today, please use the form below.