The born-again Ford Bronco will be one of the stars of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Off-roaders who would rather hit the trail in the original model are in luck. An Illinois-based restorer named Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to offer a brand-new, first-generation Bronco built from the ground up. Putting one in your garage won’t come cheap, though.
The typical Gateway build starts with a first-generation Bronco (the model made between 1966 and 1977) in need of restoration. Founded by engineer Seth Burgett, the company brings the truck back to life by using modern painting and rust-proofing methods to ensure it can stand the test of time. It fits a re-manufactured body but keeps the original Ford VIN number and frame. Finally, it improves the suspension and chassis components, installs a more upmarket interior, and makes major mechanical upgrades.
Gateway’s catalog includes three basic models named Fuelie, Coyote Edition, and Modern Day Warrior. The Fuelie is the gateway into Gateway’s lineup, if you’ll pardon our pun. It’s the cheapest, most basic variant. It comes with a fuel-injected V8 engine, either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual, leather upholstery, and improvements that reduce cabin noise. Buyers have several basic options to choose from, including either cut or original fenders and a bikini top or a full hard top. They can also work with the company to create a custom truck.
The Coyote Edition (pictured) benefits from a 5.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from the 2019 Mustang GT. The Modern Day Warrior keeps the V8 but receives a six-speed transmission from the desert-taming Ford F-150 Raptor, and an interior made with genuine Porsche leather. That’s more luxury and power than the Bronco’s creators ever envisioned, but it creates a modern rig that’s usable, capable, and stylish.
Though titled as a 2018 model, Gateway’s Bronco doesn’t need to comply with the same safety and emissions regulations as, say, a 2018 Explorer thanks to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015. It’s the same law that makes the Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company sell new examples of the DMC-12 made famous in the movie Back to the Future.
The Fuelie starts at $120,000, according to Gateway’s website. The Coyote costs $150,000, while the Modern Day Warrior tops out at $180,000. Plan on waiting about four months for delivery. If that’s too much money, rest assured the 2020 Bronco we’ll see in Detroit will cost significantly less.
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