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Maxlider’s 4-Door 1966 Ford Bronco: An Inside Look

The Ford Bronco was launched in 1966 as a 2-door, 4-wheel-drive, off-road beast. Ford wanted a sporty 4×4 that piggy-backed off the wildly successful Mustang that was launched nearly 2 years earlier.  They quickly developed a cult-like following, but didn’t become wildly popular until 10 years ago when American’s seemed to rediscover the early Bronco design and builders began modernizing the vehicle.

With around 150,000 first-gen (1966-1977) Broncos left, many hidden in barns and backyards, the original Bronco is rare. The rarest form of an original Bronco is one with 4-doors. Why? Because Ford never manufactured a 4-door Bronco.

A couple of years ago, Maxlider decided to create our own 4-door Ford Bronco. With only a couple other shops daring to create a custom Bronco with four doors, Maxlider Brothers Customs decided to create the best custom 4-door Ford Bronco.

The Maxlider 4-door Ford Bronco build includes:

  • 1966 Ford Bronco frame
  • 6-Speed overdrive transmission
  • Ford Performance Coyote Engine 5.0L (670 HP)
  • Uncut rear ¼ panel
  • Modern seats and seatbelts
  • A true roll cage
  • Yukon Gear Axles
  • Roush Supercharger

Over 4,000 man hours have been put into this new Ford Bronco, with the goal of making it a statement piece. We have been fortunate to have amazing sponsors for this build, including Roush Performance, Yukon Gear & Axle, Currie Industries, Brembo Brakes, EPAS, Centech, MPT Custom Tunes, Wildhorses 4×4 and countless others! It is truly a work of art.

Car and Driver recently featured our 4-door Ford Bronco on their blog. Read the article here!

Come see the Maxlider Four Horsemen Ford Bronco at SEMA 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada October 31 – November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Read more about the 4-door Ford Bronco and see additional pictures here, and make sure to follow Maxlider on Facebook and Instagram.

How to Buy a Classic Ford Bronco: 8 Things You HAVE To Consider

By Maxlider’s Erik Maxlider 

The Ford Bronco is the most complicated simple thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Basically, it’s a sculpture you can drive. Depending on the year, where it was built, who has worked on it since, and the time and care (or lack of) that went into it, two seemingly identical Broncos could be worlds apart when it comes to value and reliability.

At Maxlider Brothers Customs, our business is buying, restoring, and selling Broncos. But believe it or not, I’ve talked more people out of buying a classic Bronco than I ever will into one. We want you to understand what you’re buying and be 100% sure that you will absolutely fall in love with what you’re getting. Before you buy one, here are eight things you need to consider when planning to buy a classic Ford Bronco:

Modern vs. classic

Money spends faster on a classic car. Not only will repairs and upgrades be more expensive, the quality of the vehicle will be different. $25,000 spends differently on a new or lightly used car versus spending it on a classic car.

First-generation Broncos were designed over 50 years ago and built with parts that now over 40-years-old. Cars and trucks made half-a-century ago weren’t built for the way we use vehicles today. An antique Bronco was never supposed to be a worry-free daily driver, and likely won’t be one for you without a six-figure investment.

They’re amazing toys worth showing off to the entire world, and we love them to death, but turning a 1970 Ford Bronco into something you can commute 30 miles to and from work each day will be a challenge, and an expensive one.

Condition

The body of your Bronco has to be in incredible shape. A couple dents and a little rust will cost you thousands if not more. You need to know the shape of the body, if and where there’s rust, and any other details of its history you can get your hands on in order to make an informed decision.

Seating

Most first-generation Broncos were two-seaters and didn’t come standard with seat belts. Both should be part of the Bronco you purchase, or at the very least, they need to be in the plans when you have it restored.

Transmission

Stock transmissions in first-generation Broncos were 3-speed, meaning your max speed is around 55 MPH. If possible, you want an overdrive transmission to make it perform closer to a more modern vehicle.

The cost of repairs

When dealing with any classic car, replacement parts come at a premium, and so does bodywork.

Turnaround time

Restoring a classic car takes hundreds of man hours, tens of thousands of dollars in parts, and a lot of time. If you plan on having a Bronco restored or built from scratch, work with your shop to get an accurate assessment of when the build will be completed. If you don’t want to wait six months or even a year or two for the restored beast of your dreams, you may need to look at what’s already available on the market to get it on the road as quickly as possible. Here’s what we have in our inventory today.

Who has worked on it

To most people and even to most shops, Ford Broncos are rarely seen or worked on. Broncos have been in the Maxlider family since 1966. We can tell you from experience that who has worked on a Bronco (shop and/or mechanic) makes a significant impact in its durability and value.

Maxlider has three Master Level Technicians on staff, two of which who are also Ford Certified Master Level Senior Technicians. We also know Broncos better than anyone else, and while there are plenty of great Broncos out there that we haven’t worked on, who has worked on the Bronco you’re planning on purchasing matters!

The difference a generation makes

Each generation of Ford Bronco packs a different punch. From body style to transmission to the engine, there were many changes from generation to generation. Make sure to research the differences in Ford Broncos before choosing the specific year or generation you plan to buy. If choosing based on the body style, which many people do because of the timeless body style of the first-generation Bronco, know exactly what you’re getting into.

Sometimes being risky is fun, but not when you’re looking to invest in a Ford Bronco. Let Maxlider help with your search. Call us today at 331-308-BROS (2767).

Buying a Classic Ford Bronco? 5 Questions to Ask

By Maxlider’s Erik Maxlider 

“I have a 1966 Ford Bronco I’m trying to get rid of, are you interested?”

Even after buying, selling, building, and restoring hundreds of Ford Broncos, each time I hear from a seller or track down what looks to be a perfect Bronco to restore, I get excited. I’m like a kid at Christmas ready to open his first present, but I’m also cautious because I’ve had my heart broken before. We’ve all gotten a pair of socks or bedsheets when we were expecting a monster truck or BB gun.

As a business owner and someone who makes a living off of buying, restoring, and selling Ford Broncos, I have to use our time and money wisely. I have to make sure that present is worth opening before getting out my box cutter. So when we get a call about a Bronco for sale, I always ask these five questions, which you should ask too if looking for a Bronco worth buying:

#1. Do you know where it’s spent most of it’s life?

Where any car, especially those over 25-years-old, has lived is the very first question you should ask. The most expensive aspect of restoring an original Bronco is repairing body damage, rust, and rot before it can be repainted and reassembled. For any vehicle in the north, midwest, or northeast, a rusted out body is almost a certainty due to damage caused by salt used to break up snow and ice during the winter.

While we’re based in the heart of Illinois, Maxlider looks for vehicles from the south and southwest. If you are considering buying a classic car that has lived in a region with snow, proceed with caution.

#2. Does it have rust? If so, where?

First generation Ford Broncos are at the very least 40-years-old. Rust isn’t always a deal-breaker, but where the rust is located might be. Rust on the door post or rear quarter panel is almost always a death sentence for the body of a Bronco, and it goes from restorable to scrap metal.

#3. What’s the history of the engine, and can you document it?

Getting an accurate history and documentation of an antique engine is as difficult as it is important — very. Outside of asking for the number of miles on an engine, I ask if it’s rebuilt and what their definition of “rebuilt” is.

A properly rebuilt engine is one that’s taken down to the block, which needs to be measured, retreated, and built back up. Having any and all records of what’s been done to the vehicle and the engine adds value to it, and also gives you more information to go on when making a decision whether to buy or pass.

#4. What type of SBT?

Three aspects of a Bronco that all play into their desirability and value are the steering, brakes, and transmission.

  • Steering: Classic Ford Broncos can have either manual or power steering. The preferred option is power steering.
  • Brakes: Does it have manual or power brakes? If they are power, are they disc brakes? We recommend having at least front disc brakes for safety.
  • Transmission: While rare to find, automatic transmissions are what people are looking for in a Bronco. If the transmission is stock, it’s a 3-speed transmission (even if it’s automatic) that will allow the Bronco to go around 55 MPH.

#5. Do ALL the VIN numbers match, and can you prove it?

Ford Broncos are like precious babies to me. If I’m buying a baby, I want to know it’s social security number, name, and food allergies. I want to know the Broncos VIN, which is in several different places; the frame (two spots on the frame contain the VIN), glovebox, and on the title with the frame being the dominant VIN. Before buying, I want proof that all of the VIN numbers match.

Have a question for Maxlider Brothers Customs? We’re your Bronco experts and happy to answer any and all of your questions. Submit your questions here, and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for pics, news, and updates!

10 Frequently Asked Ford Bronco Questions and Answers

 

1977 Ford Bronco Brittany Blue

1977 Ford Bronco Brittany Blue

 

 

With the Ford Bronco market hotter than ever, Maxlider Brothers Customs receives 75-100 text messages, emails, and phone calls every day.

We’re very thankful for our customers, fans, and followers and we try to answer every question and respond to every social media comment within a few hours. To help answer your questions, we have launched a new “Ask Your Question” page (submit your questions here).

Out of the many questions we receive, several come up on a regular basis, so we decided to discuss the most frequently asked questions about classic Ford Broncos in this post.

  •     What should I know before buying a classic Ford Bronco?

You should talk with us before buying a Ford Bronco. Believe it or not, I’ve talked people out of getting a Bronco because after talking with them, it became clear that they would get more out of a different vehicle.

Maxlider works with Broncos of all years, but the hottest models are the first generation, which were made in 1966-1977. These are classic cars that weren’t built and don’t drive the same way a new or used car will. They are also not known for being daily drivers and should be kept away from winters in the Midwest and Northeast at all costs. Where there’s snow, there’s salt. And where there’s salt, there will be rust.

  •     Can a first-generation Ford Bronco be a daily driver?

The short answer is yes, it’s possible.

The full truth is that it’s hard to predict if an older Bronco will hold up as a daily driver without extensive modifications and a lot of quality work put into it. This design is 50-years-old, and the parts have gone through over 40 years of wear and tear. Not all vehicles from this area were built to be daily drivers, including the Bronco. These were built to be fun off-road vehicles, not something you would drive back and forth to work five days a week.

Each Bronco is also an inconsistent mystery. The level of craftsmanship that went into each Bronco during production varied greatly, and so does how the vehicle has held up in the five decades since. So while it’s possible that your 1966-1977 Bronco can become a daily driver if given the right care and updated to fit how you plan to use it, there’s significantly greater risk that it won’t be a daily driver than a new SUV fresh off the lot.

  •     What can I get for $25,000?

The classic car market, whether looking to get a Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, or Ford Mustang, is much different than the traditional “new and used” car market at local dealerships.

Spending $25K at a dealership will get you a new or lightly used Ford Mustang made in the last ten years. It will be a great car and an instant daily driver.

A $25,000 first generation Bronco will be limited on options, likely show some wear, and almost assuredly have a 3-speed transmission. It also may lack the durability required to be a daily driver. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with a $25,000 Bronco, but the time (man hours) and cost of parts needed to fully modify and customize a 50-year-old Bronco can range from $75,000 – $125,000.

We do have great Broncos available for $25,000 and under, but to make it one-of-a-kind and fully customized, similar to the Broncos you will see at SEMA in Las Vegas, you’ll need a bigger budget. Check out what Maxlider currently has for sale here.

  •     Do they have a back seat?

We’ve come accustomed to having vehicles with room for four people or more. For those of us with large families, we can’t even dream of buying a two-seater because our kids would be fighting it out for who gets to ride along and who stays behind.

Things were different in the mid-60’s, and many of the early Ford Broncos were produced with only two front bucket seats. When purchasing an old Bronco to restore or modify, one of our top priorities is putting a back seat in it.

  •     Do they have seat belts?

Seat belts, similar to backseats, were not standard in early Broncos. To be street legal, federal law requires any vehicle made in 1966 or after, to have seatbelts. On the state level, the laws vary. In the Broncos we modify and restore, we check for and install seat belts in both the front bucket seats and seats in the back.

  •     Do any Ford Broncos have 4 doors?

Ford did not manufacture 4-door Broncos. To our knowledge, under a dozen have ever been created by enthusiasts and shops. In 2016, we began creating the 4 Horseman — our own 4-door Ford Bronco that we believe will be the best conceived and executed version yet, built on a 1966 frame. The finished 4 Horseman will be available to view at SEMA 2017.

  •    Are they available with an automatic transmission?

Classic Ford Broncos came standard with 3-speed transmissions, and most were manual. Even if you’re used to driving a stick shift, Broncos, and many classic car makes, handle differently than the manual transmissions we’re used to driving today. There are first generation Ford Broncos with automatic transmissions, but they are rare, and when we get them in they fly out of the door. One of the first questions we get when we post a picture of one of our vehicles online and someone sees one in person is, “Is it automatic?”

  •     How fast can you get me a Ford Bronco?

What’s your budget and what are you looking for? We have Broncos available now in different price ranges. See our inventory here. To make sure you end up in the right vehicle, please contact us first at 331-308-BROS (2767).

  •     How fast can they go?

The first-generation Ford Bronco (1966-1977) has a 3-speed transmission that maxes out at around 55 MPH. If you’re looking to customize your Bronco, you can replace the 3-speed transmission with a 5-speed, but there’s additional work required in addition to the cost of the transmission.

  •     How do you value a Bronco?

The value largely depends on the quality of the metal because of how expensive rust repair is and the impact the body has on the overall quality of the vehicle. If the body doesn’t hold up, all you have is a heap of shiny parts. Outside of the body, the value is determined by the market and the cost of the parts and labor to customize a Bronco to a buyer’s preferences.

What question would you like answered? Submit your question here.

2020 Vision: How the Classic Ford Bronco Market Will Change Leading Up To The New Model

The Maxlider family has had its hands on Ford Broncos since their introduction in 1966. We’ve seen changes in the market for Broncos, from new generations and body styles to the infamy of the OJ Simpson car chase, to new competitors popping up and folding along the way. As interest and sales in Broncos declined in the mid-1990’s, the Bronco was discontinued in 1996.

The Bronco disappeared and was rarely discussed, even among car enthusiasts, outside of a core group of Bronco enthusiasts. But in 2004, Ford hit us with a curveball out of nowhere by debuting a prototype of a brand new Ford Bronco. The prototype was stunning, and although there was very little said from Ford about the potential return of the Bronco, people went nuts. Suddenly, there was new interest in the older Ford Broncos and rumors and speculation about their return. The 2004 prototype never became more than a showroom model, but this spark lit the market on fire and that flame lasted well over a decade.

Source: cardesignnews.com

Rumors continued for the next ten years without anything to show for it until Ford officially announced that the Bronco would return in 2020 with production beginning in 2018. Seemingly every day since, we get questions about the new model, from what it will look like to how this will impact our business as a specialty Ford Bronco shop. To put it simply, we’re ecstatic, and think the Bronco market is in for another massive change.

How the Ford Bronco Market Will Change with the Release of the New Model

The original, first-generation Ford Bronco is not an easy vehicle to find compared to popular cars from this era. For example, take the Ford Mustang. In 1966, the third year Ford produced the first-generation Ford Mustang, just over 600,000 were built and sold. For the entire run of the initial Bronco (1966-1977), there was a total of 230,800 manufactured. Of those, we believe around 150,000 still exist.

With new interest in the model and how new cars are produced and sold in today’s market, we believe as many as 75,000 could be sold in the first year alone, equaling half of the existing first-generation Broncos. This huge addition to the Ford Bronco market will temporarily decrease demand in restored and modified Broncos, but two things will happen in about a year’s time:

  1. Car enthusiasts and new Bronco fans will look to set themselves apart, many of whom will look at older models.
  2. The aftermarket for Ford Bronco parts will absolutely explode.

Both of these are great for business, and I’m personally really excited to see what the new model looks like. The classic Bronco market exists because people rightfully love these uniquely beautiful beasts, and that’s one thing that won’t change when the 2020 Bronco is released. If anything, it will bring people closer to their classic Broncos, and we’ll be here to help.

Stay tuned for our predictions on what the new model will include and what it will look like, and call us today if you want to learn more about what we’re doing at Maxlider at 331-308-BROS (2767).

related post:  New 2020 Ford Bronco

Did You See Us? Maxlider in “Fill Your Cart with Color” National eBay Ad Campaign & eBay Motors Blog

Maxlider in National eBay Ad

Did you see us? Maxlider Brothers Customs, your favorite custom hot-rod shop, was recently featured in the national eBay “Fill Your Cart with Color” ad campaign.

Thirty-four seconds into the ad, which shows companies with a personality that sell on eBay, you can see Maxlider’s Erik yelling into the camera as a modified 1969 Ford Bronco LUBR peels out of our shop here in Bloomington, IL.

Our one second of national air time didn’t go unnoticed. Since the ad first aired back in June, we’ve received questions, social media comments, emails, and texts about the ad every day. We want to thank all of you who saw the ad and reached out to us. Your support makes our amazingly fun work even better.

We were first approached about the ad by eBay’s Talent Agency. They wanted to represent eBay Motors in the ad with a clip that really stood out, and they thought we could deliver that. It didn’t take long to come up with the idea and shoot the quick video. Out of thousands of clips, they added ours alongside other colorful snapshots of companies from around the world. “This is how these real enthusiasts from different parts of our country — who are featured in our new TV ad — are bringing color to the world in their own ways,” said eBay’s Hal Lawton.

1970 Ford Bronco Murder Bronco Flat Black

1970 Ford Bronco Murder Bronco Flat Black

Maxlider Brothers followers tune into our Instagram and Facebook pages each day because they connect with how much color, personality, and energy we put into our custom builds. Our purpose as a company is to help people create memories with their families that last a lifetime, and we just happen to love what we’re doing at the same time. And being recognized and having others interested in what we do and how passionate we are about it is truly an honor and a blessing.

In late July, we were also featured in the popular eBay Motors Blog. The article, Maxlider Brothers Customs: A Business Built on Passion for Ford Broncos, took a look at our crazy journey over the past four years, which has included moving more than 300 vehicles through our shop.

Our next big adventure will be the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, which is just around the corner. Our team is finishing The Four Horsemen–our custom 4-door Ford Bronco that you can see at the show October 31 – November 3.

Follow our colorful work here at MaxliderBros.com, and by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

The New 2020 Ford Bronco: 8 Predictions from Maxlider Brothers Customs

When the new Ford Bronco was confirmed in 2016, our phone started ringing, and it hasn’t stopped. We’ve been getting calls, emails, texts, and questions on social media all asking us for our thoughts and predictions on the new Bronco.

While excitement for the new model is high, Ford has been quiet. Finding official information about the new model is like looking for a needle in a haystack that somebody forgot to hide.

When reconfirming that the new Ford Bronco would start production in 2018, both online and in-person at the Detroit Auto Show, only a logo and stock image were released, leaving Bronco fans everywhere hungry for more.

Here’s what we know for sure about the new Bronco:

  • The new 2020 Ford Bronco will be a mid-sized, off-road, body-on-frame, 4×4.
  • It will be built in the U.S. at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, and production will start in 2018.
  • According to Ford’s Executive Vice President Joe Hinrichs, the new Bronco will be “capable of conquering everything from your daily commute to gravel roads and boulders,” and will have the “space and versatility of an SUV.”
  • Raj Nair, Ford’s Product Development Chief, reports it will share its frame with the Ranger pickup that is debuting with a 2019 model.

Maxlider’s 2020 new Ford Bronco Predictions

new 2020 Ford Bronco

Based on our passion, obsession, and experience with Ford Broncos, here are eight things Maxlider Brothers Customs believes will come along with the newly designed Ford Bronco:

  • Classic-Inspired Body

Maxlider’s Kris Maxlider strongly believes that the new Bronco will pay tribute to the first-generation body, much like the 2004 Ford Bronco prototype. We believe and hope that Ford modernizes the classic look rather than trying to adapt the Bronco to mirror the style of the successful Ford Raptor pickup.

If you look at the evolution of the Jeep Wrangler over the past fifty years, it has hardly changed due to its popular and classic style. I’m fairly confident that Ford will not shock us with a completely futuristic design that looks nothing like the original. After all, why bring back the Bronco if you’re not bringing back the Bronco!

  • Solid Front and Rear Axles

The new Ford Bronco is very likely to have solid front and rear axles, giving it better off-road performance. The first-generation Bronco (1966-1977) had a solid front axle, but in 1980, they switched to an independent front axle.

Axle manufacturer Dana recently announced that they will produce the front and rear axles for both the new 2019 Ford Ranger and the new Bronco, featuring their AdvanTEK gear technology, which almost assuredly means that both front and rear axles will be solid.

  • EcoBoost V6 Engine

In just a few years, the EcoBoost engine has forever changed how power is taken from the engine to the road.  Ford’s twin turbocharged V6 blows away every traditional V8 engine and is more eco-friendly. Expect Ford to offer V4 and V6 EcoBoost engines in the new Ford Bronco.

  • 4-Door Option

The new Ford Bronco will try to capture a large chunk of the market currently dominated by the Jeep Wrangler. Due to the success of the 4-door Wrangler, and the change in how we use off-road vehicles today compared to 50 years ago, expect Ford to offer a 4-door option. This may not be available the first year, but we’d be very surprised if there was not a 4-door Bronco by or before 2022.

  • Aluminum Body

From pickups to the new Jeep Wranglers, we’re seeing an industry-wide shift to aluminum. We fully expect the new generation Bronco to have an aluminum body.

  • Removable Hard-Top

Like the original 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster, we believe the new model will also have a removable hard-top. The “snap-out” roof panels will bring back the roadster look. This rumor, also believed by others, is another reason we think the new Bronco will pay tribute to the original body style.

  • Removable Doors

Also like the original Roadster model, we predict the new build will come with removable doors. This will be just one of many customization options available on a vehicle that’s being built to compete with the most customized car or truck in the world — the Jeep Wrangler.

  • Lay the Groundwork for a Massive Customization Aftermarket

You don’t drive a Ford Bronco to fit in; you drive a Bronco to stand out. The prediction that we’re the most sure of in regards to the new Bronco is that the aftermarket for Ford Bronco parts and equipment will absolutely explode shortly after its release. After the market is filled with tens of thousands of new Ford Broncos, their owners will modify them to stand apart.

View the Maxlider Brothers Customs inventory here to find the hot rod of your dreams today!