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1985 Ford Bronco- El Broncero

An El Camino/Bronco Hybrid

Phil Gordon
Feb 23, 2018
Photographers: Phil Gordon
The Ford Bronco was iconized in the widely broadcasted car chase of O.J. Simpson but was first produced in 1966 as an MPV (multipurpose vehicle) and predated the term SUV. In 1986, Tony Luther’s mom Michele purchased a brand-new Ford Bronco as the family’s daily vehicle. The Ford was used for anything and everything, from family vacations to school travel. It was even used to bring home Tony’s brothers from the hospital after birth. And Tony learned to drive for the first time in the Bronco! When he turned 16, the Ford Bronco was given to him as his first vehicle.
Photo 2/15   |   1985 Ford Bronco El Broncero
After Tony drove the Ford for a couple of years in its stock state, Michele surprised him with a new paintjob. “It wasn’t a full custom paintjob,” Tony tells Truckin, “but it was special nonetheless.” The motor on the Bronco was starting to deteriorate, leaking oil and wearing out, so with the help of a close friend, Tony rebuilt the engine. The next step was adding a lift kit for those rough Pennsylvania roads. The Ford was used for everyday life until 2006 when Tony wanted to head in a new direction.
Photo 3/15   |   1985 Ford Bronco El Broncero Engine
After starting his own lawn care and landscaping business, Tony decided to update his classic Ford. “Although I never really had a direction or purpose for the truck,” Tony adds, “it was a huge part of my life, going to prom, graduation, and even taking my now-wife on our first date.” The Bronco was in need of restoration, and Tony knew he wasn’t going to get rid of it, so he did the next best thing. After getting married and having his first child, Tony contacted RPM Hot Rods about the build.
The build stalled with RPM, so Tony took the Ford back home and got discouraged. Tony became frustrated because of all the money he’d already spent that hadn’t matched the progress. RPM’s lead fabricators, John Ortiz and Josh Hart, reached out and contacted Tony and told him they opened a new shop and would be honored to continue the build. They immediately got down to business doing all the bodywork and suspension work.
Photo 4/15   |   1985 Ford Bronco El Broncero Wheel
The Bronco was brought to Volker’s Auto Body to rough-in all the bodywork, door gaps, and final primer. The next stop was Smith’s Custom Interior, where the entire cabin was upholstered and upgraded. “I wanted to retain the stock appearance as much as possible, but it was a challenge. The rear seats had to be shortened because of the rear tubs, and the interior had to be done in weatherproof material because the Ford had no roof.” Motorcycle seat covering was used and marine-grade carpet was added in case Tony was caught in the rain. The YellowTop battery was added sideways and underneath the Ford to keep the engine compartment clean.
The Bronco was brought back to Volker’s for paintwork, and Thad Cunningham came in to custom paint all the Ford Bronco emblems. Josh Hart added the final touch to the truck by finding and installing a factory cassette player with JL Audio components hidden under the dash. The Bronco is just as old as Tony, they were both born in 1985, and he appreciates the era so much that he wanted to bring the now-classic Bronco back to life. Although Tony isn’t mechanically inclined, every last detail and addition was designed for his family’s enjoyment.
Photo 5/15   |   1985 Ford Bronco El Broncero Interior
Tony wishes to thank his mother, Michele Luther, for the surprise paintjob as well as for being the best mother. He also wishes to thank his wife and best friend, Doreen, for her support and encouragement as well as their two children, Brianna and Damian, who enjoy riding in the Bronco to Ritchey’s Ice Cream on those warm summer nights. A special thanks to Josh Hart, Joe, Al, and Neil for always having a great time and killer rides in El Broncero.

Inside the Build

Year/Make/Model: ’85 Ford Bronco
Owner and City/State: Tony Luther; Duncansville, Pennsylvania
Club Affiliation: Severed Ties petitioner
Front Suspension: RideTech shockwaves, Fatman Fabrications Mustang II front clip, Slam Specialties SS-6 bags
Rear Suspension: Slam Specialties SS-6 bags, four-link, Accuair E-Level with touchpad, done by Josh Hart of Hart Fab in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
Engine: 351 Windsor Comp Cam Xtreme energy cam/kit, Edelbrock air gap intake, Edelbrock 600-cfm carburetor, March Performance serpentine kit, Hooker headers, exhaust hand-built by Josh Hart, painted valve covers by Thad Cunningham in Duncansville, Pennsylvania
Transmission: Factory C4, four-wheel-drive transfer case removed, two-wheel-drive tail piece added, transmission built by Automatic Transmission Specialists in Altoona, Pennsylvania
Rearend: Ford 9-inch rear narrowed 5 inches by March Chassis in Bedford, Pennsylvania
Body/Paint: Narrowed and tucked front bumper; shaved front marker lights, door locks, drip rails, and wiper cowl; tailgate and bumper shaved and molded into one piece; front and rear wheel tubs and radiator support covers done by Josh Hart; PPG Enviro basecoat; Blue Jeans Metallic paint; bodywork and paint done by Jeff Volker of Volker’s Auto Body in Youngwood, Pennsylvania; Bronco and Ford emblems painted by Thad Cunningham of Icon Sign Company
Interior: Original bench seat, original rear bench cut 5.5 inches to fit between rear tubs, vinyl is Allante by Mellohide and suede inserts is charcoal micro suede, suede inserts to match all done by Kevin Smith of Smith Custom Interior in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania
Stereo: JL Audio MRT-RX Bluetooth hidden under dash, factory cassette installed in dash, JL Audio HX280/4 amplifier, JL Audio C5-650x 6.5-inch components
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x9; black and chrome Coys
Tires: 265/30R22, 285/35R22; Yokohama Parada



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