Even though Ford recently announced when we'll see the all-new Bronco, and even showed us the Bronco R Baja racing prototype earlier this week, it doesn't mean the Blue Oval is done making Bronco news at SEMA 2019. The icing on top of the bucking Bronco cake is what you're seeing here: Jay Leno's 1968 Ford Bronco restomod.
Originally a gift from fellow late-night comedian Craig Ferguson, Leno kept the Bronco unrestored in his garage throughout the years. Needless to say, when Ferguson gifted it to Leno he didn't exactly understand how desirable and how in-demand that generation Bronco would eventually be.
Fast forward several years to 2019, and the gifted Bronco is no longer stock. Under the hood is Ford's 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine plucked directly from the 2020 Shelby GT500, which sends its power to all four wheels via a Tremec TR-4050 five-speed manual transmission. The upgrade list is extensive, and it includes brakes from Wilwood and Fox performance bypass shocks to handle on- and off-road driving.
Sadly, Ford made sure to not quote a horsepower rating on its press release, but in the new GT500 that same engine produces 760 horsepower. Furthermore, the Bronco is painted in "Tonight Blue" Envirobase paint from PPG.
“The Bronco was bought to use on the farm or to take your date to the prom and was comfortable in any of these environments," said Leno. "The idea of having a classic Bronco upgraded with modern handling, performance and braking really makes it the best of both worlds.”
What started out as a prank gift from one late-night comedian to another has turned into an incredible project from one of the most recognized celebrities in America. It also shows that there is potential for more projects like this to include that 5.2-liter engine from the new GT500. And while we'd love to see it in the F-150 Raptor, Ford will most likely stuff it in an EcoSport for an auto show one-off.