Getting a major manufacturer’s permission to build licensed models they no longer make is near impossible. Companies like Superformance are the only outfit with proper licensing – and the official blessing of Carroll Shelby – to develop Cobras and the GT40. Meanwhile, Porsche still makes Singer Vehicle Design jump through hoops to avoid trademark infringements and barely recognizes the brand’s existence. Which is why Gateway Bronco inking a deal with Ford to build, recreate and resto-mod 1966 and 1977 Broncos all the more amazing.
Gateway Bronco started back in 2016, but this new licensing agreement strengthens the bond between the small builder and the big manufacturer. Gateway Bronco offers three models. Each commission starts with a donor car which then goes through a frame off restoration before being rebuilt using modern components to defend against rust (something early Broncos suffered from, horribly). Each receives an updated chassis and suspension tunes to improve the ride both on and off-road.
The ‘entry-level’ model, called Fuelie, goes for $120,000. It gets a 347 Stroker V8 up front, either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission and a classic leather interior; customers can choose between classic or cut fenders. The $150,000 Coyote Edition offers much of the same but instead of the big carbureted Stroker, you get a modern 5.0-liter V8 from the Mustang. Go one more step up the ladder to the $180,000 Modern Day Warrior trim and the six-speed transmission from the Ford Raptor handles gear shifts.
If you desperately want a vintage Bronco, there are plenty of examples out there that come in way below $120,000. However, you can bet those used and restored Broncos don’t come with full support from Ford, from which Gateway now benefits. Even as we await the impending release of a new Bronco, it’s nice to see Ford recognizing enthusiasts supporting the classics.