Podcast

'Bring Back Bronco' podcast tells the historic inside story of the Ford Bronco

A new podcast sheds light on the history of the Ford Bronco

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Have you heard? Ford has brought back the Bronco. At this point, if you haven't heard, you must be living under a rock.

Starting August 10, Ford will begin telling the story of the Bronco, old and new, as part of its "Bring Back Bronco" podcast. The eight-episode series is hosted by former National Public Radio transportation and economics correspondent Sonari Glinton.

"This project was of special interest to me for several reasons, including the fact that my mother worked for Ford for many years and I worked on a Ford assembly line before I went into radio and reporting," said Glinton, who is now a principal at DeLite Media. "Plus, I think you can really tell the story of America when you dig deep and tell the story of a product, and I have always wanted to do that."

1966 Ford Bronco The new Ford Bronco. features similar takes on design and capability. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The episodes will cover the birth of the model, whose iconic proportions were conceived by Ford's first African-American designer, through the Bronco II, the notorious Bronco chase through Los Angeles, and right up to the model's original demise. Further, the podcast will explore how a dedicated group of employees called the "Bronco Underground" pushed for two decades to get the new version made.

"The Bronco is an iconic vehicle, with an unusual history of twists and turns, ascents and descents," said Ford Chief Communications Officer Mark Truby. "It demands a fresh storytelling approach to shed light on what makes it special and so compelling to its huge fan base, as well as for new fans who will discover the rich history along with the new Broncos."

The podcast will also explore the shifts in car culture, social politics, and the transformation of Detroit. Guest storyteller and Detroit history expert Bailey Sisoy-Moore adds insights to the information.

2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport The Bronco family now consists of three models - the two- and four-door Bronco and the Bronco Sport. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Bronco is on a very short list of American vehicles that provide a true lens through which you can view the changes in the fabric of America," said Truby.

The podcast has been produced by Pacific Content in conjunction with GTB.

It's eight episodes will be released bi-weekly. Interested enthusiasts can listen to the trailer below.

"Bring Back Bronco" is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and everywhere listeners find their favorite podcasts. The eight episodes, as well as bonus content, including historic photos, documents, early sketches of the original Bronco and of the 2021 Broncos, as well as oral histories from Ford employees and Broncophiles–will also be found at broncopodcast.ford.com beginning August 10.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Ford Ranger is the company's midsize truck option.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Before there was the modern midsize Ford Ranger, there was the Ford F-100 and F-250 Ranger. It debuted as an option name on the fourth-generation F-Series. That first variant, a name given to models with bucket seats in 1965 and 1966, featured a curtain over the gas tank, which was located behind the seats in the cab. Fancy!

Before Ford even know if the bucket seats were a success, they already had bigger ideas for the Ranger name. In 1965, Ranger received its own place in a larger document requesting approval for the name of the a new member of the Bronco family. In the brief, prepared for members of the Ford Engineering and Product Planning Committee on August 9, 1965, Ford executives learned of the proposed details for the 1967 F-Series Ranger - details that would make it an upgraded version rather than just a bucket seat model.

In its archives, Ford has a copy of the memo that approved the Ranger name for use and shows the other options the company considered.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It was proposed that the '67 F-Series Ranger would have a chrome front bumper, bright grille, bright headlamp doors, and bright reveal moulding. On the sides there would be bright rocker and wheel opening moulding, bright hub caps, bright ornament, and bright drop moulding. Details at the rear would continue the trend. There, Ford put bright backlite moulding, bright taillight moulding and tailgate handle, and bright tail light bezels.

Pleated vinyl seat trim, matching door trim panels, bright headlining moulding, custom instrument cluster, cigar lighter, horn ring, instrument panel moulding and plaque, and carpet would be unique in the cabin.

The nomenclature and trim level were approved for the fifth-generation F-100/F-250 and the rest, they say, is history.

The 1975 Ford F-150 Ranger XLT trim level added a level of refinement to the workman's truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Before you get too hung up on thinking about how far Ford has come since then, think about what might have been. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker considered 10 other names for the Ranger as part the trim level's development process, which is documented in the brief. Scroll down to see the full list, including one name that currently is taken by a different Ford vehicle.

Centurian

Ford didn't use Centurian but Buick did, albeit for a brief period. From 1971 to 1973, the Buick Centurian sat between the LeSabre and Electra in the lineup. Before that, Buick used the name on a concept car that was presented at the 1956 General Motors Motorama. That model now resides at the Sloan Museum, which is part of the Flint Cultural Center in Flint, Michigan.

Explorer

2020 Ford Explorer Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford passed on the Explorer name for its truck, but the Explorer would still become a part of the Ford family. The Ford Explorer debuted in 1991 as a replacement for the two-door Bronco II. It's currently one of the best-selling SUVs in the country.

Constellation

So far, no automaker has used the word constellation on a car, truck, van, or SUV. The closest may be the word subaru, which is the Japanese word for Pleiades, the name of a small cluster of stars northwest of the constellation Taurus. The Subaru brand logo has six stars in it - one for each of the stars in the Pleiades cluster.

Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Well, we all know who ended up with the Highlander name. The popular Toyota Highlander three-row SUV is one of the best-selling SUVs currently available for sale. It's been a top choice for decades now, with a long list of family-friendly features. Toyota completely redesigned the model for the 2020 model year.

Coronado

The Coronado name sure gets around. Well, it used to. These days, most of the brands it was linked to in the early and mid-1900s are defunct. Chrysler used to use the term to describe mid-year cars that came out in the spring with refinements to drive sales, halfway through a model year.

The Plymouth Coronado was a run of extended wheelbase eight-passenger sedans made in Belgium. They were built using the body of the Plymouth Belvedere with the middle cut open and extended to seat eight.

DeSote used the Coronado name to denote a trim level on its 1954 Firedome and 1955 Fireflite cars.

Plymouth Valiant cars were sold with Coronado branding for years in South America and Australia.

Diplomat

1978 Dodge Diplomat

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge originally employed it on a two-door hardtop model from 1950 to 1954. From 1946 to 1961, DeSoto used the name on models it exported. In the mid 70s, the Royal Monaco was available in a Diplomat trim level.

From 1977 to 1989 the Dodge Diplomat used the name that was rejected by the Ford team. It was a rebadged version of the Plymouth Gran Fury. The Gran Fury became popular as a police car while the Diplomat preferred to live as an upmarket alternative to the Dodge Aspen.

Gran Luxe

Gran luxe roughly translates to big luxury. Perhaps somewhat shockingly, with all the Gran Sport, Gran Turismo, and Gran Coupe models that have come and gone over the years, Gran Luxe has never made it onto a vehicle. It does feel a bit like Maserati would be the natural choice for its home now through.

Sovereign

The Sovereign name was used by Daimler for rebadged Jaguars from 1966 to 1983. Daimler Sovereigns were built from various generations of the Jaguar XJ and was available in a variety of body styles.

Regal

2018 Buick Regal

Photo courtesy of Buick

Ah yes, the Buick Regal. The Regal was recently discontinued by Buick in North America but up until the late 2010s it was a formidable choice for Baby Boomers looking for a comfortable ride. The Regal nameplate was first introduced by Buick in 1973. The Regal lives on in China where it recently underwent a mid-cycle update.

Westerner

Over the years, the Westerner name has been given to a few models. The Nash Metropolitan Westerner was displayed at auto shows across the western U.S. in 1961 and 1962 as a show car. It features a Palomino Beige Pearlescent paint job and California saddle leather upholstery.

For the 1967 model year, AMC sold a number of specialty wagons that were designed to appeal to specific parts of the country where they were sold. The limited edition luxury AMC Rambler Rebel Westerner featured a Frost White paint job, wood plank body side inserts and tailgate, a "Pony Express" medallion, and Stallion Brown and White Antelope vinyl upholstery that was paired with "richly tooled" leather on the seats and door panels. Buyers could only purchase theirs from dealerships west of the Mississippi River.

F-100/250 Ranger Nomenclature Alternatives

Exhibit II of the document shown at the top of this article reveals a list of the alternate names considered for the Ranger.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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The navigation in the forthcoming versions of the F-150 and Bronco employs a combination of Telennav and Ford technology.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

You May, but your Ford F-150 or Bronco will not get lost on the trail. That's thanks to the automaker's partnership with Telenav, which powers the navigation technologies inside the new versions of the two iconic vehicles.

The SYNC 4 system that will be in the two vehicles will include the Telenav system, which includes specialized route suggestions for towing and off-roading. The two systems, working in tandem, will store maps and continue routing even when drivers go outside of cell coverage.

Ford SYNC 4 Navigation The system also lets drivers know of hazards ahead.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"Customers want connected vehicle technologies to work more like smartphones with real-time, personalized services – and that is exactly what we are offering with Ford SYNC 4 innovations such as Telenav's navigation system," said Gary Jablonski, manager, Ford Connected Vehicle Infotainment Systems. "F-150 and Bronco drivers now can get richer, quicker location search results, tow more confidently with custom routes and keep following off-road trail maps where other navigation systems go dark when cell coverage ends."

The routing system also has specialized options for customers that are towing anything from a boat to a 4x4 to a camper and beyond. When determining a route for navigation, the system guides users to routes best suited for the dimensions of their trailer to help avoid sharp turns, narrow bridges and low overpasses. Off-road enthusiasts can navigate to and on many 4X4 trails across North America, with additional trail maps to be added over time.

During traditional vehicle usage, the mapping system will give F-150 and Bronco owners the latest maps for reliable, time-saving navigation and be capable of providing location information such as finding cheap and available parking or a well-reviewed restaurant to eat at along the way.

SYNC 4 doesn't rely on strictly touch screen inputs. Ford's digital voice assistance may be used for many of its features.

Additionally, SYNC 4 offers users the ability to see landmarks and their descriptions and user ratings from Yelp.

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