DiscoverBring Back Bronco: The Untold Story
Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story

Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story

Author: Ford Motor Company

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This is the story of a truck and the story of a country. The Ford Bronco is one of the most beloved brands in American automotive history. But when the last one rolled off the assembly line in Wayne, Michigan on June 12th, 1996, it was the end of the brand, and the start of a lot of questions.

Sonari Glinton goes on the road trip of a lifetime to find out why Ford killed the Bronco and meets the passionate fans and team of Ford employees who went underground to bring it back.

This 8-part serial is a fifty-year odyssey of blood, sweat, and dirt. It takes you from the dizzying heights of the post-war boom, to the most watched police chase in American television history and this year’s rebirth of the Bronco.
9 Episodes
The rise, fall, and rebirth of the Ford Bronco is a metaphor for the last 50 years in America. The boxy little 4x4 represents the arc of American history dating back to the 1960’s. The emergence of the Bronco really lines up with a whole new era of America. You've got the baby boomer generation coming into their own, you've got the women's liberation movement, you've got the civil rights movement. All of these things are sort of happening in the 1960s. In the 1970’s the Bronco was unapologetically big and boisterous. Then in the 1990’s OJ Simpson and the Slow White Bronco Chase transformed the brand from rugged… to notorious. Then suddenly… it disappeared. Fans never got answers as to why. So that’s what we are going to find out. But the Bronco didn’t die – it just went ‘underground.’ It became the obsession of a select group of mercenaries inside Ford that fought and schemed their way through the bureaucratic maze, to keep the dream alive. It was an uphill struggle that would take almost 20 years. Join us on this wild ride. An 8-part serial uncovering 50 years of blood, sweat, and dirt. This is Bring Back Bronco – the untold story.
Who is the father of the Bronco?More than any other product, cars reflect the state of the world at the time they’re created. Think about it. You can look at a car from the 1950’s, with its giant fins and oversized engine, and know a lot about that time in history. Likewise, a fuel efficient, aerodynamic compact car will convey information about the 1980’s. So, what does the Bronco tell us about 1966, the year it was officially released?We go back to 1963 the year of the first sketch and ask the question, “What problem was the Bronco built to solve?” Why did WW2 veterans clamor for the first run of Broncos?The Bronco was created to be a truck you can take off-roading in the morning and drive to the opera in at night. It was a hybrid of rugged freedom, and practical quality. But getting it from a design sketch book to a dealership lot, took sacrifice and bravery.But who gets the gold star? Who was the person that gave the go ahead to actually start building Broncos?For more information on the Bronco's early years, check out 
Was the Bronco built for a good time? Or a long time?In every crime show, there’s a period of time early in the story where everything seems to be fine, but there’s also an underlying feeling of dread. You feel like something bad is going to happen, even though there’s no obvious sign of it. For the Ford Bronco, that’s 1967.The first decade of the Bronco is a study in contrasts. The brand was popular, but sales were low. Ford wanted to own the segment, but never updated the vehicle. In the wake of the 1972 oil crisis, customers were demanding more fuel-efficient vehicles, yet the Bronco was losing market share to a bigger, more powerful competitor. This leads many to wonder if the Bronco can survive.Are these just bumps in the road? Or is this the beginning of the end?For more details on the obstacles the Bronco faced check out
Who killed the Bronco?In the third episode of this series the Bronco moves into middle age. This is the decade that it starts taking a series of body blows. There is increased competition from other carmakers, and complacency within Ford.In the 1990’s the Bronco hit the national headlines for two completely different but equally horrific reasons: The Bronco II rollover controversy, and the OJ Simpson highway chase.The smaller, more nimble Bronco II was built to be fuel efficient and save drivers a lot of money at the pumps… but it ended up costing Ford at least hundreds of millions in the courts.Meanwhile the infamous Slow White Bronco highway chase connected the brand to a violent muder case and issues of race and justice. Did OJ Simpson kill the Bronco?Sonari Glinton looks at the chase from the side of the highway as the Bronco drives past… then checks in with Bronco fans from a parts warehouse in Michigan, and a high school cafeteria in South Carolina.for more info:
What was happening inside Ford that night?The OJ Simpson chase happened more than 25 years ago, and yet there are still a lot of questions about its impact. For the first time ever we take you inside Ford to discover what was happening that night: Inside a Ford factory, Inside the Ford Call Center, and inside the Chairman’s office. It’s all in an effort to answer the question, “Why did Ford kill the Bronco?”It turns out there is one suspect no one ever considered: A group of people that had nothing to do with the Bronco during its first two decades. Is it possible that the biggest threat the Bronco would face during its incredible run would be….. Millennials?for more info:
If you love something enough can you bring it back to life?Ford is a giant company and trying to get them to bring back the Bronco is not going to be easy. There are two groups working towards that end. On the outside, there are dedicated fans and owners around the country. They meet on weekends, drive the back-country trails, and dream of a new Bronco. On the inside, there is a handful of Ford employees scattered around the corporation working secretly to create the conditions for a rebirth.Sonari Glinton uncovers the final resting place of a concept car that went nowhere, and discovers a series of full-size clay models that were never before seen publicly.But will it all be enough to bring back Bronco?for more info:
Will Millennials buy a Bronco?It’s 2004 and Millennials are poised to become the biggest car buying segment in America. Ford knows they need a product for them, but what do they want?Armed with that information, the Bronco Underground creates a business case and production plan for a new off-road vehicle. It’s affordable, rugged, and stylish – Everything this booming demographic wants. All the Underground needs is approval from Ford’s council of the vice-presidents.Is this the opportunity they’ve been waiting for?for more info:
Is this really it?After three attempts over 15 years, the Bronco Underground is on the verge of giving up. Then outside market forces suddenly turn in their favour. America’s love affair with the SUV is pushing small cars out of production and that opens up an opportunity for the Bronco.But make no mistake, it isn’t going to be easy. Bronco had been out of the market for more than 20 years and this is its last chance.What Can the Bronco Underground learn from Jeep -- about what the off-road market really wants?for more info:
What does ‘Success’ look like?Studio “S” is a legendary room in Ford’s design building in Dearborn, Michigan.. This creative laboratory gave birth to the Thunderbird, the Mustang and even the original Bronco. Today it is filled with full size clay models of the new Bronco. Sonari Glinton is granted access to this most secretive of rooms and discovers the incredible lengths being taken to honor the past and inspire the future.But who are they building for? Middle aged men in Tennessee? Or young women in California? Can one Bronco satisfy everyone?for more info: