HomeCar CultureI don’t understand the prices being asked for old Ford Broncos

I don’t understand the prices being asked for old Ford Broncos

Can anyone explain why these vintage off-roaders have become so valuable?


In mid-March, I wrote a commentary headlined “I don’t understand the need for driving gloves: Do people wear them just to look cool, or do they enhance car control?” 

While I have nothing against such gloves, or against those who might wear them, I had never understood exactly why people would wear them, or why some driving gloves have full fingers and some have no fingers at all.

I asked for edification through the Comments section and was delighted — and educated — by the response.

So, I’m going to try it again, with a new topic: “I don’t understand the prices being asked for old Ford Broncos.” 

I’ve had this quandary for a few years now. Again, I have nothing against people who buy or sell vintage Ford Broncos, it’s just that I don’t understand the values being attached to them. And right up front, I’m excluding from this discussion vintage Broncos such as the 1974 Bronco that sold for $650,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January, a charity sale with all proceeds earmarked for Alzheimer’s research and care. 

But as early as January 2017, Bloomberg was reporting “your dad’s beater that once cost $2,400 is a highly coveted artifact” and that, if you wanted one, you better buy quickly while you still could find one for less than $100,000.

Seriously? Six figures for a Bronco? OK, sure, for one of the Broncos built and raced in Baja by Bill Stroppe, yes, certainly six figures. But for a vehicle that, as I recall, was inferior to the Jeep Wrangler, I’m mystified. 

I’m also a little worried. One possible explanation for vintage Bronco prices could be the anticipation of the Bronco revival. We’ve been through this before, folks. Remember the run up in early Thunderbird prices nearly two decades ago when Ford was tooling up a new Tbird?

But back to the Bronco… It’s not that Ford didn’t have 4×4 heritage, after all, it helped develop and produce the original Jeeps for the World War II war effort. But it wasn’t until the summer of 1965 that Ford rolled out a vehicle that, according to The Standard Catalog of 4x4s, was called by Ford division general manager Donald Frey (and remember, he had been one of the fathers of the new Ford Mustang) “as neither a car nor a truck, but as a vehicle which combines the best of both…”

Actually, wasn’t it the worst of both? Neither a car nor a truck, though it did have 4-wheel drive and the sort of ground clearance you might need for forest roads or trails across the desert. 

And that’s one reason for the high prices. Many of the old Broncos for sale have been restored and resto-modded with contemporary engines, updated suspension and comfortable interiors, and the price for such work adds up.

The original Bronco was in production for 30 years and several generations and in various forms — roadster, sports utility, (station) wagon, pickup truck. Over the years and generations, the vehicle grew, from its original 93-inch wheelbase to more than 104 inches from axle to axle. It also grew in other dimensions, for example, length, from 152.1 inches to 183.6.

In the spring of 1983, Ford launched the Bronco II, built on the chassis of Ford’s compact pickup truck, the Ranger. Available only in what we now recognize as sport utility guise, this smaller Bronco was about the size of the original, spanning 94 inches between axles and stretching only 158.4 inches overall. Production of the II ended in January 1990. A month later, Ford introduced the Explorer in its place.

The bigger Bronco lasted a few more years, but interest in 2-door SUVs dwindled and Ford launched the Expedition, a 4-door SUV built on the F-150 pickup truck platform.

It was in 2016 that word leaked that Ford was working to introduce a new Bronco, this one to be based on the new but now mid-sized Ranger pickup truck. Which makes me think of the run-up in prices on early Ford Thunderbirds after people learned that Ford would reintroduce a luxurious roadster for the 2002 model year, albeit one based on a larger, heavier platform shared by the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type sedans.

It seemed to take forever before the new T’bird arrived (almost as long as it’s taking for this new Bronco to be born). And when the new Thunderbird was unveiled, boom quickly busted when the new one didn’t live up to the anticipation, the hype or the history.

Hagerty’s online vehicle valuation tool shows prices for early Broncos as relatively flat until around 2011, climbing nicely since then and skyrocketing since the fall of 2017, with a 1966 Bronco roadster in top condition now worth $76,800, though many sellers are asking that and more even for those not quite in concours condition.

A quick search of the Marketplace found 40 early Broncos being advertised and for prices that included $80,000, $82,995, $84,900, $87,995, $94,900, $99,000, $109,000, $125,000, $135,000, $145,000, $150,000, $159,995, $169,950, $209,000, and $219,000.

I don’t understand those prices. If you do, please use the Comments section to educate me.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I can’t even read your whole article or argument I can only see that bronco and WANT it. I’m a 35 yr old female and when I began driving (around 2000) OLD broncos were in style and even cool then, so while I’ll admit its one part nostalgia, as far as I’m concerned they will ALWAYS BE RAD, simple as that. I had to settle for a 2-door Blazer b/c my dad couldn’t find a Bronco (at least thats what he told me) but the boxy blazer was close enough. So maybe the people in this age bracket that are doing well for themselves are buying them back up? Yes that price is crazy, but many other remodeled cars are going for 6 figures too, who are we to judge

    • I ended up finding a Eddie 1994 around me for 1
      $1,200 with only some fender rust that’s it. Was a AMAZING deal and I’m only 17 I daily drive it

      • I am sure the article is about, as far as high prices go, the first version. I think they went from 65 to 74. But as far back as i can remember, the first generation have been very expensive. Well, at least the past 30 years or so. An early 90s model (the full size Bronco of the 2nd gen.) in good condition probably goes for about the price you paid. I had a Bronco 2 and it was a very good vehicle.

        • Early Bronco’s were 1966 through 1975. I owed 6 at one time back in 2006-2007 and they ranged from a 1966 to a 1974.(Might be why mk’s dad couldn’t find one . . .lol)

          • And none of those 6 were expensive to buy. It was about 5 years later that the prices skyrocketed, like the article said.

    • I owned my 77 bronco since 1984 just decided to get it a new paint job this week at my work at a ford dealer. It’s funny , when we parted it out side after it came out of paint booth. They parked it next to a Shelby f150. No one even looked at the Shelby truck just the bronco


      • My grandfather was a master mechanic. Owned his own shop in socal for 40 years. Told me that the grand Cherokee was BY FAR the vehicle he saw the most. Told me buy or build anything up like, most cars will get u down the road, one exception never ever ever ever buy a gc. Glad u had a good experience but for those who haven’t tried it. Don’t lol

  2. Larry it’s crazy stupid! It’s a Ford from a nondescript era of domestic car manufacturing ! I don’t get it! I had a 1970 Bronco wish I kept it but it was so rusted out from upstate New York winters! It had to go! 🤪

  3. Ridiculous. Ugly cars, very unrefined. Can’t imagine giving any more than $20K for one of these very ordinary and common cars.

      • I’ve owned one for a decade. They are pretty horrible vehicles really. I love mine but they rusted on the car lot, the v8’s made them nose heavy, weren’t at all powerful, the one decent thing was the rest of the drive train was pretty heavy duty if you had one with a Dana 44 and a c4, plus it was ahead of Jeep because of the coil overs. Other than that any true bronco owner realizes they are just lovable piles of junk.

    • Not sure id call a 66-77 bronco uncommon. It was a very low production vehicle. Ford only produced 225,000 over the 12 years of production. In 1969 alone Ford produced over 275,000 mustangs.

  4. I feel your angst as I’m sure many others, but an owner can ask anything he wants, but in general will get offers at what a buyer is willing to pay for its perceived value…and will probably go unsold because of an unrealistic hopeful expectation…there are the occasional buyers that have more money than brains and at that, the high-ball seller hopes to find that person, hopefully not as far as the rest of us are concerned.

  5. It’s simple. People keep buying them, the demand is there for some reason, so the price stays high. I don’t get it either. If you ever look at some of those rebuilds, it is safety scary to say the least.

  6. I’m with you Larry. I really don’t care about the older vintage Broncos personally. I like the newer bigger ones (I had a 92) or if I go vintage I like the K5 Blazer since I have run both Blazers and Broncos and the Chevy/GMC offering is more stable on trails just my experience. That being said mk has a point. Some people love the pre-78 Broncos and there is a tremendous following for them and the ones that are through the roof have some serious money in them. The combination of hours/customization and demand is driving this market to unprecedented heights. That being said a vehicle is only worth what someone will pay for it. It appears people are paying. Personally for the mid range you mentioned around 110K I could buy a few favorite vehicles or one stunner that would make me feel better about dropping all that coin than having a 66 Bronco but to each his own.

    • I have (as I said earlier) owned 6 Early Broncos, 1 full size, 1 Centurion 4 dr full size conversion and a 1989 Bronco II. Had them all. Not interested in the new one.

  7. Well guys…I think those days are coming to an abrupt end, thanks to the devastation wrought by Covid-19. You’ll be lucky to sell any of these for a fraction of what was seen in the past.

  8. During the 70′ and 80′ I had a J-10 and my best friend had a Bronco, we would tandem when we when prospecting in Southern Calif. He took that beast into places that the J-10 wouldn’t fit, once I was waiting for him to come back out of a wash, he didn’t so I went looking for him, he was high centered on a mound with two wheels hanging in mid-air, (one front and one back) I was able to rock him enough to get traction and he drove off, since then I have had great respect for those early Broncos. You can beat the Sh*t out of them and they keep on going.
    PS. Now I own 3 Toyotas. As a retired Mechanic I would own any thing but.

  9. Larry , lets face it the true reallity of car collecting is crazy!
    one of best quotes i ever heard was at a show, and i had a clean 48K miles 1950 Cadillac for sale, $20K!
    and older woman with husband said she had one when they new , ( she said how can an old car be more money than when new with NO miles on it!)
    think about that for a minute, she is in a proper REALITY CORRECT, i had no reasonable answer for her!
    i said us car people dont think in reality!
    we make stuff up as we go!

    • because someone had to take care of that vehicle and store it all those years. maintenance and storage space over 30 or 40 years is expensive!


  11. If you don’t get it, well, that just leaves one more for those of us that do to chase. Enjoy your plastic econobox.

  12. They didn’t make a whole lot of them so they are rare but I agree, the prices are stupid, would I want one, NOT

  13. People want them because they’re basic and utilitarian and completely different than the electronic gadget loaded SUV’s of today and it Harkens back to a simpler time where things were built to last and be reliable first with creature comforts and fancy looks and gadgets second.
    Are the 66-77 broncos worth what people are paying? I don’t think they are but obviously lots of people do. I don’t think they were that great of a vehicle and weren’t as capable off road as people today may think, unless of course they’re modified and upgraded and turned into resto mods that have the old body style with the new performance upgrades. Bottom line? I wish I had five or six of the countless old broncos and blazers I’ve had that I bought for a few hundred to a few thousand bucks, had fun with and then sold and made what I thought was good money on a lot of them. Of course I could retire off what they’d bring now!

  14. Inferior to a jeep wrangler I don’t think so I’ve had my bronco for over 46 years and I think the bronco was worth and handles better than any wrangler So in inferior I don’t think so

      • Jeeps back then had Leaf spring front suspension. Bronco was the first to do a front coil suspension. All the Jeep people and many others thought Ford was nuts. It took jeep years to do a front coil suspension. Now all Jeeps have front coils. The 66-77 Bronco had the 9 inch rear end. Jeep had the 44. Now all Jeeps owners put the Ford 8.8 rear end in. Jeep changed a lot because of the 66-77 Bronco.

    • Baloney. I raced a modified Bronco off road in the late 60s and early 70s. The first time out, I won the hill climb at the Little Sahara event in western Oklahoma against a bunch of modified Jeeps. The ’66 to ’77 Bronco was superior to the Jeep of that era in multiple ways. I wouldn’t trade an early Bronco for two comparable Jeeps if I had to keep them.

    • I completely agree Rodger! I’ve had mine since 1994 and everytime something needed to be replaced I upgraded within reason. We have a 2015 JEEP Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited with moderate suspension and tire upgrades. It’s a boring lug. The Bronco is so much more fun to drive with a slightly upgraded rebuilt 302 and still a three on the tree. I could only describe the drive as a old style muscle SUV. If they are set up right they are stable and fast. Not to mention after all these years it got me home every time. Can’t say the same for the 6 year old Jeep.

  15. Personally, I do not understand the attraction to Broncos. But hey, this is America! Rock on with your Broncos if that’s your thing.

  16. Why is my virtually flawless bulletproof cheap to repair even though it never needs repair 2001 sunlight silver Miata with less than 70 thousand miles on the clock worth a measly five grand? I’m stymied! Ditto the Bronco. Larry, you owe me a migraine.

  17. Why is any car worth value? Cars that cost new $3200 are now 45-50,000. Isn’t it that the value is perceived by the buyer. If he’s willing to pay the price does it really matter?

  18. “The original Bronco was in production for 30 years”
    Original was only in production 11 years (66-77).
    I have been driving my $1,800.00 Bronco for 47 years and it might still be worth that much.
    Would I sell it?

  19. For people who appreciate early Broncos, they will pay a lot for them. Everyone else, like yourself, should just enjoy blissful ignorance!

  20. Bronco compared to what else? I once owned a Toyota FJ40. Was like a little bulldozer but too low to the ground and easy to get stuck. They are going for crazy prices too. But what really amazes me is what Volkswagens are selling for. I wouldn’t want any of them

  21. It’s called supply and demand. Also, what someone is willing to pay for a vehicle that if an EMP where to detonate over the US, they could start and drive just about anywhere. When I was in the market for one of these in the late 1980’s, they were still pricey relative to a Camaro or Mustang of the same era. They have ALWAYS had a mystique about them. Perhaps it is that it really is recognized as the FIRST true SUV despite International having the Scout, Ford crushed it in sales with excellent marketing. As you know, Trucks, SUV’s and Crossovers outsell cars these days. Maybe it will change in the future but for now, these little capable units are drawing much attention and the prices that go with that.

  22. Hello, I can see why it is a collector piece. I had owned two of these Bronco’s. 1st was a 1969 with a snow plow and the 2nd was a 1972. They were the same color and both had dual tanks and 302 engines. They were excellent off-road–had good heat, great acceleration, good fuel economy and wipers placed well for heavy snow. I did tip one over when off-roading, but I will take most of the credit. They were rust prone and the bodies were actually made by a subcontractor-not the same prep work. I found that even when the ’66-77 were still being made-people would admire or comment they liked the looks of them. I had looked at a new ’75 Jeep and ended up buying the ’72 Bronco instead–mostly interior room. The high prices are looks, memories and very small supply compared to demand.

  23. It’s simply nostalgia what else could it be. They are a crappy ride, they rust prematurely and are unsafe.
    Besides just because people are asking doesn’t mean people are paying.
    But as Sheryl Crow once said If It Makes You Happy….

  24. My first vehicle was a ‘68 Bronco. 289 3 on the tree. I beat the living hell out of that thing. The removable steel top didn’t have the greatest structural reinforcement so when off roading sometimes the roof would flex and make a horrid bang noise.
    My Dad and I put thrush low resistance mufflers on, and did dual exhaust that wete just ahead of the rear tires, it sounded awesome. The windshield wipers were vacuum operated, they would slow right down at times when I matted the gas pedal. It had dual tanks and you had to toggle a switch to show the second tanks fuel level. Occasionally, when hauling my friends around, I would flip the switch to the second tank, which was removed, and then point out to my friends the the tank was empty, so if they wanted me to do the driving they were gonna have to cough up some dollars for gas. When fording deep water, the radiator fan would spray water directly onto the distributor and it would conk out. I loved that thing, if I had more fun money, I would buy another.

  25. I have long expected this bubble to burst. Also have never understood why anyone would want one. An ugly, silly little kitty car. Watch out for Corona and falling Bronco prices now. I agree; I think Corona just pierced the Bronco bubble.

    • You obviously have a very strong opinion, but no background with Bronco’s early or new. We’ve owned many different types of 4X4’s over the years and used them for daily transportation, snow and off road trails such as the the Rubicon. We also own a Porsche GT3 for an entirely different type of fun. You say they’re “ugly” and “kitty car” you should have put those comments in context by telling us what you think is a beautiful and adult vehicle.

    • It’s July and prices are skyrocketing. Can’t find one under 30 grand. Guess you shouldn’t try and invest in the market. When I drive mine, which is no trailer queen, people are so excited to see it and talk to me about it. But I guess to each his own.

  26. I want one because I worked at the Michigan Truck Plant in 1977 when the last of this body style came off the line – was o poor college kid putting myself through school and was in no position to purchase a new one
    I think the prices will cool off once the new Bronco is out – especially if it looks a lot like the old design – I’d rather spend $35,000 on a new one

  27. If you look at the people who are buying them they don’t care what they cost they just think they’re cool
    Many professional ballplayers now drive them and fork out a couple hundred thousand dollars to get the coyote engines etc.
    I am rebuilding one as we speak and Hope to put it on the road soon just because it looks cool and I am old and it makes me feel younger and if you don’t like it go buy what you want
    As far as the fear of the coronavirus we should all have it and I’m at the age where I wanna enjoy a single malt scotch

  28. The question is, “who is the next, bigger fool?” You can buy one, then what? If YOU want it as an investment, by the time you pay for transportation and all auction fees, the price MUST go up at least 25% before it’s worth the investment. If you’re buying one to drive around and pay big dollars for it, then you must have a nice ranch in Montana and really just want something to park next to your modded-up LR Defender.

    They aren’t rare, and most are resto-modded, because original ones kinda sucked, and who knows how well they were engineered for real daily use? In 5 years all those Broncos will start to show their flaws and any short cuts taken to make them presentable while the market is hot will make owners wonder if it’s worth the money to fix them or just dump them on the market.

    The old car market is powered by boomers mostly, and they are aging-out of the hobby. I’m 59. I’ve restored 26 automobiles that were ALL daily drivers. I’ll retire in a few years, and I’m watching the bubble burst on car prices. I’ll get my step-nosed Alfa and drive it daily, and I’ll bet I get it for 15K. Might even be able to score a decent Montreal.

    • Really? The original ones kinda sucked, and who knows how well they were engineered for real daily use?
      Have you owned 1? Because my 75 100% original except your basic tune-up parts like belts hoses plugs ect. Is my daily driver. 302 v8 3 on the tree drum brakes all around and It’s never left me stranded.I can cruise down the highway at 65. Plus I don’t have to worry about it leaving me stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck or friend with a trailer. Why? Because with just your basic tool box a extra belt upper/lower radiator hose a few extra bulbs fuses & a gallon of antifreeze or water (which I always carry)
      I can fix 99% of any problem that might arise. Right there on the side of the road in a hour or less and be on my way.Please enlighten me of any modern vehicle you claim the same about. What do you mean show their flaws. The dana front and ford 9″ rear are bulletproof some of the best ever produced and still highly sought after today. The 302 was used from 1961 all the way thru 1996 (I would not consider that a junk design) Next is your comment “They aren’t rare” Ummm Ok . Lets take a look. There were 225,000 made between 66 and 77 most estimate that half or more have been destroyed totaled or crushed. Leaving roughly 110-150,000 left total. Now considering that Ford sold nearly 900,000 F-150s in the 2019 model year alone.The numbers show the truth. So to answer your question. My reply: I would not call you a fool sir. However looking at the facts I’d say you have no clue what the hell your talking about.

  29. Had a real nice 1973 that i used for hunting/around town …had it for about 6years,then sold it for $400 more than I paid for it…seemed way back they were just popular,but today’s prices,a little crazy…same old thing ,find the right person,ya got a deal…not for me much.They roll real easy,need mucho suspension mods.,etc… have a 1986 RamCharger,putting a new auto tranny in it,360 engine,going to spiffy it up,looking to be worth something down the line…seems just ANYTHING a bit different,and there goes the price!!

  30. I had one back in the mid 80s, mostly stock. Bought it for $3K with 70K miles on it. It had vacuum wipers that stopped completely each time you were at a stoplight and you couldn’t see anything until you started going again. Rusted like an old beer can and was bumpy and rough. I agree, was cool but the prices these days? Not for me again.

  31. Agree !! I had a 1972 IH Scout in High School. Recently I thought what a great thing to buy: $5000-$10,000?
    Ha ! try $35,000 !!! My adult daughter and son lust after them too. Go figure !

  32. Mix in the shrinking value of the dollar with the amount of cumulative brain damage resultant from all the years of closely-held-to-the-ear cellphones (remember the warnings about that?) and you will be on your way to understanding not only the fascination some hold for these vehicles, but the overwhelming flood of craziness so willingly and enthusiastically embraced as sound judgement these days.

  33. I owned 2- a 1966 Roadster with a 170 & 3 speed. Dropped a 250 6 cylinder out of a Maverick in it, combined with half ton pickup suspension and it became a different animal! Swapped it even up for a CB750 Honda. Later got a 1975 that had a 302 and C4 automatic. Dropped in a 351 Windsor with a shift kit and again the F150 suspension! Painted it Silver and Black Imron paint. I was at a gas station and a guy offered me $500 more than I had in it. I wish I still owned it! That thing would go ANYWHERE! Had Ford offered these options I think they would have sold TONS of them.

  34. Honestly I think the vintage 4×4 trend right now is a fad just like everything else that comes and goes. Eventually the bubble will burst and prices will come back down to “normal”. Whether this current virus pandemic will be the thing that bursts that bubble remains to be seen. I’m no psychic and my crystal ball is currently in for repairs. Once this trend is over there will be another waiting to take off right behind it. Who knows; maybe that next trend will be 1980’s minivans!

      • Oh, Thomas.
        I don’t understand the Bronco thing either, but I don’t have to; I’m quite certain I’ll never see the money back I lavish on my ’04 Pontiac GTO/Holden Monaro, once a 5.7 LS1, now a 408ci hybrid of LS1&LS7, factory Tremec (Save the Manuals!) with ogk how much other aftermarket *ahem* “stuff”.
        All my club & other friends find me quite mad, as I use it as a daily in Fargo ND- 4 top line Goodyear snow tires, adjustments to the aftermarket ECM, and decades of experience make it capable in winter, as it’s quite a heavy car (about 4k, wet. More with my fat self innit). Half say I should store and restore, the other half say I should buy an accursed SUV. I say I love it, I bought it to drive not look at, and I will drive it until the money runs out, I become physically incapable, or it does the Blues Brothers disintegration thing.
        By now you should know that folks want what they want, and need no other reason other than personal desire. Me? I wouldn’t have any era Bronco even for free (it’s really hard to drive safely with a paper bag on your head); other than a Cyclone Spoiler 2 or Talladega Torino, I’d be hard pressed to name any FoMoCo product on which I’d spend my money… but that’s just me. Dad worked at the Delco-Remy plant in Anderson, IN his whole career, and my entire upbringing was an endless parade of GM muscle. Runs deep, donchakno. Buy a Mopar or Ford, Dad might show up all Jacob Marley, chains ‘n’ moans and keep me awake. Can’t have that, Pops earned respect from his boys (lil bro is a 442 guy).
        Hey, if they have the money and desire, more power, y’know? Remember Steve Martin, on the original SNL, did skits about “two wild an’ crazy guys”; one of the tag lines was: “Ok for you- but not for me!”. Well, that kinda wraps it up on my end.
        Keep this “I don’t understand… ” thing going- brings really good responses. Peace!

  35. Back in the late ’70s I had a Stroppe Bronco that I even had him autograph the dash for me. I sold it to a man in Nevada with the proviso that if he was ever to sell it that I’d have first right of refusal on it . Well I ran into him in Reno during Hot August Nights and guess what ? He had sold it, and did not remember who ! No telling what that Ol’ Bronc is worth today. That’s my 2 cents and I’m Stickin’ to it !

  36. The Bronco in the picture isn’t a “collector car” per se, it’s a resto-mod. People who pour thousands of dollars into their special vehicle, designing exactly the way they want it, are usually surprised by the reality that other people don’t want to pay what they invested in their personal preferences. I’m really surprised I haven’t seen someone else with this comment, because it’s a repeating issue with resto-mod resales. We all know that’s true. What I’d really like to see is the asking price vs. sale price, and then we’d know what the reality is. Maybe people who own Broncos are mentally detached from normal automobile pricing.

  37. This topic like our country is utterly ridiculous, unbelievable, beyond comprehension…….(low end) 80,000- (high end😂😂😂😂) 200,000$ FORD BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. These are extreme end remodels. I currently have a 1968 and had a 74 before then. Most of them go between $20-$60k depending on rust and accessories. I got my rust free, uncut 68 for $21k. Although the guy probably could’ve got a little more. The ones you are describing are totally redone Broncos with every high end upgrade you can have.

  39. I bought a 1973 Bronco new in 1973. I ordered it with the V8 automatic, power steering and carpeted interior. First year offered with those options. I drove it for 10 years and my wife loved driving it as well. During my ownership it was off roaded regularly on fishing and hunting excursions in Northern Ontario and was equipped with a Myers snowplough and paid it’s way snowplowing in the city of Ottawa. I have driven 4×4 vehicles including Ford, GMC/ Chev, Dodge, International Scout and your coveted Jeep and none of them were able to compete in ride, comfort or handling with my Bronco. The Keeps wandered all over the road while my Bronco tracked straight due to its good power steering and steering shock damper. I rebuilt it from ground up due to rust issues after 5 years ownership rustproofing the panels as the rebuild progressed. This was a common issue with most vehicles of the era. After the rebuild with Imron paint it no longer rusted and I kept it for another 5 years. When I sold it I got exactly what I paid for it in 1973 because it looked mint. The carpets and cloth interior all were in excellent condition and the vehicle drove perfectly. I rebuilt the motor because of an annoying slight wrist pin knock which was common on 303 motors and because of my demanding usage I had a performance transmission shop rebuild the C4 automatic with high stall torque convertor, stronger valve body for more precise shifting to and we also added a couple extra discs to the clutch pack in the transmission. The discs were also abraded to give them better grabbing power. That was done second year of ownership. I also added airbags to the front coil suspension for the weight of the plow and a transmission oil cooler to mitigate the heavy work required from the transmission. The stock C4 transmission was a little weak but we fixed that with simple mods and made it work well. The engine and transmission were still running strong when I sold it. The dana transfer case was untouched and was bulletproof and was much better than Keeps offerings. Jeep used the same transfer case as the Bronco in their larger pickups like the Gladiator but not the CJs or Wranglers. I built up a CJ7 years later with a 360 V8 Chrysler Automatic and the Bronco type Dana transfer case but it didn’t come close to what the Bronco offered stock from the factory. I hated the ride and Handling of the CJ7. The Bronco rock climbed and was better suited to off roading than the larger Chev and Dodge offerings because of its shorter wheelbase and automatic tranission. The Bronco was also narrower and more compact overall as well as lighter. The Bronco was a good family vehicle and gave us security driving it in winter snow conditions affording good warmth and comfortable ride. I never was stranded by it and never needed a tow in 10 years ownership. The CJ7 didn’t come close in comfort, ride, warmth or ability. It was as designed a utilitarian vehicle. The Ford Bronco equaled Jeeps utility and then gave us comfort and ride. I wish I had not sold the vehicle it served us well but we felt it was no longer needed and I would buy another one today if Ford could equal what it had in 1973.

  40. I have lusted for a first-generation Ford Bronco so that I could resto-mod it into the vehicle that I want it to be. However, these prices are outrageous! So, rather than a Ford Bronco, I have turned my eyes to Europe and am looking for an early Mercedes Benz G-wagen. They have better suspensions (coil-over springs, not rear leaf), better diesel engines or room for a nice American V-8, and slightly more-updated interiors. An ex-army G-wagen is so much nicer than an early Bronco and more easily updated. So, my lust for the Bronco must be put asunder and turn to a more reasonable G250D.

  41. I don’t understand the prices myself. They ride rough, they handle for crap, and in stock form were lacking in gears and power. I wish you could still get one for the two to three grand my friends sold theirs for, I’d have twenty of them! You have to remember what they were designed for. To compete with Jeep, a mid ‘60’s to mid ‘70’s Jeep. Remember all of their shortcomings? At the time the Bronco was hands down better at four wheeling than a Jeep. Not better, easier to manage obstacles with less front and rear overhang, better break over angle, and way tighter turning radius. I have two ‘73 Broncos, At one time or another nearly all of my friends have owned one. My Dads best friend bought one brand new in 1968, I was ten years old. I spent countless hours being bounced around in the back seat on camping, hunting and fishing trips. I swore that when I grew up I was going to have a Bronco. My first vehicle was a 1950 Willys CJ3a. I was twelve. I had to wait till I was nearly eighteen before I got my first ‘73 Bronco. I still have both! In addition, I now have a ‘46 2a, ‘49 3a, and a’52 3a, ‘74 CJ5, as well as my ‘73 Bronco Ranger. They all have their strong points, they all have weaknesses. They have to be accepted for what they are. As far as values, the same argument could be made against a ‘69 COPO Camaro, a Hemi Cuda, or even a Shelby Cobra!

  42. I think they have become the new Mustang of the 60’s and 70’s. Who would have thought that a 1971 Boss 351 would fetch north of 55k. Years ago, I’d say around 1998 or so I happened upon one at an Estate Sale. I had been called the night before from a friend trying to get some old Bronco “in gear” and was unable to do so. He called me and I led him through what turned out to be just a lack of transmission fluid that had seeped out over time. After a few quarts he was back in business. I then asked if it was a 6 cyl or V8 and how the rust looked. After that discussion I determined I was interested and asked the price, he said $795, yes seven hundred. I was the first one in line the next morning and threw down the money and said SOLD. I ended up driving it home and kept if about 9 months. I did nothing to it and sold it for if I remember right around 2600 bucks…should have kept it. Fast forward 2018 and I bought a 1977 running and somewhat on the road to being restored for 12k. I paid too much. After much investigating I ended up deciding to a complete frame off and so began a journey that I’m still in. I really enjoy the Bronco and it’s a vehicle that I can modify and do things to that most people would agree, Hey, that’s cool. Why is the cost so high? Try and restore one and you’ll have your answer along with supply and demand. That’s all I can think of.

  43. I think what you’re missing is the 200k price tag isn’t for some rusted out barn find Bronco. Its not even for a fully restored to original condition Bronco. The price tag is because 1000+ man hours goes into a build like that with a totally modern frame, suspension, drive train, electronics and a motor that’s fresh out of the create, most notablely Ford’s high preformance 5.0 coyote . These are what’s called ‘restomods’ .. Looks old, drives new. And it takes tons of time and attention to detail to turn out one of these trucks. Some builds take 6 to 9 months Unlike a 60s model ferrari that you could park under a garage truck and it would still fetch 200k and for some perspective Singer, a campany that re-engineers the air cooled porsche, has a starting price of 500k with a 4 yr waiting list.

  44. I restore! Here’s the deal! They don’t make a real titles ford bronco anymore from the the 66/77! Man hours to do body work on these Broncos is insane panel wise. Younger poeple now days don’t care about chevelle’s and old car hot rods.they want an suv! Well they love the bronco! And what’s not to love! If you own one you feel like a rockstar! If poeple want something bad enough! They will buy it! Just put a price on it! Don’t low ball yourself and give one away! Good luck finding another one! The old school Chevy blazers are through the roof also! Going to get higher also. Keep the prices up! That’s what keeps poeple wanting things! If lambos were 10 bucks! Everyone would have one! I don’t understand prices on those! Buy USA!!

  45. Inferior to the Jeep? The Bronco was far ahead of the CJ-5 when it was released in 1966.
    -optional V8 vs Jeep’s optional V6
    -Dana 30 front axle vs Dana 27 in the Jeep
    -Coil spring front suspension which was way more comfortable on and off road than the Jeep’s front leaf springs
    -more interior space although this could go either way as it made the Bronco slightly larger which is not as good for tight trails.

    • Well said Randy, We’ve owned a 79 “big” Bronco, Willy’s CJ3A and currently a 68 Bronco. We’ve taken all of these vehicles on hard core 4X4 trails. Each has it’s pros and cons but we’ve found our 68 Bronco has the best combination of attributes and we love the look and proportions of it!

  46. I’m 36 and I’ll never forget the first Bronco I saw around 12 years ago – a beautiful, complete with dents and dings, almost all original 1973. It was for sale for $6k and I was fresh out of college with no money or room for it at my apartment complex. I test drove it but couldn’t bring myself to get a loan for it. Now I know it could have easily been the smartest “stupid” decision I didn’t make – definitely the one that got away!

    Fast forward to last summer and I found one within 30 miles of me for a fair price, so I bought it. I’m learning to drive the three-on-the-tree and loving every minute of it. It’s so much fun – summer time cruising with the top off is great! I honestly never thought I’d be able to find one in decent shape that I could afford. Yes, there’s work that needs to be done but that’s what hobbies are for, right? On the flip side, no matter how much I love the old broncos, I can’t imagine spending the crazy expensive amounts on them that some people do. But, to each their own!

  47. We absolutely love our 1967 Bronco
    These old units are collectors ! It’s a different ride and proud to be driving one ! There’s not many broncos around anymore ! If you see one buy it and enjoy it ! 🙌

  48. My friend Shaun was one of the very first and is a true OG who started restoring these vehicles out of his mom’s garage in Santa monica and it became Rocky Roads Broncos- back in the 90s…and some are now charging crazy $ and not even doing the kind of work he does, but yes, people are paying more and more. He often points to some selling without the full 6 point roll cages or with cheap rims. The ones with Coyote engines are insane. But the main beauty is the customization! They are just unique and photogenic..and powerful! When they are frame-off restorations you can see where the cost goes. Few vehicles truly become part of a lifestyle with that kind of appeal. We’ll see what happens with the new one.

    • Your Buddy Shaun is a hack and Is one of the least respected people in the bronco community.

      Ask him about the Balloon chaser he destroyed.

  49. I need to sell my 77 Bronco. Runs great. My husband bought new. Have original title, bill of sale, manual. Has had some restoration. Original 302.

  50. I have three broncos and have paid progressively more for each because the market is competitive with too many buyers with money and fewer quality vehicles. I made a big mistake in buying my first from a shop that buys and resells junk in Illinois and claims to be bronco experts! They do tons of videos and give the appearance of a quality shop and they are exactly the opposite. Prices rise because cars that attract short term enthusiasts always up scale a product that isn’t all more than a spartan form of transportation.

  51. The $100k and up Broncos, that’s just simple math. I imagine most of those buyers have never been in a stock first gen Bronco. The more of those built is a good thing. They are thinning the herd and increasing value for the survivors. My first Bronco was a 76 lime green uncut 3 on the tree with ps and pb. Bought it in 1979. My brother had a CJ 5,my high school buddy had a Toyota FJ. Long story short. Jeep was worst on and offroad. FJ was a close second, but the Bronco was more enjoyable getting to the trail and on the trail. That Bronco is long gone, but the feeling a driving it never left. I puchased a 1977 Bronco in 2005 that was in great original shape for $6,000. Needed paint and had a few other issues. I’ve restored it to look stock with period correct modifications. Its probably worth $50k, but I could care less. It will never leave my family. My value is sentimental, not monetary. ” NICE BRONCO” is all I hear when I drive it. Enough said!

  52. Its a cool machine, man. Its also a gutzy powerful little work horse that, put to the test, puts the competition to shame. I’Ve got a 71 that’s in pieces in my garage, a 89 cobra 5.0 with a c6 tranny, and 33″ toyos patiently await installation. Its costing me THOUSANDS to restore and years off my life and as many times as Ive been tempted to just give it up and resort to a much more available and cheaper to sup up fun machine like a Samurai , I fall to the ground, repent and beg for forgivness!!!

  53. I love broncos i own 5 including a 4 door (no first or second yet though) i put them threw living hell and never let me down best 4x4s I’ve ever owned my family loves going for rides and off roading in them and both my kids want one for there first car.

  54. Question 2.

    Why are 1969 Camaros and 1970 Chevelles worth so much more than the same year Corvette given the engine/quality of the car?

  55. They built 225,000 Broncos from 1966 to 1977 in that 11 year span, that’s very little Broncos for 11 years. Nobody paying much attention to the Broncos after 1977 They built 200,000 Mustangs in 1969 every body and his brother has a Mustang. Most of the Broncos are completely rusted out and gone, with very few left on the Planet,the more rare a vehicle get the more costly it gets. I restored my 1968 Bronco to almost original, slightly modified, It gets more attention at the local car shows than the Mustangs or Camaros, Whoda Thought

  56. I’ve driven hundreds upon hundreds of vehicle models for countless miles and my absolute favorite vehicle to drive is my ‘96 Bronco 5.8. Sure, it’s not a first gen and it’s not worth $100k, but it’s a fun, quick off the line, off-road beast that handles well on the streets. I would choose to drive my bronco before I would choose to drive any off-the-lot brand new SUV. I’m probably crazy, but I’ve driven most of them and they’re not what I want.

    Old broncos are worth money because they’re cool and fun to drive and hard to find in good shape. My 96 isn’t a show queen, but EVERYWHERE I go, people ask questions and tell me stories about theirs and love it. Sure, some people, like some of you in the comments, look at me and wonder if I’m drunk, but you guys will learn. In 20 years, I suspect that the full size bronco’s that ended in 96 will be worth 50k in good shape. I already see some selling for 20k… even though they are not estimated nearly to that value.

    Go drive a bronco and a wrangler and let me know which one suits you. The bronco suits me.


  57. I just came from a Bronco rally in Buena Vista Colorado, over a hundred and fifty Broncos. what’s amazing about these Broncos, they are so unique and individually built, it shows how people like their Broncos, none were the same. A few totally restored Broncos but most of them were different. I own seven Broncos. I bought my first one in 1968 . I still drive it today.
    That’s what people like about the Bronco, they can modify to their individual needs and looks.. They become family projects, then they become part of the family.. Kind like old forgotten dog from a dog pound, you take home give it some care, and next you love the dog and now it’s family..

  58. I agree with this statement. Ever since I saw my buddies 1976 bronco when I was 15 I have been in love. I’m 41 now and was seriously considering buying my dream Bronco. That was until I did some research. Which lead me to realize I could in no way afford me dream Bronco anymore because you can’t buy a rust bucket that doesn’t even run for less than $10,000. I understand why people love them but I’m not willing to pay $30,000 for any vehicle that’s not in mint condition. I’m hoping this craze dies down at some point because it is still my dream to own one.

  59. I bought mine about 6 years ago for $24,000 ish. I live in a small town and even though it should not be my daily driver (my “adult” car is a Landcruiser FJ80), I prefer to drive the Bronco. It is just so damn fun to drive. Every day I get thumbs up, offers to buy and positive comments. I love the way it looks, sounds and drives and it has been incredibly reliable. I’ve taken it to Lake Tahoe (5 hours drive) several times with no issue and can easily keep up with traffic. And I know it has much more than doubled in price and I have done some very nice things to in investment wise. They are a f#@kin’ blast to drive.

  60. I bought my 1971 Bronco Sport in 2016 for $18K from the original owner’s grandson. I happen to like old school, no nonsense 4x4s and this fit the ticket. It had lived its entire life on a ranch in California a bit north of SF. It had no rust, was uncut and ran well. I put about $2K into it, new clutch, brakes, etc., and have driven it from SF to the Grand Canyon with no issues. It just puts a big smile on my face whenever I drive it. I get a lot of thumbs up from other drivers and have spoken to loads of people who either had one, or their parents, grandfather, etc. had one, always bringing back fond memories of the good old days. At the end of the day, it’s a nostalgia thing for me that I’m sure a lot of other Bronco owners can relate to. I could easily sell it for $60K now if I wanted to, but I’m keeping it forever.

  61. Well you see it’s all about economics. If the market supports the prices charged then good for the seller. If you don’t understand that you must be a Bernie supporter!

  62. Im a millenial and bought one in March 2017. Its been moderately modified and sits on 35″ tires but i bought it for in the mid-$20ks. All i can say is it gets a LOT of attention. You get more looks in an old bronco than in a Ferrari, Porsche, etc.

    That appeals to a lot of people. I was single at the time i got it and we joked “it would be a chick magnet” but it turned out to be a dude magnet. A couple guys followed me for miles just to talk about it when i stopped.

    Ive had 4 unsolicited offers to buy it

  63. I drove a 1972 manual transmission Bronco and it is the 0nly vehicule that I have truly loved driving. It was just awesome. Today’s Broncos are way too expensive and they don’t have manual transmission, It has been my most favorite car and I have driven a lot of vehicules but that one is such a wonderful vehicule.

  64. A buddy of mine in the super car business told me that several restomod outfits started snatching up the old Broncos a few years back so they have a bit of control on the supply chain. Couple that with the other factors such as demand and nostalgia discussed in the thread and it’s the perfect storm for the market. I drove a ‘69 3 on the column in HS handed down by my grandfather. My dad sold it for like $4k in the late ‘80s. Wish I would have held it now!!

  65. Replace ‘old bronco’s ‘ with ‘sneakers’ or ‘cell phones’ or anything else that holds a value astronomically higher than production costs or raw material worth. It’s just economics. When demand outstrips supply prices go up. Nothing to see here. This is America.

  66. I currently own two. One is a 73, the other a 74. I have owned two others that I’m still sick about selling. After reading through all these post it’s clear to me the negative ones are coming from people that don’t know anything about these great vehicles. Maybe there’s a bit of jealousy going around when things get out of reach for some. In stock form they are a very good 4×4 that have good power and a great turning radius. With a few mods you can make these into a great driving vehicle. I have had the two that are in my garage now for approximately 4 years and yes I bought them right because they had a lot of work already done and are in great condition. Both have nearly doubled in price since I purchased them. I’m sitting on an offer for the 73 for 60k, yes that sounds like a lot but I still don’t want to let this beauty go. I’ve been looking on line for a few weeks and can’t find a nicer one for less than 80k. Do I think there will some kind of price adjustment, the short answer is yes. This country is heading down the wrong road politically with a much weaker person coming into office. By the end of 2021, in my opinion you could possibly see these prices drop dramatically. If they do I’m building a bigger garage and buying every single solid early bronco I can get my hands on.

  67. I have had my 74 since 93. Everytime something needed to be replaced I upgraded within reason. The 302 was bored and balanced in 01 and the tranny and transfer case rebuult just a few years ago. We have a 2015 Wrangler Rubicon and it doesn’t hold a candle to the Bronco on or off road. Getting I’m the Jeep after driving the Bronco is a HUGE let down. I’m all these decades the Bronco has always got me home. I can’t say the same for the only 6 year old Jeep. Simple is good.

  68. I have a theory… If you get Chip Foose and a few other TV car restoration guys together at a party, and get them all to agree to restore a few Ford Pintos or Mavericks on their shows, you’d see a huge spike in values for those cars as well. Seriously, I mean it. Go try to find a Pinto or Maverick in decent condition on CL. They’re harder to find in any condition than a Mustang or Camaro. But find one, fix it up and fit it with a 302, and I’ll bet you’d get more attention at any car show or in any parking lot. Everyone has a Mustang, Camaro, ’57 Chevy, etc. Be the guy with something different!

  69. Thank you for sharing this information about the topic in detail. It was useful and interesting. You indeed have written it in a layman way so that anyone can understand and work accordingly. You have done a great job. Great post!!

  70. I have a 1994 Bronco XLT. It is in fairly good shape. Runs great. 142k miles. No issues to speak of really. I think I paid 3K seven years ago with 80K miles on it. In the last year I have had multiple offers from 6K to 10K. I don’t understand it. I have no intentions of selling it. But got to say it has been tempting.

  71. Definitely worth what is being asked. And 10 years from now they will be even more. The reason that old cars are worth so much now is because we are now in a throw away society. Tv, microwaves and vehicles. People by 2 or 3 for a family and trash them in 5 years because they are crap from the start. Old cars were built to last, and last they did. I own a 67 bronco and it gets more looks than most all my other classic cars. They are a reminder of simpler times and family and friends being together. That alone is worth the money.

  72. I’ve had a ’77 since ’83. I bought it for $3500. Best money I ever spent. Only got it stuck once, and the other seven vehicles that tried to get to me to pull me out that night all got stuck before they got within 50 yards of me. Had to get a tractor to pull everyone out the next morning. I removed the doors and top probably about 35 years ago. Don’t know where they are and don’t care. All three of my children, as well as all of my brothers children, learned how to drive in it. They hit trees, fence posts, and occasionally other farm implements with it. Didn’t matter. You see, It’s the memories that make it valuable. Whether getting it stuck in the folly of my youth, or seeing the joy of my children, and perhaps soon my grandchildren enjoy the open air thrill of driving an old classic they can’t hurt that make it so valuable. As someone said earlier, like an old dog, that Bronco has become a part of the family. I’m an old ,man now, and the Bronco is not now, nor will it ever be, for sale. I guess I will have to form a trust and leave it to the trust so that I don’t offend any of my children or grandchildren.

  73. Willie: Thanks for sharing your delightful story. I understand why you value your Bronco as being a family heirloom.

  74. Any thoughts on what I should sell my 1985 (3rd Gen.) Ford Bronco? 351 / 5.8 2 bb/l.
    Original interior, hardtop. 141K miles.

  75. I have a 70 bronco that I’m almost finished with.
    Thirty thousand original miles, I got it very cheap $800 from a friend of an older gentlemen and it was sitting since 1989.
    But in my younger days I had a 71 in highschool that I paid 700 for and when I got home I realized the doors where welded on I broke the the welds the doors just fell into the snow.
    It was a rust bucked but in highschool auto shop I patched the floors, installed fiberglass door inserts along with hood and fenders and made it a tilt nose.
    Ford probe blue with two Shelby stripes and people loved it. I sold it for $3500 in 1994 which I though was a fair price but found out a few months later that the person who bought it from me sold it for $8500 and it was in pretty rough shape from him trailbusting it.
    That’s when I started seeing crazy prices for these and it hasn’t stopped.
    Flash back to the one I’m finishing now it is incredibly solid, frame off restoration, but I did a few more custom things to it like electric steering (works great) I welded in some stock and filled the seams under the upper rear fenders to match the nice curve of the doors, welded and filled the rear taillight corners on (let’s be honest in saying these body lines rarely lined up straight anyway).
    The most controversial thing I did was again tilt the nose only this time with linear actuators and steel frame that the metal grill and metal fenders sit on (again welded and filled at the seams and a fiberglass hood all bolted together
    The inner front fender Wells have been replaced by aluminum ones that move with the hood along with a very stout front engine cage that I’m sure is stronger than the original metal wheel Wells.
    I spent hundreds of hours and hours doing this and the whole truck is finished off with U3 grabber Orange and gets compliments everywhere it goes.
    So my question is out of the hundreds and hundreds of hours I put in to this not to mention the parts I hunted down (those are astronomical prices as well) will I get what all these other guys are getting?
    It’s VERY custom but doesn’t have a crazy lift or lockers or special axles although I did do the front disk conversion. I would be happy with $50k but if I took it to a few car shows and win some awards could I ask $100?

  76. I think it’s happened because of some weird demographic thing that we’re unaware of. Certain people must want them for some nostalgic reason that we don’t know about. I have seen this happen before and it’s why you should never get sucked into something like this unless you don’t mind losing your butt in the future because the prices will eventually bomb once the buyers get old and die or don’t want them anymore and then who’s going to buy them? Certainly not the next up and coming generation who will be buying into some other new fad. It’s like what happened to 1960’s hot rods; the prices were high until the people buying them literally died off, and now they can’t be given away. And btw, I found your article because I did a search for ‘why are Bronco prices so high’ after I was looking on a classic car site and saw a few Broncos going for outrageous prices. I used to work at Ford in the ’70’s and nobody thought anything of them back then and they were regarded as being like a fancier version of an F150. I dunno – people are nuts man. I used to own a ’74 AMC Javelin and it was pretty fast in a straight line but engineering-wise it was terrible and I gave it away for squat when it’s life was over and then about 15 years ago after muscle cars started going for a LOT of money at Barret Jackson, I was at a local wrecker and they had a Javelin on the front yard with a FOR SALE sign and a price of $10,000… and I just chuckled. Anyway, maybe the people buying these Broncos also have boxes of Beanie Babies in their closets from the 1990’s. I guess anything’s possible.

  77. I think it comes down to the fact that the wealthiest among us are bored, self-indulgent, and quick to attach themselves to trends that make them appear cool with status. Ford Broncos are such cool trucks. Always have been. But it’s ridiculous.

  78. I don’t understand anyone paying $10,000 for a first generation Bronco, let alone $100,000 or more. I had literally a dozen or more of them back in the 1980’s. I bought them mostly for the engines and running gear as they were usually so utterly rusted out they were unsafe to drive. I kept a couple of the better ones as drivers (usually not for long though), but they were a really miserable vehicle to drive, rough, noisy, and rattles galore. Worst of all was they would rust in very critical areas at an alarming rate. Even in the 1980’s, when they were just 10-15 years old, many were total rust buckets. Compared to the same era Blazer’s or even the International Scout, the first generation Bronco felt like a tin can. The only reason I bought them back in the day was they were the cheapest source of 4WD parts and V8 engines. Due to the severe rust, they were really easy to harvest parts from (I actually cut up 2 or 3 of them and disposed of the rusty bodies in a dumpster). I never paid more than $100 for any of the dozen Bronco’s I owned, and doubt I would ever pay much more than that for one.


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