Vintage Broncos falling out of favor?

But interest in old-school SUVs continues among those searching for vehicles on the ClassicCars.com Marketplace

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1979 Scout
This 1979 International Scout is among the vintage SUVs people are searching for on the ClassicCars.com Marketplace website

Have the people who have been searching for vintage Ford Broncos found their dream machines, or have they given up after seeing the prices being asked? Or perhaps they’ve simply decided to buy one of the new Broncos Ford soon will start producing?

Whatever the reason, Bronco continues to move down the most-searched ratings on the ClassicCars.com Marketplace. The Bronco surged to a high as fifth on the list in July, but dropped out of the top-1o in August, and in September, it was only 18th among searches specifying only model name without consideration for year of production.

But while the Bronco has been hobbled interest in vintage SUVs remains strong with the International Scout seventh and the Willys Jeep back among the top-15. 

Another popular vintage SUV is the Willys Jeep, such as this 1954 model

“It is possible that people have just been inundated with so much hype over the new Bronco launch that they are looking elsewhere,” Andy Reid, ClassicCars.com‘s East Coast editor and market analyst, said of the Bronco’s drop in searches.

“Another reason could be a situation in which everyone who wanted one got one, and the spike in prices scared people on the fence off of the Bronco and into what until recently were more affordable classic off-road vehicles, such as the Scout and the Jeep. 

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“The Scout, though an orphan marque, has always had a following and been considered a pro-grade off-road vehicle. The Jeep was the first of its kind, both attributes that can be attractive to buyers in the collector vehicle market.”

Except for the earlier Bronco bounce, there were few changes of significance among all-year searches, though Ford, the generic brand, did pass Mustang for second place behind Chevrolet. 

Volkswagen Bus, DeLorean and Chevrolet C-10 continued to round out the top-6. Also in the top-10 were the Scout, Buick Grand National, Corvette and Chevelle. 

September was the second month in a row that the Grand National and Chevelle were among the top-10, indication of a popularity trend for those models.

Meanwhile, in the rankings based on searches by make, model and year, The top-2 places continued to be held by the 1967 and 1969 Ford Mustangs, though they changed places in September with the ’67 atop the list. Next in order came the 1967 Chevrolet Impala, 1969 Dodge Charger and 1964 Impala. 

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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 ClassicCars.com, 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.

18 COMMENTS

  1. The 67 / 68 Mustang fastbacks have become out of reach for the average Joe like my self that shy’s away from anything over 30,000. This holds true for my dream car , a 69 Charger. Should have bought one 20 years ago instead of the 89 Camaro Iroc that I still have.

  2. Good article – but the lead picture – which to me is about as undesirable of a Bronco as one could see (version and presentation) being left – the reason for the market skew

  3. Not sure I buy that they are ‘falling out of favor’ Simply look at sales on Bring A Trailer on other online auction sites. They are selling quickly and as high as ever. Their intrigue is legendary. Searches likely peaked around the time deposits were being placed on new ones. Like many out there, a new one and and old one will coexist nicely in my barn.

  4. I’ve watched bronco market for past several years. This article suggest exactly what happened in my case. Ridiculous pricing in used market leads me to order new and move on. Good luck to those trying to get essentially what I could buy a home for!!

  5. Can’t really count anything sold by the Barrett Jackson clan They market in hype and getting their customers overly excited so they will stupidly over bid for a vehicle. The Barrett Jacksons are all millionaires and they got that way by selling other peoples cars. Think about it. Do your research. When you can buy a certain vehicle everywhere for $50 grand and you see the same exact vehicle sell at a Barrett Jackson auction (?) for $75 grand? Come on…….

  6. So you do a piece about vintage Broncos but the only pics you show are of a Scout and a Jeep?
    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

  7. I have spent many hours behind the wheel of a first gen. Bronco. I just don’t get they current fervor over collecting this vehicle. Poor acceleration, diminished power, very little substance to the body. I just can’t understand the appeal. Granted it was a service vehicle and I never have off-roaded with one, but I also have many hours in an Army Jeep that could climb, ford and crawl over objects that the fwd bronco could only slide down and stall. Maybe it’s low numbers or a look that is iconic to some, or the possibility of a v-8 to adore, and the jeep has only a 4 cyl. maybe a v-8 in the later years, and yes I do like the looks of the 2nd gen Bronco, and the jeep has not really changed, but I also like the CJ-5 and the more current Jeep 4-door Renegade much better than the original Bronco. I just don’t get it.

      • No, I don’t understand this phenomenon either. I guess for both of these vehicles, and other much unloved autos, that when new were universally reviled by the motoring press and the public, there comes a time for some that nostalgia and poor memory will make a collectible.
        I did enjoy a ride in a VW bus that was thrilling. The owner had shoehorned a Porsche engine into it. However, I still felt concern that in traffic my feet would be part of the crush zone!

  8. When you can order a brand new Bronco for the same money, or less, than what you’d expect to pay for a restored, original first-gen Bronco; and you’re getting a more substantial vehicle with a full warranty that can be used every day then I can see where the early models will fall out of favor. What boggles my mind are the recreations of early Bronco’s from Icon and others that feature a vintage body stuffed with 21-st century powertrains, interiors, and other technology; selling in the $200k price range. Yes they’re interesting and very cool; but are they really worth a quarter-million dollars? Not to this guy!
    Having grown up in the 80’s and 90’s I can better relate to the bigger, full-size Bronco’s of that era. Those are the models I’ve always preferred. However even those are getting very expensive now.

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