How hard would you fight for a species that is going extinct? The bison that once roamed the Great Plains until there were only 1,200 of them left. Being able to see beyond the immediate problem is how a few visionaries were able to save the majestic beasts. This is a story of survival and triumph thanks to our friends at Gateway Bronco.
Everyone has some memory of a Ford Bronco. What began as their first SUV in 1966, the first generation Bronco had an amazing run until 1977. The rugged & nimble machines could go anywhere and were often used in remote areas and in rough situations. The middle word in SUV is utility, a term which doesn’t impart any notions of proper care, let alone saving them for future generations.
So the first-generation Broncos were beasts of burden. Adventures and menial tasks took their toll on them, and they were sold without much intrinsic value. Seth Burgett started his first business painting and restoring cars at the age of 14, but after college his love of technology took center stage. His business life included travels around the country, and they all had one common denominator: where have all the Broncos gone? Many Ford fans have been asking the same question, so it was time to go hunting.
Based in St. Louis allowed him access to all the fly-over states, but his first lead took him to the Pacific Northwest. A rental van was able to fit his first find. But on his way home, he found another. So a trailer was added to haul #2. The business world taught him to strike while the iron is hot, so he came across a 3rd one. Because they were in rough condition, his only major expenses were fuel and rental fees. So a species on the verge of extinction was saved, and it caught the eye of Ford’s top brass.
Once he was back home with a collection of 15 all original paint Broncos, he couldn’t find a good builder. So he bought a 60,000 sq. ft. building and hired a team of skilled fabricators to address years of neglect. Those first examples created problems in finding NOS parts (New Old Stock), and also brought up the issues of replacing 50-year-old body panels. It took unconventional thinking and innovation to solve these problems, and we will tell that story next week.
Presented by Gateway Bronco
We sympathetically restore and modernize the Ford Bronco with new Ford Coyote 302 engines thru a frame off restoration, building each truck on Henry Ford’s creation, a modern production line. Gateway is unique to anyone in the Bronco industry.