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When Tommy’s not working with his technicians on HVAC systems and conducting refrigeration unit repairs, he enjoys tinkering on his classic Bronco. This has become a favorite past-time for Tommy and his sons who are also a part of the JAC Services team.

You’re used to coming to us for help with your air conditioning and refrigeration maintenance, repair and installation, but we don’t have to be all work all the time! Every now and then it’s good to take a break from the usual and switch things up. The Ford Bronco is an American classic beloved by many including our owner – Tommy Freeman. He’s the proud owner of a classic 1977 Ford Bronco and an avid fan of this iconic American truck.

When Tommy’s not working with his technicians on HVAC systems and conducting refrigeration unit repairs, he enjoys tinkering on his classic Bronco. This has become a favorite past-time for Tommy and his sons who are also a part of the JAC Services team. The group loves to take Tommy’s Ford Bronco off-roading together and have even done so in places like Moab, Utah – which is world famous for its off-roading experiences.

The Ford Bronco has a storied history with ups and downs and surprising turns. From it’s unexpected rise to fame to its multiple iterations and eventual return from retirement, the history of the Ford Bronco is just one of the many reasons its loyal following continues to grow.

The Origin

The idea and design behind the Ford Bronco was first conceptualized in the 1960s. It came from the American car manufacturer wanting a more versatile alternative to the current four-by-fours they offered, like the International Harvester Scout and the Jeep CJ.

Ford was already an iconic American car brand by the 1960s, especially given the recent launch of the original Mustang. In 1966 Ford introduced the Bronco: A two-door, four-wheel-drive option available in wagon, roadster and pickup body styles. This first-generation Bronco was designed to be simple, with a 92-inch wheelbase, solid axles and boxy appearance. In the original Bronco, coil springs were used in place of conventional leaf springs, which made it possible for the Bronco to maneuver rugged streets and trails better than other cars of the time. The Bronco started out as only being available with a manual transmission, with an optional V-8 engine. It wasn’t until the 1970s that additional features were added such as an automatic gearbox and power steering.

Rise to Popularity 

When the larger K5 Blazer was introduced by competitor Chevrolet in 1969, Ford felt the pressure to reimagine their strategy behind marketing the Ford Bronco. It was during this time that the Ford Bronco became known as a powerful off-road racing vehicle. Ford Broncos had been appearing in North America’s desert racing scene for a few years now and in 1967 it competed in what is known today as the Baja 1000. In 1971 and 1972 off-road racer Parnelli Jones and race-car builder Bill Stroppe, won the Baja 1000 with a customized Ford Bronco they had transformed into a race truck. To commemorate this, Ford released a limited number of Baja Broncos that were equipped with extra equipment and painted in the style of Stroppe’s winning vehicle.

Through the Generations

In 1978, Ford released a new version of the Bronco, the second-generation. This generation would only have a couple of model years before a third-generation Bronco was released by Ford in 1980. The second-generation Ford Bronco was styled after Ford’s new F-100 full-size pickup truck and therefore had a bigger, 104-inch wheelbase. This version of the Bronco was noticeably bigger than the original, being two feet longer, close to a foot wider and about five inches taller. The rear window this version was outfitted with was able to be rolled down, allowing easy access to the tailgate – a feature that would eventually become synonymous with Broncos.

The second-generation of the Bronco was created with the desire to reach more people and accommodate more than just off-roaders. However, it still had the power and maneuverability that off-roaders sought out in the Ford Bronco. When the third-generation of the Ford Bronco was released in 1980 it was done at a time when Ford was actively developing its line of F-150 pickup trucks. This latest version of the Bronco came with enhanced performance, due in part to a reduction in weight and improved airflow, along with a slightly shorter and more narrow body. Another significant change happened to the Bronco’s appearance in 1982. For the first time, it donned Ford’s blue-oval logo instead of the F O R D lettering previous versions had been produced with. A few years later in 1985 Ford released a two-tone Eddie Bauer trim option that would become a classic.

Over the next few iterations of the Bronco, Ford had to contend with changing consumer tastes that were starting to gravitate towards efficient, small-SUVs instead. This was the inspiration behind the Bronco II that launched in 1983. This compact, two-door SUV was more efficient and easier to handle than the full-sized Bronco.

By 1992 when Ford released the fifth-generation of the Bronco, four-door SUVs had amassed a new level of popularity, pushing out the two-door Bronco. It wasn’t long until Ford retired the Bronco altogether in 1996.


In 2004 Ford unveiled a brand new take on the Bronco with a concept model at a Detroit auto show. This version was a futuristic take on the classic American car, with a chunky body reminiscent of the Jeep Wrangler. Although this Bronco never came to fruition, it did elicit a strong response from Ford Bronco fans. Rather than turning towards the future of the Bronco, however, fans looked to the past at the early Bronco models and fell in love with them once again. The Bronco saw a resurgence of interest in restored classic models.

Now, over two decades after the Bronco was retired, Ford has relaunched it in 2021. The return of the Bronco will include a 7-speed manual transmission, removable top and doors and of course, a modern infotainment system. This new model is being offered in two or four-door sizes. The return of this classic vehicle proves that the original intent and style behind the Bronco was able to withstand the test of time.

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