posted on February 8th, 2017

Bucking Broncos

If you’re not familiar with the Ford Bronco, you’ve been missing out. What you need to know is it’s essentially a short truck with all of the fun of a Wrangler — you can remove the roof to ride al fresco — paired with the functionality and downhome style of a pickup. For an idea of who loves this car the most, we suggest you check out the high school football movie Varsity Blues, starring a sensitive and badly twanging James Van Der Beek.

Alternatively, you can meet Edward S. He’s a Turo member who splits his time between New York, Texas, and LA, and between filming, has made a habit of rebuilding Broncos.

Production of the Bronco ended in 1996, so it’s important to note that when Edward buys a classic Bronco to spruce up and style, he’s taking a piece of history and giving it a new life. Edward’s picked up a few tricks from a buddy, who is a master builder with a mechanic shop. “I’d spend my days off in the shop, which was all Broncos, and if I didn’t know how to do something he’d show me,” Edward reports. “So I got to know the ins and out of the Bronco.”

Not only does he replace the engine and completely rebuild the transmission, he takes time to get the details right. On his signature Bronco, Edward will take the frame off to repaint it, add a diamond stitched roof cover, reupholster the roll bar, get custom floor mats, install a retro-looking radio, and even install marine fabric and a wakeboard sound system so that the interior is waterproof — an essential for a classic car without a roof.

Edward bought his first Bronco because he wanted a fun, beachy car to keep in LA, and he believes it fits the city perfectly. “My friends hassle me because they drive ostentatious cars, but Ferraris and Maseratis, those aren’t my style,” Edward explains. “A pickup truck is more my cup of tea. But a pickup is so long out here, hard to park, and these Broncos are so short and nimble.”

After he fixed one up, he got a deal on another and it became clear to him that these vehicles didn’t lose their value. He could put a lot of time and money into the rebuild and people were happy to buy them. On the day he finished one of his Broncos, Edward drove it out to get coffee and someone pulled up next to him in a Maserati. “The guy was the owner of J Brand jeans,” Edward says. “He asked me, ‘Is that your truck?’ and I said, yes and right then and there I sold it to him for the full asking price. He went to pick up his son — his son was freaking out about the car — and they drove off with it.”

He started renting his Bronco on Turo because he liked the idea of the making some money on the car, and sharing the joy of driving a classic Bronco. It already seemed to attract so much attention. Edward knew that people wanted them for weddings and music videos. “Women are really into Broncos these days and little kids are all amazed. It’s really cool how it affects everyone from all generations.” Whenever Edward drives around with Gunner, his 130-pound dog, people always have something to say. “It’s a trip,” he says. “It’s my lifestyle, it’s Texas to me. I won’t conform to LA”

As it turns out, Edward is certainly not the only one who has a great love for Broncos. Big news in the Bronco world broke earlier this month when an anonymous Reddit poster claiming to be a designer at Ford introduced the idea that Ford would be releasing a new generation of Broncos. This news was then confirmed by an official announcement at the Detroit Auto Show. There’s a lot of speculation around what to expect — whether it will be similar to the Ranger-esque Everest or more like the 2017 Raptor F-150, or whether it will have a style all of its own. We’ll be waiting to see what Ford unveils at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, but we’re pretty sure Ford can’t achieve quite the restomod snaz that Edward does.


Kamala Puligandla is a writer and an editorial assistant at Turo. She is always on the hunt for a strange story, a great snack, and the perfect outdoor spot to consume them.