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Ford Bronco: What's in a name

The Ford Bronco has a long and storied history. We take a look at how the name came to be, as well as a few fun facts behind this classic SUV.

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The Ford Bronco is officially back for 2021 after a 25-year hiatus and we are stoked. It's got everything a dirt-head wants in a rock-crawling, dune-bashing, desert-punishing vehicle. But all this Bronco talk got us thinking: How did the popular SUV come to be? Take a trip down memory lane with us and see.

Let's get in the way-back machine and travel to the 1940s. Ford had been a part of the military effort, producing jeeps for Uncle Sam. The company realized that when the war ended, there was a demand for a civilian-spec, go-anywhere SUV that was a bit more comfortable for daily driving. 

It took the folks at Ford a while, but by 1966 we had the Bronco. In 1969 the Bronco won the prestigious Baja 1000 and its popularity took off. It remained pretty simple through the years, eventually picking up such niceties as an automatic transmission and air conditioning. In 1980, independent front suspension arrived, and in 1984 a smaller Bronco II model was introduced. 

We don't want to give away the whole story here, so click on the video to learn what names were rejected by Ford and how the Bronco II morphed into the Explorer, plus a few surprising facts and figures.