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Ford Bronco reveal nigh, but classic models remain sought after

Data from Hagerty shows original Broncos continue to climb in value, and millennials are starting to really dig later model years.

1968 Ford Bronco with GT500 engine
This one happens to have a supercharged V8 from a Shelby GT500 under the hood.
Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Friends, the new Ford Bronco is so close. We're just about two weeks away from finally seeing the reborn off-road SUV in the metal, but before its return, let's take a trip back to the past with the original Bronco.

Thanks to data published Tuesday from classic car insurer Hagerty, we have insight into just how sought after old Broncos remain. The first-generation Bronco continues to climb in value with 1966-1977 models sporting a median value of $50,600. Values are actually up 4% in the past year. Within this generation, the 1973-1977 Wagon 4x4 models with the 302 cubic inch V8 are the cream of the crop with a median value of $60,200. These first-generation Broncos also account for 63% of all Hagerty insurance quotes.

The brief second generation is the second most-valuable Bronco and spans the 1978-1979 model years. The median value hovers at $37,450, and it looks like there's a lot of room to grow. Hagerty data shows values are up 60% in the past year.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, Bronco values dip significantly, but Millennials are showing their attraction to these SUVs. The 1980-1986 models are worth $17,200, based on the median value, and the 1987-1991 models are worth slightly less with a median value of $17,000. Of the later models, the fifth-gen Bronco is much more valuable with a median value of $24,100 for 1992-1996 model years. This generation's value is up 14% in the past year alone.

The fifth-gen is also the hottest with younger collectors, and Hagerty hints we'll see a lot of growth for them. Both millennials and baby boomers tie for quotes on Broncos from the 1990s. Of course, this particular Bronco entered the limelight for the wrong reasons that decade.

The overall picture also highlights millennials' growing purchasing power for collector cars. The generation makes up 30% of all quotes for Broncos, though the average Bronco owner's age is 54. While it's not exactly a youthful figure, Bronco owners are seven years younger than other car collectors on average. First-, second- and fifth-gen Bronco owners are younger still with an average age of 53 compared to the average 57-year-olds that own third- and fourth-gen Broncos.

The 2021 Bronco, by all indications, will be a pretty great machine. But, there's never knowing how classic car enthusiasts will respond. A modern-day Bronco could send classic values skyrocketing for those yearning for a piece of the good ol' days.

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