The Rarest of the Rare - Restored U13 Budd Truck: 17k Mile 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster
- October 01, 2020
With all the attention the new Ford Bronco received during its introduction this summer, many sellers are trying to cash in on previous generation examples by adding a little bit more to their asking prices. Nothing wrong with that. But it’s clear that the seller of this early Bronco was in it for the love of the model, with his restoration process starting when the new Bronco was just a concept truck and a rumor.
This 1966 Bronco is a rare U13 roadster model that is an even rarer “Budd” truck, according to the seller. Budd was the company that built the Bronco prototype and produced the bodies for the first 200 production units in August, September, and October of 1965 before Ford had their own tooling. That means this U13 is one of those first 200 Broncos off of the assembly line, although Ford ended up using the remaining spare Budd parts all the way through the 1967 model year.
This one has been faithfully restored by the seller, with everything being touched during the six-year body-off restoration. The shell was professionally repainted in Wimbledon White on a rotisserie while the seller disassembled the chassis and had the frame and axle housings powder coated. All the mechanical components were rebuilt when possible including the 170ci inline-six, 3-speed manual transmission, transfer case, suspension, brakes, and more. The head was redone to accept unleaded fuels, and the flywheel was removed and professionally resurfaced before a new clutch kit was installed.
These roadsters had no doors or hard top, and all 1966 Broncos were only available with silver metallic upholstery on the seats. The seller notes that he had his accurately recovered with skins from Jeff’s Bronco Graveyard, and we love the early dog dish hubcaps, while everything else on the truck looks just perfect.
It’s hard to find a U13 Budd body Bronco to compare to this one, but we managed to locate a beautifully restored one for $79,900 that sold in 2018, and an unrestored example sold for $58,000 in November 2019, while a third brought $110k at Mecum Monterey in 2018! Based on those three comps, the price on this seems totally fair; we just wish the seller would add some more photos of this epic Bronco to his listing so that we could keep drooling over its beauty.