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01 1968 Ford Bronco Craig Scanlon 4WP Early Bronco

1968 Ford Bronco – 4WP Corporate Cruiser

4 Wheel Parts President, Craig Scanlon’s Early Bronco

Photography by Jason Stilgebouer

The Ford Bronco is a 4×4 that has long been adored by many people in America because of what the model name means to them as an off-road icon: adventure, ruggedness, and fun. The Bronco was released in 1966 to compete with the popular Jeep CJ and International Harvester Scout. Ending it’s long and great production run in 1996, the Bronco is finally making a comeback. Ford announced the Bronco’s eventual return in 2017, and we’ve been patiently waiting for our beloved icon ever since and now it’s almost here.

02 1968 Ford Bronco Desert Sunset Craig Scanlon

You can’t talk about the Bronco without mentioning it’s incredible off-road racing history. It has raced in Mexico and deserts throughout the southwest and has become a cultural icon that many off-road enthusiasts flock to. It’s no surprise that this beautiful 1968 Ford Bronco caught the eye of 4 Wheel Parts President, Craig Scanlon as something he could build and mold into the perfect corporate cruiser. What started out as a simple project meant to take off-road on the trails, quickly snowballed into a quality show car level restoration, thanks to the help of Jagged X Racing in Phoenix, AZ.

03 1968 Ford Bronco Side Craig Scanlon

Starting with a completely original ‘68 Ford Bronco, Craig immediately sent it to Jagged X Racing to get a frame-off restoration. The process began with sending the body to CR Designs for a paint job that would stay true to its roots… sort of. It was painted in Magnetic Grey, a color that can’t be found on any Bronco but has graced many newer vehicles across the Ford lineup.

04 1968 Ford Bronco Driving in Desert Craig Scanlon

Jagged X pulled the tired original engine in favor of a fuel-injected 347 c.i. stroker Ford small block V8 that pumps out 445 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque to help it conquer the trails.

05 1968 Ford Bronco James Duff Suspension with Walker Evans Shocks

A James Duff Monster Long Arm kit paired with custom Walker Evans shocks means that this old Bronco isn’t a slouch when cruising across the desert at high speeds and with a Ford 9-Inch differential in the rear and Dana 44 in the front both stuffed with ARB Air Lockers to make sure the Bronco is never lacking for traction. It even utilizes the legendary original Dana 20 Twin Stick Transfer-case for those hi/lo gear changes. It’s as capable off road as any modern 4×4, if not more.

06 1968 Ford Bronco 39 Inch BFGoodrich KM3 Mud Terrain Tires

A set of 39-inch BFGoodrich All Terrain KM2 tires mounted on 17-inch Method Race Wheels NV305 wheels help propel this corporate cruiser down the trail and street with a perfect balance of comfort and handling in any situation. The original roll cage wasn’t going to cut it in terms of overall safety and aesthetics, so they ditched the old roll cage in favor of a Bent Fabrication Family Cage. The new roll cage provides safety and peace of mind in addition to stiffening up the chassis to help it handle the stresses it encounters in the dirt.

07 1968 Ford Bronco Craig Scanlon Jagged X Shaved and Filled Door Window Frame

A subtle feature Jagged X did to Craig’s Bronco was that they shaved and filled the top of the door window frame to give it smooth body lines when the top is off. It is a small detail that goes a long way in terms of the design of this build.

08 1968 Ford Bronco Craig Scanlon Donuts

This wild steed is definitely Craig’s pride and joy after all these years and he definitely doesn’t let is sit, taking any opportunity he has to let that 347-stroker fire up and roar to life. While most of its mileage since the rebuild have been relegated to local cruises and around town runs, we were able to convince him to let his Bronco loose in the desert for some fresh, dusty donuts. You’re welcome!

09 1968 Ford Bronco Rear Desert Craig Scanlon

With the 2021 Ford Bronco said to be unveiled on July 13, 2020, it sure is nice to look back and appreciate the classics such as Craig’s corporate cruiser. It’s a Bronco that was built in a time where they were simple machines, did what they needed to do with no gimmicks or luxury features. Seeing Craig’s Bronco out on the road is refreshing, and hopefully, we will see more of it on the trails soon.

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