Carlisle, Penn. – With the much-anticipated launch of the 2021 full-size Ford Bronco, the storied nameplate has created a stir with Ford enthusiasts all over the world. That interest was on full display with the throngs of fans who visited the Stroppe “Baja Bronco” reunion at the Carlisle Ford Nationals this past weekend in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The reunion display had more than 30 examples of the Stroppe-built Broncos, as well as a 1965 Mercury C-Series Stroppe Transporter, a 1963 Mercury Marauder Pikes Peak champion car, ‘94 Ford Ranger built as a Ford Motor Company display vehicle, and the ‘77 Bronco Ambulance made to chase a hot-air balloon across the country for a Ford Marketing event.
If you’re not familiar with the Baja Bronco, it was created as a special Bronco package that could be ordered at most Ford dealerships in the 1970’s. The vehicle program began after Stroppe won both the Baja 500 and 1000 in a Ford Bronco. Ford would build a semi-complete Bronco with a Wimbledon White and Poppy Red paint scheme with a Metallic-Blue roof. The vehicle would then be sent to Long Beach, California, to be finished by the Stroppe team. While there, it would receive various options including fender flares, larger tires, suspension, an automatic transmission, and other off-road focused items such as the “Cactus Smasher” front bull bars.
We talked with several of the Baja Bronco owners at the Carlisle reunion and found each of their stories to be unique. From showing off full restorations to patinated paint, each truck in the display carried its own special story. We even met with one owner from Oregon whose goal is to visit all Lower-48 states in his all-original Bronco. Another had just finished an engine rebuild to ensure another of his approximately 450 Broncos stays on the road in honor of Bill Stroppe. If you couldn’t make it out to the 2021 Carlisle Ford Nationals, we toured the much-visited Stroppe Bronco Reunion display there and captured this gallery of photos below:
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY MARCUS CERVANTES