Thursday, October 6, 2011

SUV Of The Day: October 6, 2011

Today's car of the day is Matchbox's 1987 Ford Bronco II.

The Ford Bronco II was a compact SUV sold between 1984 and 1990. It was commissioned as a smaller complement to the full-size Bronco as well as to offer a Ford alternative to the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, Jeep Cherokee (XJ), and Toyota 4Runner. The Bronco II was Ford's first compact SUV since the original Bronco sold from 1966 to 1977. It is mechanically and (except in detail) structurally identical to the Ford Ranger. It had a 94-inch (2,388 mm) wheelbase and was enclosed in the rear. Unlike the Bronco, the Bronco II offered four wheel drive as an option (all full-sized Broncos were four wheel drive) and did not have a removable roof.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford Bronco II

The Bronco II was done by Matchbox and Majorette.  Both come as lifted trucks, only, but the Matchbox is the superior casting of the two.  Realtoy copied the Matchbox and this casting may still be available from them (though it is long gone from the actual Matchbox line).  The monster truck fad was in full swing by this point, as evidenced by the sheer variety of lifted trucks, SUVs, and even a few cars available from a multitude of manufacturers during this era.

The first Bronco II was developed in parallel with the Ranger from 1984 to 1988. The restyling of the Bronco II and Ranger started in 1989, but ended for the Bronco II with the end of production in February 1990, replaced by the larger Explorer. The restyling is marked not only by difference in physical appearance, but also improved structural support. 1990 models produced after November 1989 with four-wheel drive came equipped with the Dana 35 front axle, as opposed to the Dana 28 front axle used in earlier production.

The Explorer started where the Bronco II left off with a similar Ranger-based platform, sharing essentially the same front end, but with Ford's new 4.0 L OHV Cologne 155 hp (116 kW) V6 and a four-door model with a two-door Sport option. The Explorer kept to the Ranger based tradition until 1995 when it was overhauled with a major exterior restyling, and chassis modifications to allow the addition of Ford's 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8, and that was the end of the line for any reminisce of the Bronco II.

Ford would not market another compact SUV until the release of the Escape in 2001.

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