It was meant as a joke — but now it’s a monster.
This restored 1968 Ford Bronco is a clean example of an American icon, but it was originally meant as a joke. No, really — late-night host Craig Ferguson bought this Bronco for Jay Leno before Leno’s own show ended, not knowing just how collectible these Broncos are now. Fortunately, Jay Leno’s not oblivious about the car’s history, and accepted the gag, and it’s sat unrestored ever since. Until now.
Ford revealed this restored Bronco at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, with Ford Performance and SEMA Garage spearheading the effort to bring this classic back to life. But this is no ordinary project rig, as it has a completely modern heart lurking within.
This 1968 Ford Bronco has a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine straight from the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500.
Instantly, Jay Leno’s Bronco probably just became one of the most powerful and fastest Broncos around. For those who don’t know, that engine is the most powerful Ford has ever made. In the Mustang, it produces 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Mustang, however, the engine here mates up to a Tremec TR-4050 five-speed Silver Sport transmission with a Quick Draw bellhousing kit and STX shifter assembly. Its heavy-duty four-wheel drive drivetrain also houses an Advance Adapter Atlas II transfer case, as well as a custom airbox, exhaust with Borla mufflers, stainless steel gas tank and coolant package by Krawlers Edge.
Underneath, Jay Leno’s Bronco has Fox 2.0 factory race series coilover shocks and steering stabilizer. A set of 18 x 9-inch John R Detroit Steel Wheels come wrapped in BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A 275/65 R18 tires. All the sheet metal, body modification and assembly was handled by LGE-CTS Motorsports.
Heading to Jay Leno’s Garage
“Bronco was an iconic vehicle that was many things to many people,” Leno said of the car. “The Bronco was bought to use on the farm or to take your date to the prom and was comfortable in any of these environments. The idea of having a classic Bronco upgraded with modern handling, performance and braking really makes it the best of both worlds.” A classic Bronco with modern power and a modern chassis? He’s probably onto something.
Naturally, the restored 1968 Ford Bronco will appear on Jay Leno’s Garage on YouTube. Stay tuned for more SEMA updates, including the new Bronco R Baja racer!