John Mitchell, a retired septic-tank distributor from Kingman, Arizona, decided to extend his off-road exploration needs by building a '69 Ford Bronco Sport 200 SVD. John and his wife, Vivian, have always been the outdoors-recreational types with all of the essential toys: motorcycles, Artic Cat 4x4 quads, a sand rail, and a Sandpiper trailer to haul them all in. Oh yeah, we can't forget the 37-foot Rinker performance boat for those glassy sunrise and sunset occasions. John can, literally, roll out of his driveway onto the beautiful wide-open Arizona desert terrain-where we photographed John's Bronco-every day.
A 3-inch diameter Mile Marker pre-runner style front bumper protects the Bronco's leading
The Ford Bronco was introduced to the world in August 1965, to compete against Jeep's CJ5 and International Harvester's Scout during the infant age of 4x4 recreational off-roading. The first generation Broncos came with only a saddle and reigns, without power steering or an automatic transmission. Under the hood was a 170ci Falcon inline six-cylinder that produced 105 hp. A three-speed manual transmission with a long-throw steering-column mounted shift lever was the only selector of choice. It's short 92-inch wheelbase made this buckin' Bronco a kick to drive.
On John's Bronco, the factory frame was reinforced and boxed for added rigidity and strength. A Dana 60 differential provides power to the front wheels, while a narrowed and modified F-150 rear end with a Detroit Locker delivers power to the rear wheels. Rancho coil springs and Rancho RS5000 shocks control the bounce up front, while the factory power steering resists bump steer with a Rancho steering dampener. A pair of heavy-duty Atlas leaf springs and Rancho RS5000 shock absorbers support the modified Ford F-150 rearend. A set of four Nitto Mud Grappler Extreme Terrain 35x12R18 tires encase the 18x10-inch Panther EMR 440 polished aluminum wheels. To achieve increased ground and tire clearance, a 4-inch body lift kit was installed. A polished billet gas filler door leads to a custom 12-gallon aluminum fuel cell.
A Jeff's Graveyard fiberglass hoodscoop allows for ample carburetor and air- cleaner clear
The Ford 351ci Windsor V-8 produces a tame 350 hp. John had the engine block and cylinder heads de-burred, ported, polished, and assembled at Shurway Machine, located in Arizona. The Windsor crankshaft bearing bores were align bored, block cylinders were line bored and honed, and then fitted with a set of 9.1 forged J&E Pistons. A mild Comp Cams camshaft was carefully inserted, along with a set of Comp Cams hydraulic lifters and pushrods. Clevite bearings were used throughout the engine. A K&N air filter was mounted atop an Edelbrock 650cfm carburetor that delivers a constant fuel and air mixture into the Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold. An MSD electronic ignition system includes: coil, distributor, and ignition wires. The dominating whine of a Jackson gear drive can be heard over the engine's idle. The entire engine was assembled using ARP Fasteners. The burnt gasses are exhausted by a pair of Hooker shorty headers that flow into a Flow-Tech 3-1/2-inch custom exhaust and mufflers.