We've done numerous tech stories and shot features built by our friends at South County Customs, so when we learned about the pair of Broncos that were being built in their shop, we were all ears. Former teammates on the Kansas City Chiefs, Kyle Turley and John Welbourn both picked up first-generation Ford Broncos and left them in the capable hands of the guys at South County Customs for total transformations.
When South County first received John's '76 Bronco, dubbed "Christine," it already had a Hawaii Racing 351ci V-8 that churned out 525 hp through a five-speed transmission. The First gear is so low, and the Bronco is so light, that it's reserved for off-road duties, while Second through Fifth leave plenty of gears to grab on the street. With a good foundation and a pallet of parts from Wild Horses, a Stockton, California, Bronco specialty store, the build was underway.
Procar Elite seats and a Tuffy Series II center console were bolted into the interior, after the body tub was spayed with Line-X. You won't find anything fancy in the interior, just functional factory gauges with an Auto Meter tach, an Alpine head unit with a few speakers, and no sub. Where South County really went wild was the exterior. All of the body trim and the tubular rear bumper, sourced from Wild Horses, were powdercoated semi-gloss black. Meanwhile, the body was thoroughly prepped and ready for PPG Lamborghini Orange-just the thing to turn heads when the top's off.
Before the Bronco was ready for duty, it needed a real suspension, so again, Wild Horses was called upon. South County Customs ordered a 2-inch body lift and a 3-1/2-inch suspension lift, so it would clear 35/12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires. The ride on the road was a bit scary, due to the 40-year-old suspension design, but it sure was a blast to feel more than 500 horses push the mini-utility down the road.
Lamborghini orange paint is hard to miss in a crowd.
Both interiors are very similar, with the skull shifter on the five-speed and an Auto Mete
The lights were smoked to match the semi-gloss black trim.