Jonathan Ward, CEO of California-based ICON, sells refurbished and modernized classic 1960s-era Ford Broncos for between $175,000 and $230,000 -- and says he can't keep up with demand.
"We do between 12 and 18 per year, and we're sold out through 2018," he told Automotive News.
Ward doesn't think a new version of the Bronco will soften the demand for classic Broncos, which were boxy, stripped-down, rugged off-road vehicles that competed with the Jeep Wrangler and its ancestors. "The market has gone nuts for the original Bronco," he said.
ICON, based in Los Angeles, starts with original Broncos supplied by customers and strips and rebuilds them using the powertrain from the Mustang GT, a modern electrical system and other new components. Ward sold one to Jay Leno.
ICON worked with Ford to ensure high-quality restoration parts, and Ward said there is a lot of enthusiasm within Ford for the nameplate. Ford showcased the ICON Bronco at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas in 2011.
Ford produced the first-generation Bronco from 1966 to 1977. The O.J. Simpson-style Bronco debuted in 1978. Ford also built a Ranger-based Bronco II from 1984 to 1990.
The original Bronco, along with early Land Rovers, Jeep Wagoneers and Wranglers, has become collectible among baby boomers.