One of the forerunners of the SUV craze, the classic 1960s Ford Bronco, is getting a new life.
Ford will begin offering body shells for 1966-70 models later this fall, and they're aimed at enthusiasts who want to upgrade, soup up or improve their aging off-roaders.
Look for the Bronco shell to make an appearance at SEMA this fall, perhaps with an EcoBoost engine underhood. General Motors revealed a similar concept last year, called the E-Rod, which featured a crate engine in a 1955 Chevrolet.
The Ford shells are sold through a California company called Dynacorn, which also specializes in 1960s Mustang body shells.
Ford is also considering adding shells for the Fox-bodied Mustangs of 1979-93.
The idea is to capitalize on enthusiasts' love for restoring their old cars. The shells allow for a quick upgrade, as opposed to extensive bodywork after hours of scouring junkyards. They could be particularly useful for the Bronco, which was known for an unfortunate tendency to rust.
The move is part of a Ford program that licenses tooling to custom companies after the original parts are retired by the Blue Oval. The result is that more than 9,000 parts are available for the restoration market, and they're built to the same specs as those Ford built. The portfolio dates to 1909 and the Model T and reaches forward to the early 2000s.