Anyone willing to spend nearly $300,000 on a classic Ford Bronco wants to feel something above all else. Whether it be a throwback to their childhood when this vintage 4×4 first debuted or just the driving experience only an older, more analog vehicle can offer. The Velocity Restorations Ford Bronco is less a vehicle you use to get around and more a time machine.
I’m not the target demographic for a six-figure restomod, and considering that neither of my parents were alive when this 1970 Bronco rolled off the production line, you’d expect me to have a hard time bonding with it. It’s totally foreign.
Except it’s not. Having grown up in the south of Puerto Rico, Broncos and many older 4x4s were all over the place, with more than a few belonging to family members. So even as I parked by the beach in Malibu in a vehicle that predated me by many decades, I still felt nostalgic about the whole experience.
|5.0-Liter Naturally-Aspirated V8
Before diving into the experience behind the wheel, we must cover some specifics. This 1970 Ford Bronco was completely restored and modified by Velocity Restorations out of Cantonment, FL. The firm works on a variety of vintage vehicles ranging from Broncos, K5 Blazers, Mustangs, F-100s, and F-250s. In 2025, it plans to add the International Scout II to that growing list.
The order process is straightforward. Much like ordering a new Bronco, Velocity lets you pick which exterior color, interior finish, and optional extras you’d like. A build timeline is established, and a $25,000 deposit puts everything in motion. What’s unique about this process is that Velocity guarantees a 14-week build timeline. This includes taking the donor vehicle apart, restoring all components, completing the rebuild, road testing, and delivering.
As I’ve recently, and quite painfully, learned through my vintage Porsche 911 restoration project, which you’ll hear about in a few weeks, a complete rebuild is a monumental project. Being able to do it consistently in just 14 weeks is pure madness.
Yet here it sits with its shiny Black Glasurit paint reflecting the ocean waves off the Malibu coast. This particular Bronco banks on a simple aesthetic. Almost everything on it, except for its interior, is painted black. Its wheels, bumpers, grille, headlights, roll bars, and fabric top contribute to its monochromatic look.
While black will always look classy, a beach-bound configuration like this one and its retractable soft top would benefit from brighter paintwork. Just glance at Velocity’s showroom, and you’ll see Broncos wearing Orange, Green, Blue, and even Pink. I could perhaps see a case where this scheme allows you to fly under the radar, but all that goes out the window the second it starts up.
That’s because under this small off-roader’s hood sits a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter Coyote V8. It’s the engine you’d get in a Mustang GT and pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Instead of fitting a stock-ish exhaust, Velocity gave this Bronco custom headers and a performance exhaust.
It’s loud. Extremely so. It starts like a muscle car and lets anyone within a half-mile radius know it’s awake. Its engine note is throaty at higher revs but retains a low-frequency old-school rumble down low. Despite drawing power from a modern powertrain, it doesn’t sound like it.
The Coyote V8 crate engine that powers it is rated for 460 horsepower, but adding the performance exhaust and headers likely raises that figure. Since it’s connected to a quick-shifting automatic with short gear ratios, it works its way through its 10-speeds rapidly. The NA V8 delivers instant throttle response while it’s eager to rev and make strong power doing so.
At wide-open-throttle, this classic, almost unassuming Bronco is an absolute riot. It’s the kind of thing you can’t help but laugh while driving.
Its chassis also receives significant modifications, including a 2.5-inch lift, upgraded front and rear axles, sway bars, an aluminum fuel tank, and larger Wilwood brakes. It wears 17-in Method Race Wheels on all four corners wrapped in 285/70 section BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires.
This is the area where I’d argue most of the nostalgic feeling actually comes from. It’s one thing for this classic Bronco to look vintage, but if it drives like a modern SUV, what’s the point? Even on Malibu’s smooth pavement, this old-school off-roader proved bouncy, with plenty of body motions and play in its steering, like an old-school off-roader.
It stops much better than anything made in the 70s should, and while its modern engine makes it very easy to drive in traffic, you’re still driving a vintage vehicle, and it never lets you forget it. Although it’s capable of it, this won’t be the car you’ll want to drive daily, especially not on the highway. It’s the kind of vehicle for special occasions, like a track racer or a classic car. It’s for when you’re in the mood for the experience it offers.
Inside, the Velocity Bronco gets two plush seats up front and a bench seating two in the rear. This example features the Signature Hickory finish, made of marine-grade vinyl. While a Napa leather option is available, the tougher material is the right choice for this open-top cruiser. All seats feature a diamond-stitch pattern, are reasonably supportive, and feature subtle side bolsters.
Although this SUV’s interior is tiny by modern standards, it offers plenty of leg and headroom and should comfortably seat two adults up front and two kids in the second row.
In front of the driver sits a wooden steering wheel with black metal spokes, a column-mounted gear selector, and a tiny gear indicator. To the left sits the only gauge on the dashboard, displaying your speed, revs, fuel, and temperature, among others, in a single unit. The only modern touch within it is a tiny screen displaying trip info and allowing you to see warning messages among other menus. It’s modern enough to offer greater utility without disrupting the old-school vibe.
The rest of the dash is relatively simple, with the only other bit of modern kit being the Alpine head unit nestled just above the A/C vents. For nearly $300,000, seeing a fairly basic head unit is a bummer, but I’m not sure what the alternative could be. A tablet-style display certainly isn’t the answer. Perhaps a functional but old-school-looking radio complementing the central instrument cluster would be best.
The Velocity Restorations Ford Bronco starts at $269,900. However, as it sits, this unit comes in at $292,400. Given this off-roader’s high level of customizability, its price will vary drastically. Assessing the value of high-dollar restomod’s is challenging. But then again, anyone considering one of these isn’t looking for the vehicle itself. They’re after the experience it provides, its aesthetics, and even what it tells the world about the person behind the wheel.
As I mentioned in the intro, I am not the target demographic for this kind of vehicle. Yet still, its charm is undeniable. The allure of cruising in something that looks period correct but covers miles with modern reliability is strong. I also commend Velocity Restorations for its restraint in adding new components and materials. Much attention has gone into updating but not disturbing this 4x4s vibe. It’s charming, but whether it’s charming enough to get you to shell out the massive sum required to own one will come down to how strong of a feeling it can generate in you.