Ford’s 1981 Bronco Concept – Montana Lobo

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The Ford Bronco turns 50 this year, and while it has been out of production for almost 2 decades the faithful hope it will make a triumphant return someday. In the meantime check out this futuristic concept from 1981!

In 1981, Ford rolled out the Bronco Montana Lobo at the Chicago Auto Show. We are not sure where the Big Sky state has to do with this concept but I guess it’s better than the Rhode Island Lobo. The sci-fi-styled machine was a perfect example of the 1980’s futurism, and would look at home in some of that decades wildest movies.

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Based on the chassis of a 1977 Bronco, and powered by a 5.0-liter V8 (302CID), it was clad in anything but old-school bodywork. Its edgy, mustard-gold bodywork sported a wedge-profile hood, raked-back windshield, roll bar, louvered side rails, a rooftop airfoil over off-road lights, and bumpers with an integrated winch.

The most interesting/insane design features were the removable tinted Plexiglas bubble doors and T-top roof. Hemp (seriously Hemp!) fabric upholstery covered an open bed fitted with fold out bench seats along each side that could be accessed via a sliding glass door.

As forward-thinking as it was bizarre, The Montana Lobo also had a retractable loading ramp built into the tailgate (seems like Ram may have a hard time patenting this idea since it already existed!) and body-side storage compartments that are common today. Ventilated seats and digital instruments are now SUV staples and luxury car staples but in 1981 were straight out of the movies.

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To round it all off they fitted it with side pipes for exhaust. Not very futuristic but a rather badass choice. Just look at those old school steelies. I remember lusting after wheels like that.

What’s your take on this concept, and better yet do you want a new Bronco to be produced?

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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