Blue Patina: A Modern Take On A Classic Bronco From ASC

Even though Ford recently released a brand new Bronco, they haven’t built a 1967 Bronco for 55 years. Owning a vehicle with a classic Bronco body combined with modern amenities like fuel injection is normally reserved for hot rodders who have a lot of time and talent to spend in the garage. However, Artesian Automotive of Southern California (ASC) has changed all of that. ASC restores vintage Ford Broncos and installs Coyote 5.0-liter engines, air conditioning, digital gauges, and killer sound systems. This Bronco, nicknamed Blue Patina, is another fine example.

Blue Patina

It may say 289 on the fender, but it has a 5.0-liter under the hood. The crate engine provides massive power to all four wheels of this classic 4×4.

Blue Patina

This new example retains the original Ford blue paint from 1967 with years of patina covering the body. This creates a bit of a sleeper. From a distance, this looks like an old Bronco. But as you get closer to it, you realize this off-road Ford is packing all sorts of secrets. It isn’t just the Coyote motor under the hood, the interior is just as eye-popping.

Some updated upholstery highlights a vintage interior, keeping the style of the ’67 Bronco alive while also making it useful for daily driving.

An Interior Like No Other

To get information from the Coyote engine, analog gauges have been replaced with a Dakota Digital RTX gauge cluster. A four-point and period-correct rollcage with exquisite welds has been installed and wrapped with distressed leather pads. For seating, there are Procar Elite high-back front seats with a rear fold and tumble bench seat. The kick panels, shifter boot, floor mats, and dash pad are all colored to match the same distressed leather which contrasts nicely with the blue painted interior. The windows have been upgraded to electrical units to modernize the vintage vehicle.

Blue Patina

The Procar seats are the proper choice to keep the vintage style of the Bronco while making the interior comfortable to spend time in.

The rear view mirror has a backup camera display integrated inside of it. Vintage Air heat and air conditioning help keep the climate controlled inside the Bronco. A micro-suede headliner keeps the roof tidy, and the Wild Horses‘ billet dress-up kit provides highlights on shift knobs and pretty much anything else your hand would touch while operating the Bronco. A Retrosound radio from Retromanufacturing provides an excellent sound system with a Focal amplifier and speakers, including a subwoofer to rock your favorite tunes from Hank Williams Jr.

The rear of the interior shows the beauty of Blue Patina with its blue interior and tan seats. The foldable rear seat allows for lots of storage space.

 

Blue Patina

Modern LED headlights from Vision X fitted into a vintage grille with just the right amount of rust and patina makes this Bronco a head turner.

Under The Blue Patina

The power from the 5.0-liter Coyote engine is put through a six speed 6R80 automatic transmission, then a Dana 20 transfer case before meeting a 9-inch big bearing rearend with a limited-slip differential and 31-spline axles. The suspension on Blue Patina uses period-correct rear leaf springs and front coil springs with remote reservoir Bilstein shocks. James Duff T-Rex radius arms are powdercoated blue to assist with the 2.5-inch suspension lift and 1-inch body lift. The Bronco is outfitted with modern four wheel disc brakes with a Hydroboost system. To handle the donuts, powder coated custom 18×8-inch Wimbledon wheels were installed within the BFGoodrich 275/65/R18 all-terrain tires.

Bilstein 7100 remote reservoir shocks and James Duff radius arms keep the bounce under control.

Engine Bay

The Ford Performance crate engine puts down 359 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. Because of its fuel injection and computer controls two things this Bronco did not have in 1967 Blue Patina will run perfect at every elevation and at every temperature the planet earth can throw at it. To keep the engine cool, a Ron Davis radiator was installed with a BC Broncos fan shroud with a dual-speed fan. The electrical system is run with an Optima red top battery. A Painless Performance wiring harness connects all of the important electrical bits, helping to integrate modern technology with a vintage chassis.

Blue Patina

The blue highlights painted onto the Coyote engine really make this engine bay shine inside the old Bronco.

The Business

ASC began in 1987 by modifying and upgrading 4×4 vehicles. It made a name for itself in the industry by building off-road vehicles that looked like cars typically afforded to high-end hot rod builders or vintage car restorers. Over the years, the owner, David Ventura, moved specifically into the Ford Bronco market. According to Heidi Mylo, the office manager at ASC, it has 20 Broncos at a time and it takes one year to complete a full build. “We are constantly searching all over the country for Broncos,” Heidi says. Blue Patina was found in Reno, Nevada, and then brought to its shop in Venice, California, for a complete ground-up rebuild. That’s when David and his crew put their magic into the old Bronco.

ASC finds Broncos wherever they can and then starts the process of rebuilding them into modern pieces of performance art. Speaking of its shop, originally located in Venice, California, it served them from 1987 to 2021, until the building was sold to make room for a high-rise building. ASC moved a few miles away to Santa Monica, and continue its daily work on vintage Broncos. As customers have their dream Bronco built, they can choose different options including engine, transmission, and suspension changes. Starting price for one of these badass Broncos from ASC is $125,000.

According to Ventura, Blue Patina represents the best of what his shop produces. “At ASC we believe that innovation is about integrating proven automotive technology in new and creative ways to complement the classic lines and form of historic 4x4s,” Ventura says. “Our proprietary designs are forward thinking beyond what the industry is producing. We reference technology that is outside of the off-road market and are always adapting and innovating new ways of building modern classics.”

If you see a little rust on a passenger door but there is an ASC Bronco sticker on the window, skip that drag race because this Bronco has a 5.0-liter Coyote engine inside it.

The New Owner Of Blue Patina

After Blue Patina was completed, it was purchased by a true-blue Ford fan, Robert Sneed, president and managing partner at Power Ford in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What Robert liked about Blue Patina was the fact that the weathered original paintwork makes this vehicle discrete. The original uncut front fenders, the stock Bronco roof rack, and the original bumpers make this initially look like just an old Bronco. But, upon further glances or using your sense of hearing to catch the distinctive sound of the Coyote under the hood, anyone can quickly realize this is a special vehicle. According to Robert, Blue Patina attracts a crowd. “I can’t take this thing anywhere if I’m a hurry,” he says. “People always want to stop and talk about the Bronco.”

Blue Patina, with its 2.5-inch lift and 1-inch body lift, has a great 4×4 stance that indicates this thing can handle any terrain.

 

You can see the outstanding craftsmanship on this rebuild of a 53-year-old vehicle. Every nut and bolt has been gone through.

The Trail Less Taken

If you have ever wanted an old Bronco to take off-road or just cruise down the main boulevard to turn some heads, consider a modern take on a vintage favorite 4×4 with ASC Broncos. Sure, you are a handy person, you could probably rebuild one of these yourself, all you have to do is find a 1967 Ford Bronco, have space to do the work, spend a year of your life restoring it, figure out the complexities of installing a computer controlled Coyote engine and transmission into a vehicle that was constructed before computers, and then turn the key and roll your new 4×4 out of the driveway. Easy right?

Blue Patina

Don’t be fooled by this rough looking right rear fender, what is underneath all of this patina is a serious modern Bronco.

Blue Patina is a one-of-a-kind hot rod 4X4 that combines the best of retro styling with the best of modern-vehicle technology and even includes a two-year warranty which is impressive because the original three-year, 36,000 mile warranty expired half a century ago.

 

About the author

Rob Krider

Rob Krider will race absolutely anything. He is a multi-national champion racing driver and is also the author of the novel, Cadet Blues.
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