SEMA 2019: Leno Restores Bronco With Ford Performance And SEMA

This 1968 Ford Bronco, given to Jay Leno by rival late-night host Craig Ferguson as a harmless joke on the last day of taping for The Tonight Show, has become one of the most talked-about builds of the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Since Ferguson gave the old SUV to Leno as a joke — because the vehicle was in such bad condition — the Bronco has sat in Leno’s garage. That is until he recently got some help from Ford Performance and SEMA Garage to revive it. Additionally, the Bronco received some love from the experts at Kincer Chassis.

As a result of Ford’s involvement, the Bronco receives power from the same 5.2-liter supercharged V8 seen in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Additionally, it received a custom airbox and exhaust, new radiator, engine oil cooler, and supercharger cooler.

Power runs through a five-speed TREMEC gearbox provided by Silver Sport Transmissions. SST played an integral part in this build helping with chassis assembly and supplied the TR-4050 5 speed used in the build, which is a new product offering from the company.

The Bronco also makes use of a heavy-duty four-wheel-drive system that can handle the power from the GT500 engine. Wilwood brakes help slow down the Bronco, and it makes use of Fox 2.0 coilover suspension.

Lastly, the Bronco rides on 18-inch wheels with BFGoodrich tires.

“The Bronco was bought to use on the farm or take your date to the prom, and it was comfortable in any of these environments,” Leno said. He added the idea of having a classic Bronco with upgraded modern handling, performance, and braking makes it the best of both worlds.

Ford worked with its licensees to get a new frame and body panels for the restoration. There are some minor exterior modifications to help make the parts fit with the modern components. Still, the tweaks are tiny enough that they are hard to notice unless you happen to be a Bronco expert.

According to the spec sheet, Leno’s Bronco wears a coat of Tonight Blue Envirobase paint, which contrasts well with the white roof, wheels, and grille.

Inside, Leno’s Bronco has an Eagle Ottawa leather upholstery. Dakota Digital gauges replace the original components, and there’s a Sony stereo.

Leno himself will be highlighting this Bronco and its modifications on an upcoming episode of his CNBC show Jay Leno’s Garage, and it’s on display this week at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

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About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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