Brothers With Broncos - 1971 and 1972 Ford Bronco
Two Fords that Run Fast and Slow
By Jay Kopycinski, Photography by Jay Kopycinski
The Herman brothers love to hit the dirt whenever they can. They grew up exploring the desert in their mom’s ’79 Scout. From there, a love of off-roading led them to other 4WDs and at one point they each had lifted fullsize trucks for trail and backcountry exploring. However, they soon realized that they needed vehicles other than their daily drivers if they wanted to pursue more aggressive play in the dirt.
Both agreed on getting early Broncos and they soon had two of the classics in hand. From there, they’ve built on the Broncos over the years to get them to what you see today. The brothers also like to mix up their wheeling from running on the Baja Peninsula to crawling some of the rock canyons near Phoenix, Arizona, or the slickrock of Moab, Utah. They’ve chosen their powerplants to produce copious amounts of ponies but maintain good low end torque as well. They’ve also combined it with the gearing to go slow or fast, getting results that speak more of versatility than of compromise.
Both rigs have morphed from steel-body-on-frame classics to more skins-on-tubular-chassis, although underneath these hybrids is still some considerable Bronco heritage. The front of the bodies have been narrowed for visibility and clearance, and the back ends have been dove-tailed as well. The two Broncos are quite similar in many proven aspects but do differ where each brother expressed some specific preference.
Much of the chassis and suspension fabrication was left to master fabricator Rob Bonney at 4Wheelers Supply in Phoenix. The Hermans wanted Rob to fashion suspensions that could soak up some serious terrain and handle at speed, but also be predictable and stable when boulder crawling in washes. Rob brought his rock racing background to bear when doing the designs, and the results are impressive. Both Broncos are linked front and rear. They are set up with coilovers, bypass shocks and air bumps to manage spring and damping chores over a wide range of conditions.
We’ve run the desert and wheeled with George and Paul, and seen the Broncos in action. They’ve now got rigs built to go fast, and to go slow.
By Jay Kopycinski
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