Kyle Johnson
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Jay Leno’s 1968 Ford Bronco Has a Shelby GT500 V8

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Jay Leno's 1968 Ford Bronco Wagon
Jay Leno’s 1968 Ford Bronco
Photo: Ford Motor Company

On the evening of the final taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (presumably the actual last taping, not the taping that was to have been his last before he horned his way back and did Conan so dirty), fellow host and actual funny person Craig Ferguson gifted the eponymous host with an old 1968 Ford Bronco. The whole thing is said to be a joke, but if anything, it was probably a sly metaphor for Leno’s comedy: old, tired, worn down, and out of date.

Leno took the gift in stride, and the avid car collector set about the task of fixing up the Bronco. The end result made its debut at the 2019 SEMA Show this month, and it’s fair to say that Jay Leno’s 1968 Ford Bronco is no joke. Which is convenient, because jokes (or at least good jokes) are not something the bulbous-jawed TV host is super familiar with.

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

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Ford Performance worked hand-in-hand with some of the best restorers in the business to bring the 1968 Ford Bronco wagon back from the brink. Of all the upgrades the Bronco got, the most impressive is its Ford Performance 5.2-liter supercharged V8 — the same that supplies 760 horsepower for the upcoming Shelby Mustang GT500. Needless to say, this Bronco doesn’t want for power, and its got a powerful appearance — complete with custom PPG Industries “Tonight Blue” Envirobase paint and new sheet metal applied by LGE-CTS Motorsports and new body panels and trim from Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts.

Photos: Jay Leno’s 1968 Ford Bronco

There’s a ton more beyond even that: Everything down to the brake lines and axle seals come from one of the industry’s top aftermarket parts companies. It’s got an Advance Adapters Atlas II transfer case, Kincer Chassis Adventure Series coil-over chassis, Fox 2.0 factory race series coil-over shocks and steering stabilizer, and 18-inch BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires wrapped around Detroit Steel Wheels 18-inch John R wheels, all of which make it pretty off-road capable. But most likely, Leno will drive this thing once or twice for Jay Leno’s Garage and then put in the vault with the hundreds of other cars he’s purchased with the money he made from snoring boomers.

Speaking of! The restored 1968 Ford Bronco will be appearing on an upcoming episode of Leno’s show on CNBC and the Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube channel, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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