If It Doesn't Fit, You Must Acquit: Pesky O.J. Coincidence Forces Another Bronco Delay

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
if it doesn t fit you must acquit pesky o j coincidence forces another bronco

Insisting earlier in the week that its scheduled debut date for the new Bronco was simply a coincidence, Ford has nonetheless found itself forced to push back the model’s reveal even further.

The automaker unintentionally made waves after its planned July 9th reveal of the reborn off-roader (already deferred by the pandemic and resulting trade show cancellations) coincided with the birthday of O.J. Simpson — a man forever linked to the vehicle following his low-speed 1994 cruise into infamy.

Everyone noticed, including the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, whose 1994 murder — along with that of friend Ron Goldman — sparked the trial of the century.

As of Friday, the July 9th date is off the table.

“The reveal of the all-new Ford Bronco lineup will now happen on Monday, July 13. The previous targeted date of July 9 unintentionally coincided with O.J. Simpson’s birthday,” stated Mark Truby, vice president of communications for Ford, via Twitter.

“We wanted to be sensitive and respectful of this concern.”

Ford has a hectic product schedule this year, one made all the more complex by the disruptive arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. Trade show debuts are out, germ-free online unveilings are in. Later this month will see the reveal of the next-generation F-150, with the unibody Bronco Sport following the unveiling of the body-on-frame Bronco.

Earlier in the week, controversy sparked by the Bronco debut date reached Tanya Brown, sister of the murder victim.

“Is that on purpose?” the Detroit Free Press reports her asking. “My first reaction was, ‘are you kidding me? This is funny?’

Simpson was acquitted on two counts of murder following an 11-month trial that galvanized the world, only to then lose a wrongful death civil lawsuit. He was later charged with armed robbery and kidnapping following a 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room, earning him a sentence of 33 years. He was released on parole in 2017 after serving 9 years.

Despite Ford’s insistence that the debut was merely a coincidence, the launch’s timing didn’t sit well with many, including UAW members. One president of a UAW local (Todd Dunn, Louisville) told Freep that several members had approached him with concerns.

Eventually, it became all too much, forcing Ford to distance itself from any association with the model’s most famous occupant.

[Image: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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4 of 49 comments
  • La834 La834 on Jun 20, 2020

    I'm pretty sure Ford also wants "Bronco" to evoke the original small Bronco off-roader, not the later F150-based big ones. Much less evoke OJ.

    • See 1 previous
    • Slavuta Slavuta on Jun 22, 2020

      I don't know what the intent was but covered under this rug, this car looks exactly like FJ Cruiser save for rounded wheel arches

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 21, 2020

    Enough is enough no more dribbling pieces of news and pictures just say when the Bronco is coming out and get it out with no more delays. Drag this out any longer and those who are interested in the Bronco will lose interest. If this is the way Hacket runs a company then they need to get rid of him but it is Bill Ford who is most likely calling the shots. I would like to see Ford succeed and get their act together. FCA is a lost cause and GM has been circling the drain for a while--I doubt GM will remain a US based company much longer. Hyundai and Kia seem to be the rising stars and have been steadily improving the quality of their products and making vehicles that buyers want. If you take trucks away from Ford, GM, and FCA they would all fail.

  • RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
  • Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
  • Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
  • FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.