Juiced: Ford Bronco Can't Seem to Shake Its Association With a Certain Low-speed Chase

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
juiced ford bronco cant seem to shake its association with a certain low speed chase

Your author was once a CNN addict. As soon as cable TV reached his humble childhood home, you could find him sitting cross-legged in front of that 20-inch set, absorbing a flood of diverse, on-the-scene news reporting taking place in a number of locales outside the Beltway. It was like Opposite World compared to today.

And yes, that impressionable youth stayed up late the night of June 17th, 1994, watching a certain white SUV make its way down an L.A. freeway. Twenty-six years later, the iconic nameplate that famously ferried the guy who played Detective Nordberg from Naked Gun (there was a football career, too, I’m told) is back, due for a July 9th reveal.

What are the odds that the (deferred) debut date happens to be the birthday of that infamous Bronco occupant?

Obviously, one in 365. While we were made aware of the new date over the weekend, the connection to a certain O.J. Simpson first came to my attention by way of a tweet from Motor Authority‘s Joel Feder.

Memories came flooding back. It was a boring chase, as far as chases go, providing no demonstration of the last-generation Bronco’s on- or off-road prowess, with nothing in the way of rock crawling or hill climbing. Let’s be honest — we were all hoping for more entertainment that night. That said, the resulting trial galvanized the world and inspired a Seinfeld secondary character whose existence still brightens my life.

As for the upcoming Bronco, that returning model’s debut was originally supposed to take place at the newly winter-free Detroit auto show — until the coronavirus pandemic scuttled the June event. With a pressing need to get the Bronco reveal out of the way before late July’s F-150 debut, Ford settled on a date.

The automaker’s North American product communication manager, Mike Levine, told the Detroit Free Press that the launch date’s O.J. connection was “purely coincidental.”

As the Juice celebrates his 73rd birthday, the motoring press will be tuned in to the unveiling of Ford’s new Jeep Wrangler-fighting off-roader. Over the past several months, a waterfall of leaks has revealed quite a bit about a vehicle Ford wishes was a bit more shadowy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t buzz. If anything, there’s more because of the online leakage. It’s a product many, including TTAC’s Adam Tonge, want to get their hands on.

And when it launches, the O.J. connection “will be the lede, or at least the reference point, in every Bronco debut story,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book.

Some vehicles just can’t seem to shake their past, no matter how much the new leadership would like to wish it away. Assuming, of course, that they aren’t in favor of this extra level of attention.

[Image: Ford]

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  • Super555 Super555 on Jun 16, 2020

    I recently learned that the Murder Bronco was actually impounded by the LAPD and was owned by Hertz. I suppose it had to do with his endorsement deal. The white Bronco in the chase belonged to his good friend A.C. who was driving that day. Very interesting The 1997 Ford Expedition was supposed to be the next Bronco IIRC.

  • Heino Heino on Jun 16, 2020

    If the Bronco does not fit, you must acquit.

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic As a side note, have you looked at a Consumers Report lately? In the past, they would compare 3 or 4 station wagons, or compact SUVs, or sedans per edition. Now, auto reporting is reduced to a report on one single vehicle in the entire edition. I guess CR realized that cars are not as important as they once were.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
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