Juiced: Ford Bronco Can't 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.
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