By on June 15, 2020

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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17 Comments on “Juiced: Ford Bronco Can’t Seem to Shake Its Association With a Certain Low-speed Chase...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It doesn’t mean a thing, and after the giggling is over, it won’t mean anything a day later.

    The same people get a thrill from Tesla’s S3XY, which in proper order is SX3Y. Of course this ignores the Roadster 1 and 2, the Cybertruck, and the Semi.

    A worried Marilyn Lovell to husband Jim Lovell, on his assignment to Apollo 13: “Thirteen, of course it had to be thirteen. Why thirteen?”
    Astronaut Lovell: “It comes after twelve.”

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ^^ This ^^ I never associate the Bronco with OJ. If the date bothered anyone why doesn’t Ford move the date a day, problem solved. That was 26 years ago. Although the man will forever be associated with the crime the Bronco will not

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The odd time I see a white Bronco I think OJ but then again, I rarely ever see a full sized Bronco let alone a white one.

        Other than name, this Bronco has nothing in common with the F150 based Bronco.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I am sure whichever media hack “discovered” this coincidence squealed like a little school girl with excitement. Who cares…..

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Given the current social climate, why not hire OJ to drive the first one off the line?

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I was too young at the time for the chase to have made much impact, but I still want one. Though I assume it’ll be priced too high for me to justify it knowing full well I’d never use its full capabilities.

    I primarily want it because manual.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Maybe Ford will offer, in addition to its “teen” key, an OJ key. Limits the speed to about 25mph when the cameras detect freeway travel, and calls 911 with GPS updates.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    If the Continental could survive the assassination of JFK, the Bronco can survive OJ Simpson.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    If you’re stupid enough to think the “New Bronco” is like OJ’s you deserve a lifetime of four cylinder automatic Nissans. Bought used from the car rental company. That smell funny too.

  • avatar

    Simpson owns Denver Broncos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKqeCXBilVE

  • avatar
    Super555

    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.

  • avatar
    Super555

    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.

  • avatar
    Heino

    If the Bronco does not fit, you must acquit.

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