Back in November, Ford and Jay Leno rolled out a restored 1968 Bronco with the supercharged Shelby GT500 V8 under the hood. The reveal happened at last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but it’s only recently that Leno uploaded a video to his YouTube channel about the iconic SUV, producing an up-close look at the high-powered off-roader before he takes it for a spin.
Shoving 760 horsepower (566 kilowatts) under the hood of a vehicle that made just over 100 hp (74 kW) 40 years ago is impressive in its own right. However, Ford went a step further with Leno’s Bronco, pairing the new mill with a five-speed manual gearbox – a first. In the GT500, it pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Ford doesn’t sell the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 as a crate motor, making Leno’s Bronco one of the few instances where the engine power something other than a Mustang. There’s a 1-of-1 plaque on the engine.
The goal of the project was to keep the Bronco looking as stock as possible. The dark blue paint, white top, white wheels, and dog dish hub caps help. Inside, the stock steering wheel remains while the rest of the interior, done in a light saddle brown, is kept sparse. It does feature cup holders, and the radio hides in the center console. The original roll bar remains. The whole project took three months to complete, according to Leno.
Gallery: Jay Leno Ford Bronco Restomod 2019 SEMA Show
At the end of the video, Leno takes the supercharged Bronco out for a drive. It sounds vicious, with the front end pitching up and down as Leno lays into the accelerator. It’s a ridiculous combination that required a lot of work from Ford and the builders to get to work right, especially that five-speed gearbox. The final product looks like a lot of fun to drive.