It was the model that kick-started a thriving aftermarket suspension business four decades ago, so what better way for Skyjacker to commemorate its 40th anniversary than to build a clean example of a first-generation Ford Bronco and unveil it at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas today.
But the story gets even better, as Skyjacker teamed up with iconic toy car manufacturer Matchbox, to create a clean machine that will be modeled by Matchbox and sold as a 1:64 toy around the world.
The life-size Bronco is of 1976 vintage, and its spec sheet boasts some reputable names from within the aftermarket. Naturally, the suspension is Skyjacker, but several companies contributed to the build, including Hanson, who supplied the bumpers, Warn, Bushwacker, Bestop, JW Speaker, Winn Trim, Weather Tech, BFG, BMF Wheels, McGard, JE Reel, Hedman Headers and SSBC Brakes.
A Ford Bronco was the vehicle that Skyjacker Suspensions CEO and President Lonnie McCurry Sr. owned when he first began to experiment with building better-than-stock suspension components, making it a natural choice as a 40th anniversary project.
“It was clear that there was no better vehicle to build than the one that started it all,” McCurry said. “When Matchbox approached us about working in conjunction with them on a toy replica, it was not only an honor and a privilege, but a natural fit. After all, we are a family business with multiple generations running operations, and we want to inspire the future generations to join the off-road community. Creating a real size and toy size edition of this landmark vehicle will do just that.”
The Matchbox Skyjacker Ford Bronco is a fitting tribute to both the Ford Bronco and to Skyjacker. The 1:64 scale diecast model captures the look of the original, featuring similar upgrades such as a lifted up profile, all-terrain tires, bikini-top, a chrome bumper and grill accents. The toy version will be available at major retailers later this fall.
Felix Holst, Vice President, Wheels Design at Mattel (the parent company to Matchbox), said that the Matchbox design team was thrilled at the chance to team up with Skyjacker to build a celebratory Bronco fans would get excited about.
“The concept was to utilize the trail-tested, tough-as-nails 1976 Bronco platform and beef it up with the full Skyjacker off-road treatment,” Holst said. “The end result is a Matchbox Bronco that will tackle any terrain in its path—this is a Bronco that all generations will love to ride.”
The Skyjacker Bronco and its companion toy version will be at a variety of events throughout 2015.