The wait is OVER, the Panda Motorworks 2021 Ford Bronco is HOME!
When the Ecoboost powered 2021 Ford Bronco was announced, we knew we had to have one! With an overall shift in the market away from smaller cars to rugged off-roaders, we knew that the move would make sense. When the reservation banks opened we unfortunately hesitated as we didn't exactly know what route we wanted to go. We met shortly after the release, gathered our thoughts, made a plan, and moved on it early the next morning. Now lets fast forward 11 months to June 2021, and our early morning day 2 reservation still has not received a build date. (As I'm writing this blog on 7/30/21 we have STILL yet to receive a build date on our Day 2 reservation) With us trying to make a move to enter the market, we were now stuck.
With no build date on the horizon, we sought out a Bronco to purchase outright to aid our market entry. We dedicated nearly an entire day to the cause, calling dealerships nationwide with Bronco's posted for sale. After our first hour of phone calls we started to notice a trend, dealerships were posting their Demo Broncos for sale that they couldn't legally sell until they passed the given time or mileage threshold given by Ford. Why these dealerships would post them for sale is beyond me and very obviously a marketing ploy to get you to come in and order your own Bronco.
Around 3pm that day, after about 7 hours on the phone, we had a few leads on some Broncos that were actually for sale and not asking a ridiculous amount over MSRP, so we waited for calls back on those as we continued our search. At this point we started to get creative and move away from traditional car listing sites and use the power of social media to our advantage. This is where we inevitably found our Bronco!
As I was scrolling Instagram, I remembered seeing a post 2 days earlier from the YouTuber Streetspeed717 saying he was on the hunt for a Bronco himself, so I decided his comment section would be a great place to start. While scouring the comment section. Out of the 300+ comments, I was only able to find 2 Broncos for sale. One of the Broncos was a two-door base, not our ideal spec. To go with it, the owner was openly selling it for "Way over MSRP", later to find out he was asking $20k over sticker. So now were talking upwards of $50k for a base model Bronco that we didn't really want in the first place. in fact, the only thing it shared in common with our order was the 10-speed transmission. As I was messaging this owner, I happened to stumble upon a gentleman named Elijah who had a 4-Door Big Bend incoming to his dealership, so I shot my shot and sent him a DM saying we were interested.
After conversing with Elijah and analyzing his profile, I was able to find out that he was a salesman for Healey Ford in Goshen, NY so everything seemed to be adding up and this seemed like our best shot yet to secure a Bronco! I later found that he had spec'd out this Big Bend Bronco to get it made and delivered as soon as possible. At first he planned on purchasing the Bronco for himself, but later found out that the new F-150 Powerboost would suit his needs much better as it was able to tow his ski boat with ease. That meant that this Bronco was available for purchase! After ironing out some details and logistics, we found out that the transporter carrying the Bronco was ahead of schedule, and the Bronco landed as we spoke! So I was provided the following:
At this point things were starting to get serious! We had eyes on the Bronco and an agreed upon purchase price, so all that was left was to put pen to paper and make it official!
Once we got the paper work ironed out, we booked our one-way flight to Newark, NJ to retrieve our Bronco and make the 1,000+ mile journey home over the next two days, with a few stops along the way.
Now onto what you all came here for, The Bronco! The Big Bend Bronco we purchased came very well spec'd, and was not far off what we had originally ordered minus a few key differences. First and foremost is the color. The Bronco is Carbonized Grey, not our first choice, but a great color nonetheless. Paired with the OEM wheels there was a lot of grey going on, but that was changed quickly upon our return home. We were also lucky enough to have our Bronco equipped with not only the modular hard top, but the modular front bumper as well! The signature LED lighting also gave it the higher end look we wanted, so that was a nice bonus.
Nothing can replace that feeling of that day from seeing the Bronco for the first time, to driving it off the lot! Oh, we can't forget the amazing NY-Style Pizza that Elijah provided for us! From start to finish, the overall buying experience from Elijah at Healey Ford was a fantastic experience! If you are in that area, or close by we highly recommend giving them a chance to earn your business. Not only did Elijah provide us with a delicious lunch, but he also picked us up from the airport which was over an hour away from the dealership. So we would like to thank not only him, but the entire team at Healey Ford for their hospitality during the whole process.
So now that we have the Bronco in our possession, it was time for the trek home. Since we don't make it to the east coast too often, we decided to make a pit stop and visit our friends over at Turn14. We were excited to share the Bronco with likeminded enthusiasts just a few short hours after picking it up. The overall reaction was nothing but positive! After our brief stop, we got some dinner and hit the road to finish our first day of travels. Due to the excellent ride quality, we were able to drive over 100 miles further than our intended stopping point.
Day 2 rolls around, so we start our journey in eastern Ohio with roughly 7 hours remaining on our journey home. We started our morning off in the best road trip fashion with breakfast at Denny's. Along with our Grand Slam's, we also used Denny's complimentary WiFi to catch up on emails and other work we had missed on day 1 of our travels. After that we fueled up and hit the road. Day 2 was a little less exciting as the main goal for the day was to get home as fast as possible. We were met with a detour in Indiana, which normally wouldn't be a positive, but it took us off the beaten path for some great photo opportunities!
During this stint of the trip, I hopped in the driver's seat for the first time and gave my two cents and made a first impressions/review portion of our YouTube video. Overall, I was very impressed with the on-road driving manners of the Bronco. The Bronco handled very well and the 2.3L EcoBoost power plant provided more than enough power to get up and go! Interior quality was very impressive as well. To see the rest of my thoughts, check out the video!
After 2 long days, we were relieved to see the Gateway Arch and bring the Bronco home! To our knowledge, it was the first Bronco to hit the St. Louis streets. We will never forget this trip and the memories we made along the way. I'm also very excited to have this story documented in both video and writing, as it will be a trip I hold in very high regard. The morning we landed in New Jersey I got to see my first Bronco, and later that day I was riding in OUR Bronco. I had been dreaming of this day since I got my drivers license at 16 and I was driving my 94 F-150 that I had always wished was a Bronco. We hope everyone enjoys this video and write-up, as it has been one of the most fun projects I have been apart of. And believe me when I say this, WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!
O- BRONCO -O