Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Window Shopping

Rusty vehicles are scarce down here.

Rusty vehicles are scarce down here.

Now, I really can’t pass judgement on a vehicle for sale any more. I wouldn’t know if it’s a rip-off or a steal. All I know is that I was leaving a local farm stand just outside Yuma and spotted this SUV for sale by its owner. With my interest in vintage iron and mods to same, this held my interest after the pretty blue paint initially caught it. Here’s the sign:

Interpretation of For Sale signs is sometimes needed.

Interpretation of For Sale signs is sometimes needed.

Now, I’m assuming that “dlls” is dollars, as in $5,500. Ordinarily, $5,500 for a 19-year-old SUV with 160,000 miles on it would earn finger gestures, but this Ford Bronco is apparently stuffed with 460 cubes of go-power, which in my mind raises more questions than it answers. A fuel-injected 460 is a lot brighter than a carburetted one, and makes me wonder what vehicle the engine came out of. From my experience, a 460 can produce a large heap of torque. Torque and shock is what breaks driveline parts, not horsepower, so what transmission is used, and what driveshafts and axles? Are they up to it?

Some states do not require rear bumpers, and owners opt for the plain panels, or swap them in for a cleaner appearance.

Some states do not require rear bumpers, and owners opt for the plain panels, or swap them in for a cleaner appearance.

Overall, this tub appeals. Clean, apparently straight and rust-free, such an SUV beside the road in Illinois would be a true rarity.

I didn't zoom in on this one so you can get an idea of the area surrounding Yuma to the north. It's simply a very large grid of crop fields.

I didn’t zoom in on this one so you can get an idea of the area surrounding Yuma to the north. It’s simply a very large grid of crop fields.

The next valid question is of course: what does it need? What’s ailing on it? What is waiting to be fixed? Fortunately, I don’t care. I don’t have any need for it or any money for such things, and can simply enjoy knowing that some guy executed such an interesting combination of parts. It’s very well done.

The farmer's stand is in the back there.

The farmer’s stand is in the back there.

By the way, the farmer’s stand that I’m ignoring in this post is quite something, and they do a brisk business because a large percentage of what they offer is local, and some of that is organically grown. The selection is surprisingly wide, and although prices are often no better than or even costlier than the nearby Fry’s mega-grocery, the produce is noticeably fresher overall. It just feels better buying produce at the stand. It’s a more satisfying experience. That either has to do with my natural reluctance to feed the corporate beast that now controls our federal government, or perhaps that it just feels better to buy and get better value from a hardworking and enterprising farm family. Felt good being there, where I was able to buy locally-grown unprocessed dates and some figs – neither of which is currently available at Fry’s in any form at any price!

I couldn’t help but observe the difference in staff. Fry’s produce dept employees were always willing to answer questions, but were mainly occupied with restocking at a frenzied pace. They always appeared to be under the gun and struggling to keep up. The folks at the market were very social and unobtrusively asked to help their customers find what they wanted. They offered choices, pointed out items and alternatives, and everything was at an unhurried, conversational pace. Although they did a steady business, they didn’t have to prioritize restocking at all. Their emphasis was helping people. Their labor cost per pound of produce was astronomical compared to Fry’s, but that wasn’t a priority, and it was obvious what was.

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11 thoughts on “Window Shopping

  1. That is a nice looking rig! Driving it and putting it on a lift to probe around underneath it would probably be pretty entertaining.

    • Yes indeedy. It’d be kind of like the automotive equivalent of a murder mystery, or an episode of CSI. “Look what happened here – is that clearance gonna bake the steering box? Clever solution here, though…”

  2. That is a looking ride. Not my style.
    I like purchasing local produce from stands. I’ve been to pick it yourself farms to purchase food. I buy yard eggs when I need them. Of course all these have to be in season. Everything taste better fresh.

    • Yes J.R.. Though Fry’s has the best selection of foods in Yuma, some of the produce is on the edge of usage. I fell for strawberries “on sale” and they were moldy two days later. I only last week discovered the difference between really fresh green bell peppers and the usual fare. Wow.

  3. In the back of my mind it serms the Broncos had a rollover problem or fire or something. Also my experience Doug is that in these engine makeovers a lot of the time they miss the small things like beefed up motor mounts, heavy duty ball joints and front suspension to handle that weight and also carrier bearings on the driveline. You get my drift.

    • Oh, I think that was the Explorer, and was related to OEM tire tread separation under high heat & speed conditions. Underinflation played a part, increasing heat. The bulk of incidents occurred in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The finger pointing between Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone was because Firestone designed its tires for Venezuela and they blew anyway, but Ford specced USA tires for use in the Middle East, which was their error. Nothing spectacular was wrong with the Explorer’s suspension, though Ford had tweaked it and lowered tire pressures in an attempt to lower grip and decrease tipping. It did roll more easily than competitors because Ford execs poo-pooed engineering concerns and locked in what they could do to fix it. So after Firestone took the heat of the failure-caused accidents, lawyers started zeroing in on Ford for the greater basic tendency to roll, as documented in earlier internal correspondence in court. The documents and prior bad publicity made them easy pickings for lawyers in personal injury cases.
      Frankly, I just assume that if I pitch any 4WD vehicle too hard, there’s a pretty good chance she’s gonna roll because of the high CG and pavement faults. And I agree, many times the builder is a backyarder just wanting the least work to do, and the results are usually left sinking into the back yard after the fifth breakdown. That’s why I’d like to see it on a lift. How much was swapped out and no longer resembles the 351 or 302 setup of that year? The very careful attention to detail on the outside makes me optimistic for the underside.

      • And I thought it was the Pinto that had the fire issues.
        The Bronco looks nice, and$5500 seems like a good price too.

        Papa
        http://www.papas-travels.blogspot.com

        • It was, Papa. Ford was aware of rear-end crash data that suggested that the axle housing punctured the gas tank, spilling gas and inviting a fire. A protective plate that protected the tank from puncture was tested and ultimately decided against by management. One of those decisions that “saved money” and maintained the thin profits of the car, but wound up costing thousands of times more than the dollars it saved. Oops. Between that and the model of Firestones used on some models, the Pinto became a joke and never recovered. That’s my take.

  4. Michael on said:

    As you might remember I am a die hard Ford fan. If I were living out west I would easily pay that amount for that Bronco. Heck, my company is selling their crummy old Chevy pickup that is rusted out (you know what it is like in IL) and all the paint has peeled off and they are sure they will get $3,500 for it.

    • Given the mods to it, the general appearance and the potential that it might be been done right, it seemed like either a fair deal at worst or a superb deal if it was close to modified as it should be. But I don’t really know.

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