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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2022 Ford Bronco is shown from the front parked in the mountains.

The Ford Bronco Is Back, Baby, and the Nostalgia is Real!

Did you ever think you’d be googling “Ford Bronco Dealer Near Me” in 2022? With the news that Ford is re-introducing us to the beloved Bronco, many have gone down memory lane to relive the adventures shared with friends and loved ones while sharing space in one of these iconic vehicles.

The Ford Bronco arrived on the scene in the 1960s and was the first SUV sold by the company. It was intended to be a sports utility vehicle, though, by the time the 1980s came around, it also served as a family vehicle. In the mid-1990s, my friend’s mom owned an old brown Bronco, which was perfect for hauling us to and from field trips, dance recitals, and sleepover parties. It held all of us kids plus enough toys, snacks, and pets to keep us occupied during the rides over bumpy gravel roads and slightly less bumpy paved roads in rural Tennessee.

I remember that old Bronco bouncing along unpaved back roads in East Tennessee as I attended my very first sleepover. It easily handled the windy roads, climbing up the mountainscape with confidence. My friend’s house was deep in the woods, near the base of the Smoky Mountains, where mudslides, avalanches, and blizzards were common occurences. The gravel driveway to their house was typically washed away two or three times a year when the rains were heavy, creating a sopping wet mess and quite a difficult path to the house and barns, but the old Bronco was determined to get us to and fro with nary a thought of danger.

Another time, we were attempting to navigate a semi-paved road in bad weather, either going to a recital or coming home from one. The creek overflowed and water was rushing toward us. With no way to go but through, my friend’s mother set her jaw, gripped the steering wheel, and off we went into the rain, mud, and creek water threatening to sweep us away. We made it through, thank goodness, and while I was not quite old enough to realize the enormity of the danger we were in, I did understand that we’d narrowly avoided a rather rough adventure.

I spent a lot of time in that old Bronco, and I became rather attached to it. I still smile whenever I see a photo of one, and I wonder if maybe I’ll be lucky enough to drive my own one day. I felt so comfortable in those seats, safe and warm. Even though it was difficult for me at age seven to climb up into the Bronco, I loved it. It felt like an adventure every time, like I was off to explore the rainforest or maybe attend an archeological dig.

An orange 2022 Ford Bronco is shown from the side driving in the mountains after leaving a Ford Bronco dealer near you.

Back To The Future

While the Ford Bronco went out of production in 1996, you can still find them on the roads, in used car lots, and off-roading. They’re made to be hardy vehicles, and it looks like the new Bronco and Bronco Sport models slated to arrive in Summer 2022 promise to be even tougher, able to off-road at higher speeds while maintaining their safety standards and providing a high tech experience.

The Bronco my friend’s mom drove was most likely a 1980’s model, perhaps a third or fourth generation. The full-size, 3-door SUV had a manual transmission, most likely a V8 engine, and a brown two-tone exterior. The newest editions of the Ford Bronco boast a multitude of extra goodies, including 4X4 capabilities, doors and a roof that can be removed, and EcoBoost engines. They can handle all your exploring needs, whether you’re adventuring over sand, through water, or up mountains.

I’d like to see a return to the two-tone paint colors, partially for nostalgia’s sake and partly because it helps the Bronco stand out with such a unique look. An updated brown and beige two-tone, for example, would look sharp and sophisticated while still rugged enough to play with other rough riders. It would also help those of us who get lost in the parking lot because we can’t pinpoint the sound of the alarm due to being directionally challenged.

A green 2022 Ford Bronco is shown from the front parked in the mountains.

The New Ford Bronco: Holding Old Memories Close & Creating New Ones

The new Ford Bronco features EcoBoost engines, HOSS systems (High-Speed Off-Road Suspension), and off-road tires perfect for heading off into the sunset and getting lost in the wilderness. The Bronco is a promising adventure buddy, whether you’re interested in mudding, climbing steep hills, pushing debris out of the way, or traversing around swamps.

I live in a mountainous region with little water, so although I love the idea of the snorkeling package, it is not practical for where I live. I’d be more interested in the bigger off-road tires, the front stabilizer bar disconnect for when I need to climb up over rocky outcroppings or around fallen trees, and towing equipment to haul my camper with me for the weekend.

Although I am nostalgic, I love the inclusion of technology with newer vehicles. The 2022 Ford Bronco has an optional feature called Trail Maps that allows drivers to download topographical maps and create a video that can then be uploaded to the cloud and view telemetry stats and map data. All of these can be utilized to make more memories and have something tangible to look back on after the trip. It could also be useful for drivers sharing information on road conditions during emergency situations, a feature we could have used back in the 1990s when the gravel roads were washed out in our neck of the woods.

Now that I have kids in my life, I want to recreate some of my early memories with them. I want to take them out in the Bronco and explore areas near where we live. I want to show them (safely, of course) just how far the Bronco can go. We could take it out for a spin in the snow to see Christmas lights, or cross a small creek and spend the weekend camping. I could boost them up into the vehicle and tell them about the time my friend and I nearly crawled up the Bronco to stand on the roof and scream as her granddad chased a snake poised to attack.

I also want to be able to share these memories with my friends and partner while revving them up for the new Ford Bronco. It would be incredible to be able to plan a road trip back to East Tennessee to show them the creeks, mountains, and forests the old Bronco handled like a champ. We escaped several natural disasters with its help, whether a surprise April blizzard, a hailstorm, or flooding. We also spent a lot of time in it on the way to Dollywood and camping sites even more remote than my friend’s house. Being able to relive these memories while creating new ones would scratch that nostalgia itch quite nicely.

Wherever you want to go, the Ford Bronco can probably take you there. If you’re like me, and is ecstatic that Ford has brought back the Bronco and even improved upon it, keep an eye out—you might see them on and off roads this summer. They’ll be loaded to the gills with extra features, looking sharp in a myriad of paint colors, using those off-road tires to jump in and out of creek beds and up mountain ranges, ready to whisk you off to make some new memories with your loved ones.

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