It was really bothering me that the Bronco didn't look like it was supposed to, and the 20-year-old unused door seal that my friend sent me put the bug in my head to get the proper markings back on the truck. I knew that if I did that, I was limiting how much I'd be using it in the next few years, as it's slightly frowned upon to drive a privately-owned, fully marked police vehicle on public roads. But there was/is hope, since a vague Illinois law allows antique emergency vehicles to be fully marked and driven on the roads, if they are registered antique vehicles. I just had to wait until it was 25-years-old to do any serious driving. That, or cover any permanent marking with painter's tape while driving it on the highways.
So I made the decision to go ahead and mark it now, and just use it sparingly for the next few years. Additionally, I keep it in a very rural area, and it's not as prominent as driving through downtown Chicago.
A friend who owns a graphics business took careful measurements, lots of photos, and made exact reproductions of the original stickers. Then he scanned my original emblem and printed a few copies on 3M reflective material, so it was reflective as the original. I had two complete sets of decals made, plus we kept the files for future use, if needed.
Maybe it was a little premature to put the stickers on at that point, but it was really cheap, and I had an extra set to use when I did I full repaint. So we went ahead and marked it up, just for fun!
Ok, now all the other stuff really bothers me! So I started looking for some of the odds & ends that I needed to replace.
First was the tailgate trim, which was missing the black insert. I looked for a while and finally found a pretty nice replacement (those things are expensive! And it's hard to find one that's not dented or scratched!).
When I took off the old one, I was not happy to see that the government mechanics had taken a short-cut when they last got into the tailgate to repair it. At this point, it seemed like everything I did just lead to another project!
(Incidentally, the tailgate glass would not go down. There's another project!)
But it looked better with the new trim on. And I eventually made a cover for the hole that was hidden by the trim panel.
Ebay shopping also led me to a new leather-wrapped steering wheel and airbag. My old wheel was bare & the airbag cover looked like someone had been carving their initials or something into it with a pocket knife.
Of course, I stumbled across more deals while I was spending money. The stock radio, which looked like it had been dragged behind the truck instead of sitting in the dash, just wasn't cutting it in a new, fresh dash. Yes, I could have bought an aftermarket one with all kinds of features and much better performance, but my purpose was to put this truck back to the way it was when I drove it, not to modify it. So I found another stock Ford radio to replace the old, and it looks much better. (The only thing is that this version didn't have the clock display. I need to eventually find the correct one. Any leads???)
Even though my truck looks pretty stock, it's been a lot of work. Lots of little things have been replaced, all with stock parts in much better condition.