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A couple of issues ago BD ran an article about "Code Name Shorthorn" - the development of the first FSB. The article was written by Dick Nesbitt one of the original designers. As the article says, this design was supposed to be introduced in 1974 but the 73 oil embargo delayed this until 1978. Here is a photo from that article showing the 78 "mule".



Has anyone seen more pics of this prototype? If so, I'd like to get them or a link to view them.

Yo miesk5, from reading some other threads I see you have been in touch with Mr. Nesbitt. Have you seen or can you get more photos of this prototype?

Thanks.
 

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There's a page somewhere that shows all different drawings of the first FSBs. I'll see if I can find it.
 

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interesting. I know my Uncle special ordered his 79 XLT ranger from the factory in 78. 6 months after he got it my dad traded him straight across for his 79 cougar. I have never seen another like it my dad regrets giving it up for his 89.
 

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yo,
Also;

I corresponded with Don Wheatley, Bronco Engineering Supervisor in advanced Ford Truck;
hE REPLIED;
"...I was a new engineering supervisor in charge of the Full Size Bronco (the OJ Bronco) in advanced Ford Truck. We had a team of five very excited engineers who were told to come out with a vehcile to "match the Chevrolet Blazer" which was already on the market. Chevy had made a good start but we were not going to copy them! We tested the existing competition: the origional Bronco which was designed to keep tooling costs low, the Blazer, the IH Scout, Range Rover and so on. Enthusiasm was rampant and frankly no one was watching us too close at first. Our initial design concept was based on an F series with a short box welded at the back of the b-pillar with full fiber glass roof just like Chevy (that is what the planners wanted). Problem was the Chevy had a tendency to leak at the header and frankly the Ford doors and window mechanisms would have to be all new which equals expensive tooling. John Richardson suggested attaching to the Ford cab at the b-pilar. This carried over the door and solved the leak problem. We initially were looking at a Dana design for "v-drive" which had a torque shaft to drive each front axle. It worked slick on a stationwagon when I blew off a corvette on Telegraph. Poor guy tried twice and got beat twice. Too complex and too expensive. Had a BFO (bliding flash of obvious). Why not just put a U joint in the middle of the solid axle and make it a twin I beam 4x4? Immediately we were told it wouldn't ride right with unequal weights on the front axels. Solution have a stock 4x2 tested for ride and then weld 80 pounds to one of the axles. Ureka it rode better, but got chewed out for "ruining" a good baseline test vehicle. Any way this suspension allowed common frames between 4x2 and 4x4 vehicles plus gave us a independent 4x4 front suspension. We built two prototype vehicles over about a one year time frame. They had special seats to ease rear seat access. We added a foot well for better rear seating. We had a flip forward rear seat so you could use the rear for seating or cargo. I have a full set of photos of the vehicles taken by George Peterson. The second vehicle had the basket handle or raised roof over the b-pillar and that was the vehicle we showed to management. We were initially chastised by upper management for not bringing the fiberglass roof to the windshield header; but it stuck and Chevy copied us..."


Richard Nesbitt, 1978 Bronco Designer; "Ford Bronco Lightning Concepts created by Nesbitt for Truck Trend magazine. Styling feature authored and illustrated by Nesbitt..."

Source: by Dick Nesbitt
 

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yo,
I had to popst my reply quickly because Comcast tekkie is due here soon to try to resolve cable issues.

Don wrote to me last year; "Have the photos all in the old format of the time. About 100 or so. Not sure if and when we can post them..."
I'll contact Don again soon.


And the Richard Nesbitt AutoBio @ http://www.mclellansautomotive.com/newsletter/articles/2004/jul/03/index.php
......

Here is more;
1979 Bronco Sketch
Source: by Richard Nesbitt

An article written by SONESVT:
"...Vintage Design: Nesbitt's Carrousel.
The Ford Carrousel is the vehicle that would have resulted from the stillborn Nantucket Project from the mid 70's, that could have given Ford the credit for turning the van into a mainstream family vehicle, as we have previously discussed in FoMoCo News. The minivan would have been merely a downsizing (like many others that happened in the late 70s and early 80s) of this Ford idea.

I find interesting how in the side sketches the design tries to smooth out the severity of the Econoline design in which this vehicle was to be based, with beautifully sculpted side panels.

My favorite is sketch "C" with its isolated window in the style which latter was to be referred to as limousine stile that became big in the 80s in car like the European Ford Sierra and the Ford Tempo among others. Also in sketches B and C you can see the window design that was latter included in the passenger windows of the Ford Bronco which was also a Dick Nesbitt design.

Also note in the top design how Nesbitt was proposing in 1972 the use of the blue oval in American Ford models 11 years before it finally happened in 1983..."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@miesk5 - Thanks. I am looking for more pics of this particular yellow pre-production "mule". I thought I read that Dick Nesbitt had more pics in his collection - may have been a general comment and covers many of the design iterations, but I am curious if any more pics of the one above are around anywhere? I've searched this site and others - actually already saw your post above on another site - but have not found anything yet. If you can get some from Mr. Wheatley that would be great!

BTW, the Carrousel is a pretty cool design. Also I really like the 79 sketch with the rear window slanted more than the actual production Bronco.

The bio is an interesting read - he was in on a lot of different designs. Here is another view of the 99 Bronco proposal I had not seen before - but notice the Excursion based Bronco(?) in the background with an extended cab! Had not seen that before at all.



Thanks!
 

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yo,
I had to popst my reply quickly because Comcast tekkie is due here soon to try to resolve cable issues.

Don wrote to me last year; "Have the photos all in the old format of the time. About 100 or so. Not sure if and when we can post them..."
I'll contact Don again soon.


And the Richard Nesbitt AutoBio @ http://www.mclellansautomotive.com/newsletter/articles/2004/jul/03/index.php
......

Here is more;
1979 Bronco Sketch
Source: by Richard Nesbitt

An article written by SONESVT:
"...Vintage Design: Nesbitt's Carrousel.
The Ford Carrousel is the vehicle that would have resulted from the stillborn Nantucket Project from the mid 70's, that could have given Ford the credit for turning the van into a mainstream family vehicle, as we have previously discussed in FoMoCo News. The minivan would have been merely a downsizing (like many others that happened in the late 70s and early 80s) of this Ford idea.

I find interesting how in the side sketches the design tries to smooth out the severity of the Econoline design in which this vehicle was to be based, with beautifully sculpted side panels.

My favorite is sketch "C" with its isolated window in the style which latter was to be referred to as limousine stile that became big in the 80s in car like the European Ford Sierra and the Ford Tempo among others. Also in sketches B and C you can see the window design that was latter included in the passenger windows of the Ford Bronco which was also a Dick Nesbitt design.

Also note in the top design how Nesbitt was proposing in 1972 the use of the blue oval in American Ford models 11 years before it finally happened in 1983..."


miesk5, not sure if this is a "good" place to post news of the "potential new Bronco" but thought I would share what I heard thru a few buddie's at Ford. It seems as if Ford would really like to bring out a new version of the Bronco but the design team is having mixed concepts on the look and spec's. The size of the vehicle seems to be one of the most difficult hurdles, while there is alot of interest for a "full size" bronco, some of the design team members want to go directly head to head with Jeep on a smaller version bronco. Again, this comes from a few "good" sources at Ford, saying that the design team clearly wants to build a bronco in the coming yrs and have a couple of models they are considering...?
 

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miesk5, not sure if this is a "good" place to post news of the "potential new Bronco" but thought I would share what I heard thru a few buddie's at Ford. It seems as if Ford would really like to bring out a new version of the Bronco but the design team is having mixed concepts on the look and spec's. The size of the vehicle seems to be one of the most difficult hurdles, while there is alot of interest for a "full size" bronco, some of the design team members want to go directly head to head with Jeep on a smaller version bronco. Again, this comes from a few "good" sources at Ford, saying that the design team clearly wants to build a bronco in the coming yrs and have a couple of models they are considering...?
yo,
There has been a trend at Ford and other makes about using former model names such as Taurus, Challenger, etc. Expect to see Galaxy come back too. And the Bronco will prob be a variant of the new Explorer or Ranger w/ diff front end/trim levels ala a Ford as compared to a Mercury model (Thunderbird/Cougar):thumbup
 

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We initially were looking at a Dana design for "v-drive" which had a torque shaft to drive each front axle.

Thank God that did not fly!



Interesting information on the "mule"
This V-Drive was implemented in the original Pathfinder Van conversions. Each 'hub' had a differential and the transfer case had one input and three outputs, saw one years ago, was really weird looking. Found some pics...





4 Wheel and Off-Road link.
 

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yo,
Another pic

Both Dick N and Don W are still working and are busy, but do reply to e-mails. Someday, we'll get more pics and sketches; just have to catch them @ a time where they have support to transfer some from "old formats" (probably on microfische or obsolete graphic formats and have time to dig through their masses of albums, file cabinets, boxes in storage and files
 

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4:20 Enthusiast!
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I wish Ford would reproduce the 78 Full Size with all the new technology of today. An EB edition would be nice too!.Kinda like they did with the mustang.Why stop at just the older style (68-70) hot rods.
 

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I wish Ford would reproduce the 78 Full Size with all the new technology of today. An EB edition would be nice too!.Kinda like they did with the mustang.Why stop at just the older style (68-70) hot rods.
Yeah my connections with the Ford guys are saying the same thing...78/79 look with the new tech, but other team members have a vision of the 92-96 model but alittle sleeker look...? Man I would love to be on this design team, the options available would probably kill the numbers...
 

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yo,
I would like the str8 axle 78 version too; downsized a bit, but any aero desogns wouldn't be good as far as identiying t w/the Bronco look and image.

I would rather see a version made for beach, off road and general family-friendly use; such as the 96's XL model w/ scrubbale vinyl flooring, & same for headliner, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yo,
Another pic

Both Dick N and Don W are still working and are busy, but do reply to e-mails. Someday, we'll get more pics and sketches; just have to catch them @ a time where they have support to transfer some from "old formats" (probably on microfische or obsolete graphic formats and have time to dig through their masses of albums, file cabinets, boxes in storage and files
Back on topic LOL! (Actually don't mind the hi-jacks - all very interesting stuff.)

miesk5, thanks for continuing to check with them. You're pobably wondering why I am so interested in the 78 "mule"? I've been stuggling with a paint scheme for my 78 Custom. Mine is the same yellow from the factory and has similar trim - black bumpers, belt line brite moulding - oh yeah, and round headlights! When I saw the pic in my first post it struck me as a great paint scheme. I've not seen a yellow one with the white hood/cab top and topper before and I really like the yellow continuing over the top on the targa band. So just looking for more details and my plan now is to make mine into sort of a mild restomod resembling this preproduction 78. I am not looking to make an exact replica, but any details that more pics could provide would help. I am curioius what the rear trim looks like. I'm also now looking for stock grille guard - see my WTB thread in the for sale section.
 
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