With the weather outside getting rather frightful these days, Ford has decided to share some delightful new images of their original Ford Bronco off-roader. This wasn’t some last minute gift idea from the automaker either, as these photos are some 52 years in the making. Hidden deep within the company’s historical archives, these never-before-seen images depict a visit to Dearborn from one very special north pole resident: Santa Claus.
According to FoMoCo, these photos were snapped in the company’s cold room development labs back on November 4, 1968. Santa Claus had just stopped by Ford’s global headquarters to check out the Bronco, and to ensure that it would be able to withstand the rigorous winter driving he is known for undertaking. Father Christmas even brought a sack of toys along, for what we can only imagine was a test fitment. We can’t say for certain that Santa purchased a Ford Bronco right then and there, he does appear rather impressed with how it handled -30 degree temperatures.
Ford’s Heritage and Archive manager Ted Ryan says these promotional shots were initially taken for the company’s bi-weekly internal newspaper. The photos were never used however, granting us all the opportunity to enjoy them now in 2020. After realizing how cool these images are, the team decided to go ahead and recreate them with a modern Ford Bronco 2-door. This Outer Banks model features the Sasquatch Package, as well as a Brush Bar and Modular Front Bumper. Like any proper Santa-prepped vehicle, the SUV also received a coat of Race Red paint. While we all know that the Bronco on sale today was inspired by the 1960’s model, it is interesting to see just how similar they both look when they’re covered in ice.
The Ford Bronco may not be Santa Claus’ first choice of vehicle when it comes to his yearly duties, but we can now confirm it has been on his radar for over half a century. That said, Ford now appears to be facing some competition from FCA when it comes to this front.