At one time, the Ford Bronco was nearly called the Wrangler. Ford is coming back with the Bronco name on a brand-new SUV this year. However, the original 1966 model was almost called something totally different.
Bronco was the code name for the SUV when it started in 1963, the idea being that it would team up with the Mustang in Ford’s stable as a 4WD sports car, and the off-road image of the name says it all.
There was no guarantee the Bronco-name would make it to the production car, however. Names change quite often once the marketing department gets involved.
The Mustang came really close to being called the Cougar, for example, that Ford even built a prototype with a cougar logo a couple of years before the name ended up on a Mercury. No reason to let a great idea go to waste, correct?
Likewise, Ford archivist Ted Ryan said different names were considered for the Bronco, including one that is familiar with today: Wrangler.
Ryan told The Motor Masters that it was one of the candidates, but that Ford’s product planner Don Frey made the decision to stick with the equine connection to the Mustang. Back then, the Jeep Wrangler’s predecessors were called CJs, and it wasn’t until 1987 that the automaker started using the Wrangler name on its own SUV.
In no time, the Bronco and Wrangler will be competing for domination on rocky trails and in showrooms, with the new Bronco set to come out sometime this spring.Auto News, Blog