The July/August 2018 issue of Vintage Truck magazine will be available in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands soon. Our cover story about a 1979 Ford Bronco was written by Robert Gabrick, with photos by Al Rogers.
Some 219 years after its fur trade began, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, marked the end of Shawn Kleppe’s treasure quest. An avowed lover of cars and trucks, Kleppe wanted something no one else has: a truck guaranteed to turn heads. In February 2017, he found a pristine 1979 Ford Bronco that had been built for sale in Canada. It was in Rocky Mountain House, still in the hands of its original owner! The Bronco was a veritable Rip Van Winkle, having slept the previous 20 years in a climate-controlled building, where it accumulated layers of dust.
In November 2017, following on-again, off-again, negotiations and a trip to Rocky Mountain House for an up-close inspection, Shawn Kleppe bought the Bronco. Kleppe then had to navigate the trials and tribulations of importing his find to the United States. Through Uship.com, he worked with a trucker who made regular trips to the U.S. Kleppe also credits CanAm Logistics, a broker licensed with the U.S. Department of Transportation, with handling the entire import process—paperwork, fees, everything.
Following the Bronco’s arrival at its new home in northeast Iowa, Kleppe spent many days and used a lot of elbow grease cleaning the paint and engine compartment as well as serving time on a creeper to clean the undercarriage. He also replaced the gas tank, master cylinder, and the rear leaf springs. Ken Einck, a masterful mechanic who owns Einck’s Service in Festina, Iowa, and who Kleppe said is “good with the old stuff,” gently woke the drivetrain from its two decades of slumber.
The Bronco’s new-for-1979 reclining captain’s chairs, trimmed in multi-stripe cloth with vinyl bolsters and armrests, looked factory fresh, because the original owner had installed seat covers shortly after purchase.
Kleppe’s loaded Bronco features the optional 400ci V-8, part-time 4-wheel drive with the optional SelectShift automatic transmission, quad front shocks, tow hooks, skid plates, handling and convenience packages, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, metric speedometer, illuminated vanity mirror, sport steering wheel, raised-white-letter tires, and 15x8-inch styled steel wheels as recommended with the truck’s optional handling package.
To read more about our featured 1979 Ford Bronco, pick up a copy of the July/August 2018 issue of Vintage Truck magazine!
Other articles in this issue include:
Waterless - The Knox Automobile Co. pioneered many early truck features! (Anthony Buono)
Battle Wagon - David Benson’s 1954 Dodge Power Wagon is a truck that needs no roads! (Vintage Truck staff, photos by Peter Brentlinger)
Chevy Talk: 1942 Chevrolet BK (Rob Kolp)
Dodge Garage: 1949 Dodge B1B (Michael Reeber)
Independent Trucks: 1941 Hudson C28 3/4-ton “Big Boy” (Jim and Gail Walker)
Delivery Designs: The Advancement and Retreat of the White Horse (Pete Costisick)
The Road Less Traveled: 1937 Studebaker Coupe-Express (B. Mitchell Carlson)
Notes from the Corrosion Lab: Prairie Schooner Drydock (Bob Adler)
Books in the Bed: Reviews by Jim Hinckley
Hey Loren!: Q&A
Tech Tips: Loosen the Bellcrank! (Ted Kalvitis)
Granny Gear: Joe Pye (Ted Kalvitis)