Updated: Feb 21, 2022
By: Jill from 1Five1 Garage February 21, 2022
After a twenty-four-year absence, Ford revealed the new design of an American classic on July 13, 2020. The last Bronco to set off into the wild from the Michigan Truck Plant was on June 12, 1996. The first -generation Bronco didn’t come to life until 1965 as a 1966 model. It stayed in production for thirty years. The Bronco of yesteryear only came in a 2-door style. However, Ford, seeing how the SUV market has been, decided to change things up a bit. Ford was going to offer the new Bronco in both 4 door and 2 door models.
The Bronco was discontinued in 1996 due to the rise of the American people’s demands for SUV type vehicles with 4 doors and not 2. They wanted a family hauler, not so much a play toy type vehicle. Thus, this caused the Bronco to be cast to the wayside and the Expedition and Excursions were born. Only the Expedition made out, as the Excursion was too big for most people to drive. However, Jeep saw the disappearance of the Bronco as a good thing for they just kept pumping out models after models. Ford has a lot of catching up to do for this model to be a big hit. But it won’t be without a lot of hiccups as we will be experiencing firsthand.
The new Bronco is based off the Generation 1 look, that’s been modernized a bit. We think it looks fantastic, and it wasn’t ahead of its time like the Ford Thunderbird was. It looked great, but the masses were not ready for a retro modern car. The FJ Cruiser suffered a similar fate as the Thunderbird. It was just too ahead of its time.
On July 13,2020, we, along with the rest of the world, watched the reveal at 8pm EST. We had our phones, laptops, desktop, iPads, you name it, all out and on Ford.com trying on each device to put a reservation in for the Wildtrak. Why the Wildtrak? Well, the site didn’t give us much information about each trim level. They gave us a picture of what it might look like and bare minimums of what each trim level came with. There just simply wasn’t enough information out there at the time.
As more information became available, we started looking into the Badlands more. The more we investigated it, the more we decided when it came time to place an order, we would change the trim level from Wildtrak to Badlands. Which we did. We compared the fully loaded Badlands to the Wildtrak and the First Edition and found the fully loaded Badlands to be the absolute SAME as the First Edition – just without the insane markups and stickers. It was a no brainer; we were getting the Badlands.
THE BIRTH OF 1FIVE1 GARAGE YOUTUBE CHANNEL:
A few days after the reveal of the new Bronco, I had to undergo a very long surgery as part of my breast cancer treatment. I was going to have well over a month to recover and was ordered to stay in bed, all day. This provided me a lot of time to watch YouTube, simply because there was nothing else to do other than sleep. The more I watched YouTube, the more the gears in my head turned. I finally told my husband we were going to start a YouTube Channel. Thus, 1Five1 Garage was born. We weren’t sure what to do with the channel at first, until we discovered people really wanted to know more about the new Ford Bronco. We had one ordered, so why not give it a whirl. And that, in a nutshell, how we came to be.
When Ford opened the ordering capabilities, it suffered even more hiccups. The servers kept crashing. Ford then made it where the customer had to go to the dealership, sit with a salesperson, and submit the order that way. We greatly recommend you get a printout of the build you did with the salesperson; just in case they forget to add something you wanted to the order.
Fortunately, at the time, Jill worked at a Ford dealership so she could do it while at work. She got a printout of the sheet of the build. Now we wait…a lot…for the initial email to come saying its “In Production”.
Little did we know our beloved fully loaded Badlands was going to be full of constraints. It had everything but the two doors and the kitchen sink on it. We dubbed our Badlands the “Unicorn”. It was going to be a mystical Cactus Grey creature; one will probably never see the way things were going. And still are. More to come on that last comment.
What constraints are, are items on the vehicle potentially slowing down production due to maybe a shortage of parts or hardware or even paint. Anything can become a constraint. Or issues with outside vendors can also be a constraint. It’s pretty much in short, anything to hold up production of a vehicle.
The constraints holding up our 4-doors Badlands were as followed: leather interior, towing package, MIC (Molded In Color) hardtop, Sasquatch package, Lux Package, & 2.7L engine in automatic transmission.
We did eventually get the long awaited “Built” email. YAY! We, like fools, started celebrating thinking it’s going to be here ANY DAY NOW. Wrong… it was built. Completely 100% built. There were no chips it was waiting for, there was no parts it was waiting for, it was a whole functioning unit.
It was now pending shipment. It was being shipped from the Michigan Auto Plant (MAP – for short) in Michigan to Florida by train. Another email came stating it had been shipped. On a site we used to track it, we got a notification the vehicle had landed in Miami at the railyard hub. This is where it stayed, in a rail car, for 45 days cooped up in a metal container.
DELAY AFTER DELAY:
Ford kept sending out little love notes (via email) stating the delivery from Miami to our dealership has been pushed back. We are like ok, shipping industry is suffering from Covid like everything else, we get it. When the 7th or 8th email came from Ford saying it was still being pushed back on delivery, it was high time to find out what the frick was up with our vehicle. We just knew something was wrong. This wasn’t a normal occurrence for deliveries to be pushed back time after time.
The only major gripe about this was it never raised any alarm bells within Ford’s customer service department. They were just like, “Well, we see it to be shipped out on this date. If it surpasses said date, call us back.” Pointless step and a waste of time. Ford really needs to upgrade their system to give their customer service representatives better information, so when customers like us come calling asking where is our vehicle?, they can actually give you a REAL answer instead of information you already knew. Talk about mounting frustration on top of all the delays we were experiencing.
FORD LOST OUR VEHICLE – BUT WE FOUND IT:
Yes, you read that right. FORD LOST OUR VEHICLE! Shawn took a day off from work and made numerous phone calls for 6 hours. He finally got 1 key piece of the puzzle he needed to get the answers we were in dire need of. The container numbers. He made another phone call to the rail company, and they discovered the problem. There was no Bill of Lading for said container. To them, they had a container that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was going to be shipped all the way back to MAP in Michigan. Yep! We put our heads in our hands in disbelief, for this had to be the most difficult experiences we had dealing with ordering a vehicle.
The lady at the railyard was kind enough to reach out to Ford and get the situation regarding said railcar straightened out. We received a phone call not long after, stating it was back in Jacksonville, Florida on the way back to MAP. They were turning the train car around to send it back to Miami...again. Once it reaches Miami, it could take another week or two to get it processed, and on loaded on the truck to take up to the dealerships in our area. We wait…again.
The Unicorn build was now officially dubbed the Nightmare Unicorn. As I write this blog, we received word the vehicle is ACTUALLY being prepped to be shipped up to us from Miami. Now we didn’t celebrate. We already made that mistake once, we wouldn’t be doing it again. We decided we were not going to celebrate anything until the vehicle was physically sitting in our driveway. Then, and only then, will we pop the cork on the champagne bottle.
FINALLY! After 588 days from the time we reserved the vehicle, and 45 of those days of it literally being lost, we were able to track it LIVE to the point we got to see the vehicle pull up to the dealership just in the nick of time. And let me tell you, we were jumping up and down like little kids waiting for their parents to give them a dollar to buy an ice cream cone from the truck. We were ecstatic!
I kept thanking the driver of the truck repeatedly. I told him the shorten version of the story of how long we were waiting for this vehicle, and he understood why we were over the moon in excitement. The publishing date of this blog is the date we received our beloved long-awaited, and once lost, Bronco Badlands.
It arrived at the dealership at 9am. PDI was done immediately. And we didn’t get home with it until 5:30pm. It was a painfully long, slow process due to the new owner’s policy of doing deals. But we got it, we are thrilled beyond words, and I got to drive a full-sized Bronco for once.
I want to introduce to everyone who reads this blog to our 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands in Cactus Grey aptly named, “The Lost Unicorn”. This is the Bronco that started it all.